Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Cheers to Pullman of The Golden Compass Fame

My respect for Philip Pullman, author of The Golden Compass, inched up a bit after reading an interview in which he addresses the controversy surrounding the film.
"So he won't argue back?" [the interviewer asks.] [Pullman answers,] "It's a foolish thing for the teller of a story to answer critics. If you're putting forward an argument, you can argue back and demonstrate why your argument is better than theirs. But if someone doesn't like a story you've written, what are you going to say? 'Well, you should'?"
How incredibly rare is that?! For once an author doesn't say the usual: "I apologize for any offense I might have caused. I respect everyone's point of view, and I'm not trying to say that my ideas are better than anyone elses." Blah, blah, blah.

Congratulations, Mr. Pullman, for having a spine.

On a separate but related note, I did enjoy reading The Golden Compass, more or less. I liked the swift and steady beat of the story, although I felt like it suffered from being a bit too swift in places. I'm told by a writer friend of mine that such a fast pace might be appropriate for a young audience. Could be.

Here's a funny coincidence: I walked out of the bookstore with two books in my hands, Milton's Paradise Lost and Pullman's The Golden Compass. I headed straight to a nearby coffee shop and set about trying to decide which of the two I would read first. Imagine my surprise when I read in the introduction to The Golden Compass that it happens to be Pullman's answer to Paradise Lost. Fate must have guided my hands. (Just kidding.)

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