A Clash of Other Worlds: Pullman’s Critique of Lewis

C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is now delighting cinema audiences across the world, but not everyone is so pleased. One of its most vocal critics Philip Pullman has been particularly outspoken in his condemnation of the stories for years, calling the series, ‘one of the most ugly and…

The Subtle Knife Discussion Guide

First published on Culturewatch.org Summary Will Parry’s mother believes that enemies are all around her, watching her every move. And Will is beginning to think that, after all these years, she’s right – there are some suspicious men wanting to know about his father who disappeared while Will was just a baby. Leaving his mother…

Philip Pullman: not as cynical as we think?

This article was first published on Culturewatch.org in 2002. I have developed my views on Philip Pullman and his work significantly since then and I no longer quite agree all the points made in this article. See my book Dark Matter: A Thinking Fan’s Guide to Philip Pullman for more developed ideas.   Philip Pullman is a brilliant writer. That’s why he won…

Agenda Squabbles – Filming The Golden Compass

There’s nothing like controversy to promote a film. A row in the media grabs the public’s attention more effectively than official publicity campaigns ever can. So New Line Cinema and director Chris Weitz must be delighted at the fuss being made over The Golden Compass which opens in cinemas next week. There was already a…

The Amber Spyglass Discussion Guide

This article was first published on Culturewatch.org Summary The Subtle Knife concluded with Will and his father meeting just moments before his father is killed (by a witch whose love he had spurned) and the abduction of Lyra from their camp. The Amber Spyglassbegins immediately afterwards with Will finding that he has two new companions,…

Lyra’s Oxford

This article was first published on Culturewatch.org. Two recent events made a strange conjunction. First, I met a student who argued passionately that life has no meaning – nothing means anything. Second, I read Philip Pullman’s latest book, Lyra’s Oxford, in which he suggests that everything means something. These two atheists share some assumptions. Both…