Philip Pullman

Aka The Pullmeister. Author of the 'His Dark Materials' trilogy of books, written with a little help from Myke and Tanaqui (who managed to supply him with just the right kind of paper). See also Pullmeister RAQ for an insight into what makes the Pullmeister tick... Has also received the CBE for services to literature (as opposed to services to atheism...)

Philip Pullman's take on god and religion is interesting. It is not clear if he believes that god is actually real; presumably, like all rational people, he's agnostic (to borrow a phrase from Percy Bysshe Shelley, he sees The Necessity Of Atheism). However, assuming that the Christian God does exist, Pullman is dead set against him (he could be described as an 'antitheist'), seeing him not as a kindly guardian but a heartless despot. His analysis of humanity's relation to God centres on the analogy of God as a father; yes, as children, we need a strong, wise parent to look after us, teach us, and make decisions for us, but ultimately, as we grow up, we lose this need, and indeed, such a father becomes a restriction on us, something to be struggled against (Christians may argue that we are still like children, against which the antitheist might echo Amartya Sen and observe that freedom is not the reward for growing up, it is a prerequisite for growing up). Like Konstantin Tsiolkovsky said: 'Earth Is The Cradle Of Humanity But One Cannot Remain In The Cradle Forever'. Anyway, deep stuff.

Philip Pullman and CS Lewis are sort of a pair of evil and good twins (you figure out which is which); one was violently Christian, the other a raving secularist, and their sagas of childrens' fantasy reflect these views. It would be really interesting to hear what Brian Aldiss had to say about the two of them.

<,3604,970602,00.html> His attitude to education, 5/6/2003.

His latest piece of Christmas-stocking-fillery, 'Lyra's Oxford', features a murderous struggle on Oxford's (parallel universe) Cranham Street between a reclusive, eccentric, basement-dwelling alchemist and a deluded, heartless old witch. Your appropriate literary analysis here:

It's also available on CD. :-P TL

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