Philip Pullman

From Wikiquote
Jump to: navigation, search
I came to believe that good and evil are names for what people do, not for what they are. All we can say is that this is a good deed, because it helps someone, or that's an evil one, because it hurts them. People are too complicated to have simple labels.

Philip Pullman CBE (born October 19, 1946) is an English writer. He is the best-selling author of His Dark Materials, a trilogy of fantasy novels, and a number of other books.

Sourced[edit]

We are all stupid, and we are all intelligent. The line dividing the stupid from the intelligent goes right down the middle of our heads.
  • I have said that His Dark Materials is not fantasy but stark realism, and my reason for this is to emphasise what I think is an important aspect of the story, namely the fact that it is realistic, in psychological terms. I deal with matters that might normally be encountered in works of realism, such as adolescence, sexuality, and so on; and they are the main subject matter of the story — the fantasy (which, of course, is there: no-one but a fool would think I meant there is no fantasy in the books at all) is there to support and embody them, not for its own sake.
Others may find their readership on the stupid side: I don't. I pay my readers the compliment of assuming that they are intellectually adventurous.
  • I'm trying to write a book about what it means to be human, to grow up, to suffer and learn. My quarrel with much (not all) fantasy is it has this marvellous toolbox and does nothing with it except construct shoot-em-up games. Why shouldn't a work of fantasy be as truthful and profound about becoming an adult human being as the work of George Eliot or Jane Austen? Well, there are a few fantasies that are. One of them is Paradise Lost.
    • Interview at Achuka Children's Books
  • I knew I was telling a story that would be gripping enough to take readers with it, and I have a high enough opinion of my readers to expect them to take a little difficulty in their stride. My readers are intelligent: I don't write for stupid people. Now mark this carefully, because otherwise I shall be misquoted and vilified again — we are all stupid, and we are all intelligent. The line dividing the stupid from the intelligent goes right down the middle of our heads. Others may find their readership on the stupid side: I don't. I pay my readers the compliment of assuming that they are intellectually adventurous.
    • Interview at Achuka Children's Books
  • On an unseasonably, uncomfortably, unnaturally warm day in mid-October I sit here trying not to think about global warming. But it's difficult. Is this fear going to pass away like the other fears I remember — nuclear war, overpopulation leading to mass starvation, the hole in the ozone layer, acid rain? Well, those problems haven't gone away exactly. The new one just seems bigger than all the rest.

His Dark Materials[edit]

All these in their pregnant causes mixed
Confusedly, and which thus must ever fight,
Unless the almighty maker them ordain
His dark materials to create more worlds...
~ John Milton
The title of this trilogy is derived from lines in Paradise Lost by John Milton, which are used in the front piece of Northern Lights:
Into this wild abyss,
The womb of nature and perhaps her grave,
Of neither sea, nor shore, nor air, nor fire,
But all these in their pregnant causes mixed
Confusedly, and which thus must ever fight,
Unless the almighty maker them ordain
His dark materials to create more worlds,
Into this wild abyss the wary fiend
Stood on the brink of hell and looked a while,
Pondering his voyage...

The Golden Compass (1995)[edit]

Titled: The Golden Compass for North American release
It isn't light. It's Dust
Lyra has a part to play in all this, and a major one. The irony is that she must do it all without realizing what she's doing...
  • Lyra and her dæmon moved through the darkening hall, taking care to keep to one side, out of sight of the kitchen.
    • First line, introducing Lyra Belacqua (also known as Lyra Silvertongue), in Ch. 1 : The Decanter of Tokay
  • Her dæmon's name was Pantalaimon, and he was currently in the form of a moth, a dark brown one so as not to show up in the darkness of the hall.
    • Introducing Pantalaimon, also called Pan, in Ch. 1 : The Decanter of Tokay
  • How can I just go and sit in the library or somewhere and twiddle my thumbs, knowing what's going to happen? I don't intend to do that, I promise you.
    • Lyra, in Ch. 1 : The Decanter of Tokay
  • "That light," said the Chaplain, "is it going up or coming down?"
    "It's coming down," said Lord Asriel, "but it isn't light. It's Dust."
    Something in the way he said it made Lyra imagine dust with a capital letter, as if this wasn't ordinary dust. The reaction of the Scholars confirmed her feeling, because Lord Asriel's words caused a sudden collective silence, followed by gasps of incredulity.
    • Ch. 1 : The Decanter of Tokay
  • As I understand it, the Holy Church teaches that there are two worlds: the world of everything we can see and hear and touch, and another world, the spiritual world of heaven and hell. Barnard and Stokes were two — how shall I put it — renegade theologians who postulated the existence of numerous other worlds like this one, neither heaven nor hell, but material and sinful. They are there, close by, but invisible and unreachable.
    • The Master of Jordan College to the Librarian, in Ch. 2 : The Idea of North
  • Lyra has a part to play in all this, and a major one. The irony is that she must do it all without realizing what she's doing. She can be helped, though, and if my plan with the Tokay had succeeded, she would have been safe for a little longer. I would have liked to spare her a journey to the North.
    • The Master to the Librarian, in Ch. 2 : The Idea of North
  • “That’s the duty of the old,” said the Librarian, “to be anxious on behalf of the young. And the duty of the young is to scorn the anxiety of the old.”
    • The Librarian to the Master, in Ch. 2 : The Idea of North
It tells you the truth. As for how to read it, you'll have to learn by yourself...
  • "Lyra, I'm going to give you something, and you must promise to keep it private. Will you swear to that?"
    "Yes," Lyra said.
    He crossed to the desk and took from a drawer a small package wrapped in black velvet. When he unfolded the cloth, Lyra saw something like a large watch or a small clock: a thick disk of gold and crystal. It might have been a compass or something of the sort.
    "What is it?" she said.
    "It's an alethiometer. It's one of only six that were ever made. Lyra, I urge you again: keep it private. It would be better if Mrs. Coulter didn't know about it. Your uncle — "
    "But what does it do?"
    "It tells you the truth. As for how to read it, you'll have to learn by yourself. Now go — it's getting lighter — hurry back to your room before anyone sees you."
    • The Master and Lyra, in Ch. 4 : The Alethiometer
  • It lay heavily in her hands, the crystal face gleaming, the golden body exquisitely machined. It was very like a clock, or a compass, for there were hands pointing to places around the dial, but instead of the hours or the points of the compass there were several little pictures, each of them painted with extraordinary precision, as if on ivory with the finest and slenderest sable brush. She turned the dial around to look at them all. There was an anchor; an hourglass surmounted by a skull; a chameleon, a bull, a beehive... Thirty-six altogether, and she couldn't even guess what they meant.
    • Lyra, investigating the alethiometer, in Ch. 4 : The Alethiometer
  • "But suppose your dæmon settles in a shape you don't like?"
    "Well, then, you're discontented, en't you? There's plenty of fold as'd like to have a lion as a dæmon and they end up with a poodle. And till they learn to be satisfied with what they are, they're going to be fretful about it. Waste of feeling, that is."
    • Lyra and the seaman Jerry, in Ch. 10 : The Consul and the Bear
  • In Lyra’s heart, revulsion struggled with compassion, and compassion won.
    • Ch. 13 : Fencing
  • “We are all subject to the fates. But we must all act as if we are not,” said the witch, “or die of despair.”
    • Ch. 18 : Fog and Ice
  • “That is how it seems....But we can’t read the darkness, Mr. Scoresby. It is more than possible that I might be wrong.”
    • Ch. 18 : Fog and Ice
  • “She is the goddess of the dead. She comes to you smiling and kindly, and you know it is time to die.”
    • Ch. 18 : Fog and Ice
  • You cannot change what you are, only what you do.
    • Ch. 18 : Fog and Ice
  • Think of Adam and Eve like an imaginary number, like the square root of minus one: you can never see any concrete proof that it exists, but if you include it in your equations, you can calculate all manner of things that couldn’t be imagined without it.
    • Ch. 21 : Lord Asriel's Welcome
  • Human beings can’t see anything without wanting to destroy it, Lyra. That’s original sin.
    • Ch. 21 : Lord Asriel's Welcome
  • “I wish...” she said, and stopped. There was nothing that could be gained by wishing for it. A final deep shaky breath, and she was ready to go on.
    • Ch. 23 : The Bridge to the Stars

The Subtle Knife (1997)[edit]

They know that something is happening. And they suspect it has to do with other worlds...
  • Without their tiger gods, the tribe declined into fear and melancholy and begged her to allow them to worship her instead, only to be rejected with contempt; for what good would their worship do her? she asked. It had done nothing for the tigers.
    • Ch. 2 : The Witches
  • “Sisters,” she began, “let me tell you what is happening, and who it is that we must fight. It is the Magisterium, the Church. For all its history—and that’s not long by our lives, but it’s many, many of theirs—it’s tried to suppress and control every natural impulse. And when it can’t control them, it cuts them out. Some of you have seen what they did at Bolvangar. And that was horrible, but it is not the only such place, not the only such practice. Sisters, you know only the north; I have traveled in the south lands. There are churches there, believe me, that cut their children too, as the people of Bolvangar did—not in the same way, but just as horribly. They cut their sexual organs, yes, both boys and girls; they cut them with knives so that they shan’t feel. That is what the Church does, and every church is the same: control, obliterate, destroy every good feeling. So if a war comes, and the Church is on one side of it, we must be on the other, no matter what strange allies we find ourselves bound to.
    • Ch. 2 : The Witches
  • Do not lie to the Scholar.
    • The alethiometer to Lyra, in Ch. 4 : Trepanning
Dark matter is what my research team is looking for. No one knows what it is. There's more stuff out there in the universe than we can see, that's the point...
  • She soon found the door the alethiometer had told her about. The sign on it said DARK MATTER RESEARCH UNIT, and under it someone had scribbled R.I.P. Another hand had added in pencil DIRECTOR: LAZARUS.
    Lyra made nothing of that. She knocked, and a woman's voice said, "Come in."
    • Ch. 4 : Trepanning
  • Lyra sighed; she had forgotten how roundabout Scholars could be. It was difficult to tell them the truth when a lie would have been so much easier for them to understand.
    • Ch. 4 : Trepanning
I'm perfectly well aware that you've found a doorway somewhere...
  • Dark matter is what my research team is looking for. No one knows what it is. There's more stuff out there in the universe than we can see, that's the point. We can see the stars and the galaxies and the things that shine, but for it all to hang together and not fly apart, there needs to be a lot more of it — to make gravity work, you see. But no one can detect it. So there are lots of different research projects trying to find out what it is, and this is one of them. ... We think it's some kind of elementary particle. Something quite different from anything discovered so far. But the particles are very hard to detect.
  • It was all very well, the alethiometer telling her to be truthful, but she knew what would happen if she told the whole truth. She had to tread carefully and just avoid direct lies.
    • Ch. 4 : Trepanning
  • It does not make sense. It cannot exist. It’s impossible, and if it isn’t impossible, it’s irrelevant, and if it isn’t either of those things, it’s embarrassing.
    • Ch. 4 : Trepanning
The man who made that doorway has got a knife. He's hiding in that other world right now, and he's extremely afraid. He has reason to be. If he's where I think he is, he's in an old stone tower with angels carved around the doorway...
  • I'm perfectly well aware that you've found a doorway somewhere. I guess it's not too far from Summertown, where I dropped Lizzie, or Lyra, this morning. And that through the doorway is another world, one with no grownups in it. Right so far? Well, you see, the man who made that doorway has got a knife. He's hiding in that other world right now, and he's extremely afraid. He has reason to be. If he's where I think he is, he's in an old stone tower with angels carved around the doorway. The Torre degli Angeli.
    • Sir Charles to Lyra and Will, in Ch. 7 : The Rolls-Royce
  • Who is this man who's got the knife?
    • Will, in Ch. 8 : The Tower of the Angels
  • I hold the subtle knife on behalf of the Guild.
    • Giacomo Paradisi in Ch. 8 : The Tower of the Angels
  • He'd learned that the object of a school fight was not to gain points for style but to force your enemy to give in, which meant hurting him more than he was hurting you. He knew that you had to be willing to hurt someone else, too, and he'd found out that not many people were, when it came to it; but he knew that he was.
    So this wasn't unfamiliar to him, but he hadn't fought against a nearly grown man armed with a knife before, and at all costs he must keep the man from picking it up now that he'd dropped it.
    • Ch. 8 : The Tower of the Angels
  • Will darted back to the gutter, and picked up the knife, and the fight was over. The young man, cut and battered, clambered up the step, and saw Will standing above him holding the knife; he stared with a sickly anger and then turned and fled.
    • Ch. 8 : The Tower of the Angels
  • "Now," said Giacomo Paradisi, "here you are, take the knife, it is yours."
    "I don't want it," said Will. "I don't want anything to do with it."
    "You haven't got the choice," said the old man. "You are the bearer now."
    "I thought you said you was," said Lyra.
    "My time is over," he said. "The knife knows when to leave one hand and settle in another, and I know how to tell..."
    • Ch. 8 : The Tower of the Angels
What Asriel's done has shaken everything up, Mr. Scoresby, shaken it more profoundly than it's ever been shaken before. These doorways and windows that I spoke of — they open in unexpected places now.
  • "This edge," said Giacomo Paradisi, touching the steel with the handle of a spoon, "will cut through any material in the world. Look."
    And he pressed the silver spoon against the blade. Will, holding the knife, felt only the slightest resistance as the tip of the spoon's handle fell to the table, cut clean off.
    "The other edge," the old man went on, "is more subtle still. With it you can cut an opening out of this world altogether. Try it now. Do as I say — you are the bearer. You have to know. No one can teach you but me, and I have not much time left. Stand up and listen."
    • Ch. 8 : The Tower of the Angels
  • The security services are alarmed. Every nation that does research into fundamental physics — what we call experimental theology — is turning to its scientists urgently to discover what's going on. Because they know that something is happening. And they suspect it has to do with other worlds.
    • Sir Charles to Mrs. Coulter in Ch. 9 : Theft
  • The Master of Jordan College is a foolish old man. Why he gave it to her I can't imagine; you need several years of intensive study to make any sense of it at all.
    • Mrs. Coulter, on Lyra having the alethiometer, in Ch. 9 : Theft
  • He showed me that to rebel was right and just, when you considered what the agents of the Authority did in His name.... And I thought of the Bolvangar children, and the other terrible mutilitations I have seen in our own southlands; and he told me of many more hideous cruelties dealt out in the Authority’s name—of how they capture witches, in some worlds, and burn them alive, sisters. Yes, witches like ourselves...
    He opened my eyes. He showed me things I had never seen, cruelties and horrors all committed in the name of the Authority, all designed to destroy the joys and the truthfulness of life.
    • Ruta Skadi in Ch. 13 : Æsahættr
  • What Asriel's done has shaken everything up, Mr. Scoresby, shaken it more profoundly than it's ever been shaken before. These doorways and windows that I spoke of — they open in unexpected places now. It's hard to navigate, but this wind is a fair one.
    • Stanislaus Grumman to Lee Scoresby in Ch. 14 : Alamo Gulch
  • Both the Oblation Board and the Specters of Indifference are bewitched by this truth about human beings: that innocence is different from experience. The Oblation Board fears and hates Dust, and the Specters feast on it, but it's Dust both of them are obsessed by.
    • Stanislaus Grumman to Lee Scoresby in Ch. 14 : Alamo Gulch
  • Seems to me the place you fight cruelty is where you find it, and the place you give help is where you see it needed.
    • Lee Scoresby to Stanislaus Grumman in Ch. 14 : Alamo Gulch
  • “For a human being, nothing comes naturally,” said Grumman. “We have to learn everything we do.”
    • Stanislaus Grumman to Lee Scoresby in Ch. 14 : Alamo Gulch
On, said the alethiometer. Farther, higher.
So on they climbed.
  • "You have a strange way about you, Dr. Grumman. You ever spend any time among the witches?"
    "Yes," said Grumman. "And among academicians, and among spirits. I found folly everywhere, but there were grains of wisdom in every stream of it. No doubt there was much more wisdom that I failed to recognize. Life is hard, Mr. Scoresby, but we cling to it all the same."
    "And this journey we're on? Is that folly or wisdom?"
    "The greatest wisdom I know."
    "Tell me again what your purpose is. You're going to find the bearer of this subtle knife, and what then?"
    "Tell him what his task is."
    "And that's a task that includes protecting Lyra," the aeronaut reminded him.
    "It will protect all of us."
    • Lee Scoresby and Stanislaus Grumman in Ch. 14 : Alamo Gulch
  • On, said the alethiometer. Farther, higher.
    So on they climbed.
    • Ch. 15 : Bloodmoss
  • Will moved on grimly, screwing up his eyes against the glare, ignoring the worsening pain from his hand, and finally reaching a state in which movement alone was good and stillness bad, so that he suffered more from resting than from toiling on. And since the failure of the witches' spell to stop his bleeding, he thought they were regarding him with fear, too, as if he was marked by some curse greater than their own powers.
    • Ch. 15 : Bloodmoss
Every little increase in human freedom has been fought over ferociously between those who want us to know more and be wiser and stronger, and those who want us to obey and be humble and submit.
  • If you're the bearer of the knife, you have a task that's greater than you can imagine. A child ... How could they let it happen? Well, so it must be. ... There is a war coming, boy. The greatest war there ever was. Something like it happened before, and this time the right side must win. We've had nothing but lies and propaganda and cruelty and deceit for all the thousands of years of human history. It's time we started again, but properly this time. ..."
    He stopped to take in several rattling breaths.
    "The knife," he went on after a minute. "They never knew what they were making, those old philosophers. They invented a device that could split open the very smallest particles of matter, and they used it to steal candy. They had no idea that they'd made the one weapon in all the universes that could defeat the tyrant. The Authority. God. The rebel angels fell because they didn't have anything like the knife; but now ..."
    "I didn't want it! I don't want it now!" Will cried. "If you want it, you can have it! I hate it, and I hate what it does — "
    "Too late. You haven't any choice: you're the bearer. It's picked you out. And, what's more, they know you've got it; and if you don't use it against them, they'll tear it from your hands and use it against the rest of us, forever and ever."
    • Ch. 15 : Bloodmoss
  • "You fought for the knife?"
    "Yes, but — "
    "Then you're a warrior. That's what you are. Argue with anything else, but don't argue with your own nature."
    Will knew that the man was speaking the truth. But it wasn't a welcome truth. It was heavy and painful. The man seemed to know that, because he let Will bow his head before he spoke again.
    "There are two great powers," the man said, "and they've been fighting since time began. Every advance in human life, every scrap of knowledge and wisdom and decency we have has been torn by one side from the teeth of the other. Every little increase in human freedom has been fought over ferociously between those who want us to know more and be wiser and stronger, and those who want us to obey and be humble and submit."
    "And now those two powers are lining up for battle. And each of them wants that knife of yours more than anything else. You have to choose, boy. We've been guided here, both of us — you with the knife, and me to tell you about it."
    • Ch. 15 : Bloodmoss
  • She felt a nausea of the soul, a hideous and sickening despair, a melancholy weariness so profound that she was going to die of it. Her last conscious thought was disgust at life; her senses had lied to her. The world was not made of energy and delight but of foulness, betrayal, and lassitude. Living was hateful, and death was no better, and from end to end of the universe this was the first and last and only truth.
    Thus she stood, bow in hand, indifferent, dead in life.
    • Dying thoughts of Lena Feldt as a Specter "eats the life out of her", Ch. 15 : Blood moss

The Amber Spyglass (2000)[edit]

We have to build the Republic of Heaven where we are, because for us there is no elsewhere.
  • Will considered what to do. When you choose one way out of many, all the ways you don’t take are snuffed out like candles, as if they’d never existed. At the moment all Will’s choices existed at once. But to keep them all in existence meant doing nothing. He had to choose, after all.
    • Ch. 2 : Balthamos and Baruch
  • So they had language, and they had fire, and they had society. And about then she found an adjustment being made in her mind, as the word creatures became the word people. These beings weren’t human, but they were people, she told herself; it’s not them, they’re us.
    • Ch. 10 : Wheels
  • “Doesn’t it scare you, having your death close by all the time?” said Lyra.
    “Why ever would it? If he’s there, you can keep an eye on him. I'd be a lot more nervous not knowing where he was.”
    • Ch. 19 : Lyra and her Death
  • If they live in the world, they should see and touch and hear and learn things.
    • Ch. 23 : No Way Out
  • Even if it means oblivion, friends, I'll welcome it, because it won’t be nothing. We’ll be alive again in a thousand blades of grass, and a million leaves; we’ll be falling in the raindrops and blowing in the fresh breeze; we’ll be glittering in the dew under the stars and the moon out there in the physical world, which is our true home and always was.
    • Ch. 23 : No Way Out
  • Your dæmon can only live its full life in the world it was born in. Elsewhere it will eventually sicken and die. We can travel, if there are openings into other worlds, but we can only live in our own. Lord Asriel’s great enterprise will fail in the end for the same reason: we have to build the Republic of Heaven where we are, because for us there is no elsewhere.
    • Ch. 26 : The Abyss
  • The first ghosts trembled with hope, and their excitement passed back like a ripple over the long line behind them, young children and aged parents alike looking up and ahead with delight and wonder as the first stars they had seen for centuries shone through into their poor starved eyes.
    • Ch. 26 : The Abyss
  • You said I was a warrior. You told me that was my nature, and I shouldn’t argue with it. Father, you were wrong. I fought because I had to. I can’t choose my nature, but I can choose what I do. And I will choose, because now I'm free.
    • Ch. 31 : Authority's End
  • One of the ghosts — an old woman — beckoned, urging her to come close.
    Then she spoke, and Mary heard her say:
    "Tell them stories. They need the truth. You must tell them true stories, and everything will be well, just tell them stories."
    That was all, and then she was gone. It was one of those moments when we suddenly recall a dream that we’ve unaccountably forgotten, and back in a flood comes all the emotion we felt in our sleep. It was the dream she’d tried to describe to Atal, the night picture; but as Mary tried to find it again, it dissolved and drifted apart, just as these presences did in the open air. The dream was gone.
    All that was left was the sweetness of that feeling, and the injunction to tell them stories.
    • Ch. 32 : Morning
We have to be all those difficult things like cheerful and kind and curious and patient, and we’ve got to study and think and work hard, all of us, in all our different worlds, and then we’ll build…
  • They lay back, well fed and comfortable in the flower-scented night, and listened to Mary tell her story.
    She began just before she first met Lyra, telling them about the work she was doing at the Dark Matter Research group, and the funding crisis. How much time she’d had to spend asking for money, and how little time there’d been left for research!
    But Lyra’s coming had changed everything, and so quickly: within a matter of days she’d left her world altogether.
    "I did as you told me," she said. "I made a program — that’s a set of instructions — to let the Shadows talk to me through the computer. They told me what to do. They said they were angels, and — well…"
    "If you were a scientist," said Will, "I don’t suppose that was a good thing for them to say. You might not have believed in angels."
    "Ah, but I knew about them. I used to be a nun, you see. I thought physics could be done to the glory of God, till I saw there wasn’t any God at all and that physics was more interesting anyway. The Christian religion is a very powerful and convincing mistake, that’s all."
    • Will and Mary in Ch. 33 : Marzipan
"And then what? ... build what?"
"The Republic of Heaven.
  • "When you stopped believing in God, did you stop believing in good and evil?"
    "No. But I stopped believing there was a power of good and a power of evil that were outside us. And I came to believe that good and evil are names for what people do, not for what they are. All we can say is that this is a good deed, because it helps someone, or that's an evil one, because it hurts them. People are too complicated to have simple labels."
    • Will and Mary in Ch. 33 : Marzipan
  • Had she thought there was no meaning in life, no purpose, when God had gone? Yes, she had thought that.
    “Well, there is now,” she said aloud, and again, louder: “There is now!”
    • Mary in Ch. 34 : There is Now
  • She said that all the history of human life has been a struggle between wisdom and stupidity. She and the rebel angels, the followers of wisdom, have always tried to open minds; the Authority and his churches have always tried to keep them closed.
    • Ch. 36 : The Broken Arrow
  • The lizard dragged the priest’s body back to her nest, and her children feasted very well. As for the rifle, it lay in the grass where Father Gomez had laid it down, quietly turning to rust.
    • Ch. 36 : The Broken Arrow
  • But as the wave expended its force and the waters withdrew, the bleak rocks remained; there was no arguing with fate; neither his despair nor Lyra’s had moved them a single inch.
    • Ch. 37 : The Dunes
  • “What work have I got to do, then?” said Will, but went on at once, “No, on second thought, don’t tell me. I shall decide what I do. If you say my work is fighting, or healing, or exploring, or whatever you might say, I'll always be thinking about it. And if I do end up doing that, I'll be resentful because it’ll feel as if I didn’t have a choice, and if I don’t do it, I'll feel guilty because I should. Whatever I do, I will choose it, no one else.”
    “Then you have already taken the first steps toward wisdom,” said Xaphania.
    • Ch. 37 : The Dunes
  • "I remember. He meant the Kingdom was over, the Kingdom of Heaven, it was all finished. We shouldn’t live as if it mattered more than this life in this world, because where we are is always the most important place."
    "He said we had to build something…"
    "That’s why we needed our full life, Pan... we wouldn’t have been able to build it. No one could if they put themselves first. We have to be all those difficult things like cheerful and kind and curious and patient, and we’ve got to study and think and work hard, all of us, in all our different worlds, and then we’ll build…"
    • Lyra to Pan in Ch. 38 : The Botanic Garden
  • "And then what?" said her Dæmon sleepily "build what?"
    "The Republic of Heaven."
    • Lyra and Pan in Ch. 38 : The Botanic Garden (closing words)

Surefish interview (2002)[edit]

"A dark agenda?" (November 2002)
Those people who claim that they do know that there is a God have found this claim of theirs the most wonderful excuse for behaving extremely badly. So belief in a God does not seem to me to result automatically in behaving very well.
This is not a Kingdom but a Republic, in which we are all free and equal citizens, with — and this is the important thing — responsibilities. With the responsibility to make this place into a Republic of Heaven for everyone.
  • I'm caught between the words 'atheistic' and 'agnostic'. I've got no evidence whatever for believing in a God. But I know that all the things I do know are very small compared with the things that I don't know. So maybe there is a God out there. All I know is that if there is, he hasn't shown himself on earth.
    But going further than that, I would say that those people who claim that they do know that there is a God have found this claim of theirs the most wonderful excuse for behaving extremely badly. So belief in a God does not seem to me to result automatically in behaving very well.
  • When you look at organised religion of whatever sort — whether it's Christianity in all its variants, or whether it's Islam or some forms of extreme Hinduism — wherever you see organised religion and priesthoods and power, you see cruelty and tyranny and repression. It's almost a universal law.
  • 'Magisterium' and 'oblation' are church terms, they are terms of church organisation. These are administrative things. These are bureaucratic things. How can an attack on those be construed as an attack on God? These are human things which human beings have constructed in order to wield power. That's not a contentious thing to say. That is simply true. These are forms of political organisation and no more than that.
  • Now here are these children who have gone through great adventures and learned wonderful things and would therefore be in a position to do great things to help other people. But they're taken away. He doesn't let them. For the sake of taking them off to a perpetual school holiday or something, he kills them all in a train crash. I think that's ghastly. It's a horrible message.
  • A sense of belonging, a sense of being part of a real and important story, a sense of being connected to other people, to people who are not here any more, to those who have gone before us. And a sense of being connected to the universe itself.
    All those things were promised and summed up in the phrase, 'The Kingdom of Heaven'. But if the Kingdom is dead, we still need those things.
    We can't live without those things because it's too bleak, it's too bare and we don't need to. We can find a way of creating them for ourselves if we think in terms of a Republic of Heaven.
    This is not a Kingdom but a Republic, in which we are all free and equal citizens, with — and this is the important thing — responsibilities. With the responsibility to make this place into a Republic of Heaven for everyone. Not to live in it in a state of perpetual self-indulgence, but to work hard to make this place as good as we possibly can.

Lyra's Oxford (2003)[edit]

Everything has a meaning, if only we could read it.
  • This book contains a story and several other things. The other things might be connected with the story, or they might not; they might be connected to stories that haven't appeared yet. It's not easy to tell.
  • All these tattered old bits and pieces have a history and a meaning. A group of them together can seem like the traces left by an ionizing particle in a bubble chamber: they draw the line of a path taken by something too mysterious to see. That path is a story, of course. What scientists do when they look at the line of bubbles on the screen is work out the story of the particle that made them: what sort of particle it must have been, and what caused it to move in that way, and how long it was likely to continue.
    Dr. Mary Malone would have been familiar with that sort of story in the course of her search for dark matter. But it might not have occurred to her, for example, when she sent a postcard to an old friend shortly after arriving in Oxford for the first time, that that card itself would trace part of a story that hadn't yet happened when she wrote it. Perhaps some particles move backward in time; perhaps the future affects the past in some way we don't understand; or perhaps the universe is simply more aware than we are. There are many things we haven't yet learned how to read.
    The story in this book is partly about that very process.
  • Everything has a meaning, if only we could read it.

Richard Dawkins: How a Scientist Changed the Way We Think (2006)[edit]

  • Chapter: Every Indication of Inadvertant Solitude I think it's fair to guess that most of Richard Dawkins' many readers are not using The Self Gene and its successors as textbooks to help them pass science exams. That he is a highly distinguished scientist is not in question, but many scientists have achieved great distinction &ldash; and indeed written textbooks &ldash; without once writing a popular best-seller.

The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ (2010)[edit]

  • Nobody has to read this book. Nobody has to pick it up. Nobody has to open it. And if you open it and read it, you don't have to like it. And if you read it and you dislike it, you don't have to remain silent about it. You can write to me, you can complain about it, you can write to the publisher, you can write to the papers, you can write your own book. You can do all those things, but there your rights stop. No one has the right to stop me writing this book. No one has the right to stop it being published, or bought, or sold or read.

Pullman's website[edit]

  • If you're going to make a living at this business - more importantly, if you're going to write anything that will last - you have to realise that a lot of the time, you're going to be writing without inspiration. The trick is to write just as well without it as with. Of course, you write less readily and fluently without it; but the interesting thing is to look at the private journals and letters of great writers and see how much of the time they just had to do without inspiration. Conrad, for example, groaned at the desperate emptiness of the pages he faced; and yet he managed to cover them. Amateurs think that if they were inspired all the time, they could be professionals. Professional know that if they relied on inspiration, they'd be amateurs.

External links[edit]

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about: