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And just how sour ARE those grapes? [Oct. 18th, 2005|07:35 am]
[Current Mood |cynicalcynical]

Phillip Pullman has an assortment of not-at-all-nice things to say about the upcoming release of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Considering his books are about a group of children tasked with killing God, complaints that there are no Christian virtues in Lewis' tale seem...specious?

Could it be that he's bitter because the making of his books into movies appears to be stalled at the still looking for a director phase?

From: shadowkat01
2005-10-18 11:51 am (UTC)
He can go suck on eggshells. I'll be there opening night, Christian overtones/virtues or not. That's my childhood on the screen. *grins*

It's also the books my 5th grade teacher got me to read in leiu of my more "inappropriate" choices that I had been bringing to school like oh, Dean Koontz and Robin Cook.
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[User Picture]From: momlady
2005-10-18 12:13 pm (UTC)
I don't know how many times I've read that book (and two others of the series), but I guess as a child, I enjoyed the famtasy part of it so much that I never noticed the "plot"....so strange!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-10-18 12:34 pm (UTC)
I have no personal objection to the plot, I'm just amused/irritated by his attitude.
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[User Picture]From: chaosdancer
2005-10-18 12:15 pm (UTC)
Well, to be fair, the kids didn't start out to kill God, that just sort of happened and God was actually pretty grateful for it, IIRC. They find that the church (Authority) is corrupt and that it needs to be destroyed, but destroying God and the Church are not the same things at all. Of course the churches here in the US have their knickers in a knot over it, and so they are going to eviscerate Pullman's film, which sucks. It could have been good if they didn't have to pander.
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[User Picture]From: forestfire
2005-10-18 12:24 pm (UTC)
It sounds very interesting, but his attack on Lewis seems dense at best. Then again, Chinua Achebe is a brilliant man whose views on Joseph Conrad I find to be similarly dense. Sometimes smart and creative people do not make good critics.
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[User Picture]From: forestfire
2005-10-18 12:22 pm (UTC)
What's with the comment (not Pullman's) that the book is anti-vegetarian and attacks liberal education. If there were ever two things that I hold dear. Does anyone have the slightest clue what such an attack could be based on? Not to mention, Pullman's statement that the books lack recognition of the virtue of love. I recall my biggest issue with Lewis was that I objected to being hit over the head with Christian allegory. The books are entirely about love and forgiveness.
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[User Picture]From: chaosdancer
2005-10-18 12:31 pm (UTC)
I sort of vaguely remember Lewis attacking people who were really nasty in spirit but insisted they were good because they were vegetarian, or something like that. Probably he knew that Hitler was a vegetarian, writing those books when he did. It must have seemed a tremendous hypocracy. And liberal education tries to achieve by brute force what should be given by the grace of God, or something like that. I may be wrong...it's been a while since I've read him.
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[User Picture]From: ser_kai
2005-10-18 01:02 pm (UTC)
Having watched the trailer... they do know that the movie has been made before, right?
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-10-18 01:05 pm (UTC)
Yes, but not for theatrical release (it was a mini-series on BBC).
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[User Picture]From: miripanda
2005-10-18 01:20 pm (UTC)
Um, I think he's a nut? There's tons of love in those books. And yeah, he's probably peeved about his own...but I think he's probably just a bitter guy anyway.
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[User Picture]From: jfargo
2005-10-18 05:00 pm (UTC)
It is kind of hard to miss the allegory if you read the entire series, but just from Lion, Witch, Wardrobe you're right...it's easy to miss if you're not reading for a deeper meaning.
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[User Picture]From: sneakingyoda
2005-10-18 01:53 pm (UTC)
*waves a slowl hand* wow... I really must be missing the point.

But when I read the books, I didn't feel like I was being beat over the head by christian anything. Just a story. Now I see everyone going on about how it is justa huge allegory- and i have to wonder if I missed an english class out there where my teacher rips apart a story that I loved and compares it to everything else.

You know I have people complain to me about how "the Wizard of Oz" was ruined for them in simular ways.

Even if the author had a parallel in his writing... I mean take starwars for example. A Boy BORN of nothing? I didn't see alot of people screaming JESUS! Err... Well... My dad did. Or else I wouldn't of even thought about it. And if other people did- I missed it again. Maybe my brain doesn't work lik other brains. Perhaps my religious brain is broken.

AH well.. I guess I don't know what I'm trying to get at here- other than the fact of "Hey that trailer gave me goosebumps! I'm READY!"
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-10-18 01:56 pm (UTC)
I feel the same way. After hearing the song-and-dance about how it was a Christian allegory, I went back and reread it and was amazed at how pagan it is. Sure there is sacrifice and rebirth, but Christians are fooling themselves if they think that's an original idea!

I believe in stories for the sake of themselves. Everything can be hung on Joseph Campbell's Hero With a Thousand Faces, but that doesn't mean we need to stop enjoying it.
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[User Picture]From: theferrett
2005-10-18 01:55 pm (UTC)
Um, spoiler warning? That's not actually revealed until Book Two. I know, I know, it's in the BBC thing, but I hate it nonetheless.

He's wrong about the love, of course, but I do wish his movie would get developed. I have many shares of stock waiting.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-10-18 01:58 pm (UTC)
Bah! It's been out for years, so the statute of limitations on spoilers is run. Recall, after all, that I haven't read the books and only know this from you.

(And yeah, I felt free to put it in because it was in the BBC thing. And one of these days I'm going to read it. Maybe after Jonathan Strange - they'll be good bus books.)
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From: ex_roomette173
2005-10-18 02:07 pm (UTC)
He has a an amazing level of animosity.

What strikes me is that he's rather out of touch with how children read. There's a lot of classics out there with some outdated viewpoints...A Little Princess, The Secret Garden, a huge chunk of Kipling's work. I don't know many fairy tales with traditional Christian Virtues...at least not until they were scrubbed clean. I don't think children really care. Amazing that he can so connect and yet also miss the connection.

As for his work being stuck in development hell, I'd run the risk (without having heard any specific industry gossip) that part of its difficulty might be that he himself is so difficult. Any high profile director will want to tweak the script, possibly the plot as well.

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[User Picture]From: guttaperk
2005-10-18 05:44 pm (UTC)
"He has a an amazing level of animosity."

Which came across to me strongly in his books. I was unable to like them because of it.
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[User Picture]From: old_hedwig
2005-10-18 03:38 pm (UTC)
I believe Lewis started atheist, went through a pagan-reconstructionist phase of some sort, and then settled on Christianity after some urging from JRRT. Certainly he was not a fundamentalist nut-job of the type that currently appears to be the face of American Christianity. I loved the Narnia books. Not especially because they are Christian in tone - my gut reaction to the image of burrowing back into a chest of old furs and then coming into a crisp, cold winter forest has nothing to do with religion. I just re-read the Pullman books - the first one was on the summer readnig list for my son's Catholic high school . Like the Narnia books, they are an enjoyable read. They raise some interesting ideas about religion, which I think are harder to work around/ignore then the allegory in Narnia, and are more appropriate for high school or older discussion than a movie for kids.

As for the Christian elements in Narnia being pagan, I've been convinced for some years there is much less of a fundamental difference between Paganism and Christianity then most Pagans or Christians will admit.

I'll certainly take my children to see this one and if the Pullman books are ever filmed I'll likely see them as well. I'm not sure that will happen - the author does seem like a difficult personality, the books are not as well known/widely popular, and to my mind they would just be more difficult to film, requiring a lot of plot adaptation and a huge investment in special effects which no one will want to pay for unless they expect a return on the investment.
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From: ex_roomette173
2005-10-18 07:39 pm (UTC)
As for the Christian elements in Narnia being pagan, I've been convinced for some years there is much less of a fundamental difference between Paganism and Christianity then most Pagans or Christians will admit.

I know it doesn't add much to a debate to run in and say, "I agree with you!" but I do.
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From: wiccanotwicked
2005-10-18 03:40 pm (UTC)
I first read it a few months ago and liked it

I cant wait for the film :-)
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[User Picture]From: rhapsody_98
2005-10-18 03:59 pm (UTC)
"If the Disney corporation wants to market this film as a great Christian story, they'll just have to tell lies about it," he told The Observer. "

Since when has Disney been concerned with telling Christian stories? Or lieing, for that matter?

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[User Picture]From: cieo
2005-10-18 05:51 pm (UTC)
No Christian virtues? Rock stupid, is what he is. I'm beginning to wonder if he's even read the books.
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[User Picture]From: astridsdream
2005-10-18 07:50 pm (UTC)
One of the comments after that article caught my eye: "The day Philip Pullman writes a classic as compelling as The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe then he can criticise."

It caught my eye because I think his books stink on ice. The first one was amazing, and led the way to enormous possibility, but it all got squandered. The ending felt... awkward. One thing I remember in particular was the divining tool thing. (Been a while since I've read them, forgive me.) Yes, Lyra has one, and it's handy for keeping her out of trouble, but then the bad guys get one, too. So now Lyra knows when they're near, but they always know where she's at. Doesn't work. It feels like he got tripped up on it. The first book was great, the second wasn't bad, but the third just sucked.
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[User Picture]From: queenof_sarcasm
2005-10-19 12:20 am (UTC)
I'd prefer they gave up on making the His Dark Materials trilogy made into a movie - something tells me it won't be what anyone wants it to be, since no director seems to want to do it.
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[User Picture]From: violacat
2005-10-19 03:18 pm (UTC)
I think the entire Narnia series is fairly clearly Christian allegory, especially since that's the only way The Last Battle makes sense to me now

I read the first six books repeatedly, but The Last Battle creeped me out too much to read it more than once...there were a few parts I read again, but not all the way through. I need to read the books again with an adult eye.

That said, I agree that there are plenty of pagan elements, but Aslan appearing as a lamb AND a lion in Voyage of the Dawn Treader? The Tash/Aslan conflict in The Last Battle? Sons of Adam and Daughters of Eve? The whole Creation scene in The Magician's Nephew?

All make sense as Christian allegory. And this is just what I can recall superficially...the forgiveness of Edmund, Eustace, and Jill in various books as well.

I'd suggest that Lewis took what's good about Christianity and made it into a wonderful story. That doesn't diminish the books at all (and I don't think you're saying it does). And Pullman's pretty full of himself if he can't see the love in all seven Narnia books.

I'm wondering though, if it's to be five movies, which two are they not doing?
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[User Picture]From: violacat
2005-10-19 03:20 pm (UTC)
Also, can someone point out to me the racist and misogynistic parts? I'm not saying they're not there, but I clearly read right past them.
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[User Picture]From: siljannaferret
2005-10-19 11:00 pm (UTC)
These are the same people that think the goth rock band Evanessance is christian rock. Mind you the band says they aren't christian at all.
All I can really say about them is
*snicker* Alrighty then. *snicker*
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