[Milton-L] Golden Compass

bill hilton billhiltonmedia at gmail.com
Thu Dec 6 16:16:43 EST 2007

Larisa, I don't think Pullman is missing Milton's point at all: I think,
rather, that he's bypassing Milton's intentions and employing a rather
partisan view of Paradise Lost as a stick to beat organised religion.

Pullman always seems to take pains to emphasise that the novels are
anti-clerical rather than actually anti-religious or atheistical, despite
the fact that the final book reaches its climax with the Almighty apparently
being knocked off by a couple of 12-year-olds. In several recent interviews
he's advanced that argument with increasing vigour - which I suppose you
could take in one of two ways: either as an attempt to get closer to a more
mainstream academic view of what Milton actually intended, or to cover up
the fact that a lot of the religious stuff has been taken out of the film to
appease conservative Christian sensibilities.

Jeffery, isn't it odd how different people respond to different stories? I
could barely put the novels down. Thinking about it, perhaps an important
thing to understand about Pullman is that his first commitment is to story,
because he knows it's story that younger readers (and not just young ones,
either) respond to most strongly. In view of that, I suppose he would see
the debate over his critique of religion as so much nitpicking.
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