|The final installment of Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy, The Amber Spyglass, is published by Random House. Additional perceptive analysis of Pullman's work is provided by Alan Jacobs in "The Devil's Party," published in the October 23, 2000 issue of The Weekly Standard [Posted November 2001, ALG] and reprinted at On The Square, the blog of First Things.|
In it, Jacobs discusses the vast and intricately imagined "secondary worlds" created in the trilogy, and how Pullman uses literary techniques and the strengths and capabilities of fiction to draw his readers into his perspective of authority, human nature, good and evil, and the ultimate hope of humanity.
First Things also provides links to two articles published after the final book in His Dark Materials was written in 2000. In his May 2001 article entitled "An Almost Christian Fantasy," Daniel P. Moloney, Associate Editor of First Things, draws out notable similarities and differences between the Christian redemptive story and Pullman's narrative. Moloney examines the most memorable fictional devices and elements in the trilogy and finally argues why Pullman's magnificent trilogy falls short of his artistic and didactic goals.
Sarah E. Hinlicky mentions His Dark Materials in a fascinating article reviewing the role of magic as power in seven major fantasy series including J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising, and Ursula K. LeGuin's Earthsea. Hinlicky highlights the use and consequence of magic in each of the fantasy worlds, and the implicit limitations of fantasy's ability to answer core dilemmas concerning power in human hands.
An insightful review of His Dark Materials published in The University Bookman (44:1) in 2005 examines the place of the trilogy in literary history and its quality as a work of fiction.
In November 2007, we released an extended version of the 2000 Journal interview with Alan Jacobs on Philip Pullman, originally published in Volume 48, on Audition, our podcast. This podcast is available here.
|Alan Jacobs, on Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy (MARS HILL AUDIO Journal, Jan./Feb. 2001) MHT-48.2.3|