Englischsprachige Literatur

Pullman Philip

His dark materials

Penguin Random House, London 2011


Philip Pullman wrote this trilogy “The northern lights” “The subtle knife”, “The amber spylight” between 1995 and 2000, the lengthy preface to this collection in 2011.

I have read the first part some years ago and found the idea that every human has a damon in the form of an animal, who stays with him and protects him, very endearing. Children´s damon, up to 17, 18 years can change appearances in seconds, another really original idea. Certainly Pullman has formed his damons according to the Christian idea of the Guardian Angel, although Pullman makes it quite clear from the beginning, that everything to do with Christian religion is evil.

In the second part a magic knife, that can open windows into other worlds, plays the dominant part together with the young heroes Will and Lyra. Whereas Will is human, Lyra comes from the damon world. But  after finding the magic wife Will can travel from one world to many others together with Lyra.

The weirdest part of the trilogy is the third. Strange ent-like trees and kangarooh-like creatures appear, people pop up and vanish again, angels, witches and lots of other entities fight the ultimate war, a kind of reversal of the fall of the arch angels in Christian religion. All very confusing and only finished with stubborn determination.

The originals, Tolkien, Rowling et al are a lot better read.