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Book Title: Lyra's Oxford|
The author of the book: Philip Pullman
Edition: David Ficking Books
Date of issue: 2009
Loaded: 2066 times
Reader ratings: 4.2
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 9.18 MB
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"Everything means something," Lyra said severely. "We just have to find out how to read it."
I finished His Dark Materials (maybe better known as The Golden Compass trilogy) this summer for the second time and finally turned to this short story sequel, set in Lyra’s home after her travels, Oxford. The book is small, and packaged beautifully, with wonderful engravings and a map of Lyra’s Oxford. It also includes a cruise brochure, pages from Baedecker’s guide to Oxford, a post card from Mary Malone, and an epigraph from that suggests that Oxford is a place where “windows open up to other worlds.”
The story is entitled Lyra’s Oxford but the subtitle within is, and on every page, appears, “Lyra and the Birds,” which made me think that this story just might be the opening of this big book that he says he is writing, The Book of Dust, set in the Gold Compass world.The pace of it is slow as if it were the beginning of a novel, though things here also happen quickly, finally, and somewhat satisfyingly, which is to say the writing is wonderful but not very much actually happens.
The story begins with Lyra Silvertongue and her daemon Pantalaimon watching a flock of birds from which emerges someone’s daemon. The daemon tells Lyra that it needs to find a local alchemist and Lyra decides to help. That happens, and there is some reflection on the complex nature of meaning.
As a story it may not warrant four stars, but the package is cool, and to go backin such an elegant way, yay. I still have to read the short story prequel he wrote, Once Upon a Time in the North. More!!
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Read information about the authorIn 1946, acclaimed author Philip Pullman was born in Norwich, England, into a Protestant family. Although his beloved grandfather was an Anglican priest, Pullman became an atheist in his teenage years. He graduated from Exeter College in Oxford with a degree in English, and spent 23 years as a teacher while working on publishing 13 books and numerous short stories. Pullman has received many awards for his literature, including the prestigious Carnegie Medal for exceptional children’s literature in 1996, and the Carnegie of Carnegies in 2006. He is most famous for his “His Dark Materials” trilogy, a series of young adult fantasy novels which feature freethought themes. The novels cast organized religion as the series’ villain. Pullman told The New York Times in 2000: “When you look at what C.S. Lewis is saying, his message is so anti-life, so cruel, so unjust. The view that the Narnia books have for the material world is one of almost undisguised contempt. At one point, the old professor says, ‘It’s all in Plato’ — meaning that the physical world we see around us is the crude, shabby, imperfect, second-rate copy of something much better. I want to emphasize the simple physical truth of things, the absolute primacy of the material life, rather than the spiritual or the afterlife.” He argues for a “republic of heaven” here on Earth.
In 2007, the first novel of the "His Dark Materials" trilogy was adopted into the motion picture "The Golden Compass" by New Line Cinema. Many churches and Christian organizations, including the Catholic League, called for a boycott of the film due to the books’ atheist themes. While the film was successful in Europe and moderately received in the United States, the other two books in the trilogy were not be adapted into film, possibly due to pressure from the Catholic Church. When questioned about the anti-church views in His Dark Materials, Pullman explains in an interview for Third Way (UK): “It comes from history. It comes from the record of the Inquisition, persecuting heretics and torturing Jews and all that sort of stuff; and it comes from the other side, too, from the Protestants burning the Catholics. It comes from the insensate pursuit of innocent and crazy old women, and from the Puritans in America burning and hanging the witches — and it comes not only from the Christian church but also from the Taliban. Every single religion that has a monotheistic god ends up by persecuting other people and killing them because they don't accept him. Wherever you look in history, you find that. It’s still going on” (Feb. 2002). Pullman has received many threats by ardent believers over his choice of subject matter.
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