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Daemon Voices

Philip Pullman

Top 10 Best Quotes

“Eve was tempted not by wealth or love but by knowledge.”

“Stories aren't made of language: they're made of something else. A little earlier I said that stories were about life; perhaps they're made of life.”

“The mind has plenty of ways of preventing you from writing, and paralysing self-consciousness is a good one. The only thing to do is ignore it, and remember what Vincent van Gogh said in one of his letters about the painter's fear of the blank canvas - the canvas, he said, is far more afraid of the painter.”

“When you write a story you're not trying to prove anything or demonstrate the merits of this case or the flaws in that. At its simplest, what you're doing is making up some interesting events, putting them in the best order to show the connections between them and recounting them as clearly as you can.”

“The commercial pressures, the forces urging us to buy and discard and buy again. When everything in public life has a logo attached to it, when every public space is disfigured with advertisements, when nothing if public value and importance can take place without commercial sponsorship, when schools and hospitals have to act as if their guiding principle were market forces rather than human need,..., when citizens become consumers and clients, patients, guests, students and passengers are all flattened into customers, what price the school of morals? The answer is: what it would fetch in the market, and not a penny more.”

“Of all the dangers that threaten us at the beginning of the third millennium - the degradation of the environment, the increasing undemocratic power of the great corporations, the continuing threats to peace in regions full of decaying nuclear weapons, and so on - one of the biggest dangers of all comes from fundamentalist religion....From the Christian conservatives in the USA to the Taliban in Afghanistan.”

“I was condemned to be burnt myself recently, or my books were. An article in the _Catholic Herald_ said that my _His Dark Materials_ was "far more worthy of the bonfire than Harry [Potter]"; it was "a million times more sinister." Naturally, I'm very proud of this distinction, and I asked the publishers to print it in the paperback of _The Subtle Knife_.”

“We shouldn't be afraid of the obvious, because stories are about life, and life is full of obvious things like food and sleep and love and courage which you don't stop needing just because you're a good reader.”

“Wagner's gods and heroes are exactly like human beings, on a grand scale: every human virtue and every human temptation is there. Tolkien leaves a good half of them out. No one in Middle Earth has any sexual relations at all. I think their children must be delivered by post.”

“This is the sort of thing that was probably meant by the phrase 'institutional racism' with reference to the police...a lot of the criticism of that came from people who thought that every police officer was thus being called a racist, but it was different from that...soldiers in a regiment are imbued with a sort of invisible ...feeling, which is again picked up by a hundred little example, some too small to see consciously...young officers see and hear their elders and superiors using language or making jokes, or overlooking remarks that they make, which have a racist tendency. The general assumption is that that's the way we, the force, the canteen, the people in uniform - us - that's the way we see things. It all resonates and gets amplified. And because a lot of this is subliminal and unconscious and never actually put into 'racist''s easy to deny that it exists, and it is even easy to believe that it doesn't.”

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Book Keywords:

racism, reviews, reading, fall, humour, wagner, writing-advice, ring-cycle, stories, threats, vincent-van-gogh, lord-of-the-rings, eve, tolkien, future, temptation, knowledge, society, morals, food, life, writing, sleep, capitalism, environment, writing-process, humanity, fundamentalism, love, courage, characterisation, human-nature, language, obvious, war, politics, opinion

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