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Critical Perspectives on Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials: Essays on the Novels, the Film and the Stage Productions Paperback – 30 Oct 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: McFarland (30 Oct. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786440309
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786440306
  • Product Dimensions: 15 x 1.8 x 22.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,369,282 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Steven Barfield is joint editor of Critical Engagements, the journal of the UK Network for Modern Fiction Studies, and a member of the editorial board for the on-line journal, Literary London: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Representation of London. Katharine Cox is a Principal Lecturer in English at UWIC (University of Wales) where she is head of the Department of Humanities.


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Format: Paperback
The aim of the collection is to provide a series of critical essays that cover some of the most important topics and contexts relevant to studying and understanding His Dark Materials. This collection consist of original material and offers a wider range of more sophisticated responses to the trilogy of novels as well as the dramatic adaptation of the novels which is firmly based upon research and in the main from established literary critics, rather than specialists in children's literature. P Overall, the collection engages with a greater range of issues and contexts and with more critical acuity than currently exists in the field of studies of His Dark Materials and responds to existing debates about Pullman's work while also establishing new ones.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Katharine Cox

I Adversaries and Influences

1. Recasting John Milton's Paradise Lost: Intertextuality, Storytelling and Music 11
Rachel Falconer

2." `When I grow up I want to be ...' ": Conceptualization of the Hero Within the Works of, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and Philip Pullman. 28
Phil Cardew

3. Constructions of the Child, Authority and Authorship: The Reception of C.S. Lewis and Philip Pullman. 40
Elisabeth Eldridge

4. "Dark Materials to Create More Worlds": Considering His Dark Materials as Science Fiction. 57
Steven Barfield

II Traditions and Legacies

5.Revitalizing the Old Machine of a Neo-Victorian London: Reading the Cultural Transformations of Steampunk and Victoriana 75
Steven Barfield and Martyn Colebrook

6.Revisiting the Colonial: Victorian Orphans and Postcolonial Perspectives 93
Laura Peters

7.
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Format: Paperback
This is a well-organized and very varied collection of critical material on Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials which will be of real help to teachers who are considering how to teach these complex and powerful stories to students at secondary school or at university, or students who wish to write about them in the kind of depth that might be required for a University level extended essay or dissertation. The volume treats Pullman's books as exciting, serious and rich instances of contemporary literature, as well as outstanding examples of children's fantasy fiction. The volume will therefore also be of great aid to those who want to find out far more about how Pullman's unique imagination draws from past literature and tradition and how his books relate to the themes of more mainstream contemporary literature.
Most existing books on His Dark Materials are aimed at the general reader and provide useful background information but do not address critical debates about his work with the kind of informed view shown here. For example, it addresses a number of questions about Pullman's work that should concern his serious readers and where a straightforward answer is by no means clear. There aren't any diatribes against the atheist Pullman by evangelical Christians nor defences from other Christians, as these themes have been done to death in books already published.
Instead the volume is about new ways of considering His Dark Materials. Would you like to know how His Dark Materials represents social class and the non-British, what it says about the legacy of British colonialism and Victorian children's literature, or how it explores the formation of female and male adolescent identity in society?
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Format: Paperback
This is a hugely interesting read. I came across this book as a Pullman enthusiast primarily, but there are a range of essays within it to suit a variety of audiences. The chapters in the first section are especially good for anyone interested in young adult literature, such as teachers or librarians. I'm an English teacher and the book has been passed around my colleagues with great interest. Anyone who managed to see the amazing stage versions of the play at the National Theatre in London will enjoy the last section of the book. I'd recommend this book for anyone who has read and loved 'His Dark Materials', anyone who is interested in children's literature and anyone with an interest in literature and theatre. Of course, for die-hard fans this book is one that must be added to the collection.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book as a Pullman fan and it doesn't disappoint. Though quite academic in tone (appropriately) there is plenty here for people who are simply fans. If you are interested to get some impeccably researched and reasoned perspectives on what is, I think its fair to say, one of the most thought provoking stories of our times, then this is for you. I particularly enjoyed the essays exploring the Victoriana and Steampunk themes of the books and as mentioned before the last essay is a must for anyone who enjoyed the National Theatre productions.
Recommended for:

Pullman fans
Anyone who may teach, mark essays or stage productions of the books
People who enjoys good essay writing
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