rymenhild: Manuscript page from British Library MS Harley 913 (Default)
Via [livejournal.com profile] musingsylph: The Golden Compass movie website, newly arrived on the Internet, provides a working alethiometer. (No direct link; click on the button marked "alethiometer" on the page.)

Apparently, one of the meanings of "bread" is "Christ." Obviously, as [livejournal.com profile] bookelfe pointed out when I started discussing the site with her, bread is connected to Christ through the communion wafer. It interests me that the website designers chose to put Christ in their symbol reader. They're clearly invoking the theological underpinnings of His Dark Materials, and yet they're also rewriting His Dark Materials. Pullman's allegorical structure notably lacks a Christ-figure; the role of God is played by a senile being who may once have been God-the-Father and by his regent, the angel Metatron. I've found myself wondering whether the Consistorial Church of Lyra's universe is Christian at all.

In any case, the decision to include theology in the website to a mass-market movie based on a remarkably anticlerical sequence of books pleases me. I have hopes that Pullman's allegories do not all get wiped away in the conversion process.

ETA: One of the crocodile's meanings is "America." Dear programmers, I know that some of the people working on this website have examined Pullman's world maps. I suppose those weren't the people working on the alethiometer.
rymenhild: Manuscript page from British Library MS Harley 913 (Default)
Many of you know that London's Royal National Theatre produced a stageplay of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy.

I just discovered that the RNT production has an elaborate webpage, including video interviews, basic links to some of Pullman's background reading, and video clips from an actual performance of the play. The clips are aesthetically pleasing, even if the dialogue of the play appears to clank like Iorek Byrnison's armor when it hasn't been greased in years. I recommend watching the scene in which Lyra and Will meet the Boatman who ferries people into the land of the dead. (Yes, there are spoilers.)

Also, I finally parsed the symbolism in the final scenes of The Amber Spyglass, and I am furious. Major spoilers, not to mention heresy for several religions, behind the cut )

I should note here that I do not endorse Pullman's theology (antitheology?) at all. I'm not arguing that one set of Pullman's principles is correct; I'm just suggesting that Pullman's theology is irritatingly inconsistent.

By the way, there are people who might be interested in the dozens of 100x100 pixel images of Lyra and Will I now have on my computer. I'm just sayin'.

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