The Golden Compass, p. 283

Self understands how Philip Pullman works his magic: he writes about evil in the most blank, affectless way. His main character, Lyra Belacqua, has grown up an orphan, but she has NO ANGST WHATSOEVER, or has none she cares to share with us anyway. So her thoughts are not muddled.

And his villains! His villains are people who used to be good, like Mrs. Coulter, and who remember how to act like they are good. So they are extremely convincing, to everyone but the main character.

Self understands how hard this would all be to translate to film. So she doesn’t think she’ll ever see a movie based on His Dark Materials or The Book of Dust. The books will always be better. In this case, anyway.

Here’s a scene between Lyra and Mrs. Coulter:

“Darling,” she said, “some of what’s good has to hurt us a little, and naturally it’s upsetting to others if you’re upset . . .  But it doesn’t mean your daemon is taken away from you. He’s still there! Goodness me, a lot of the grownups here have had the operation. The nurses seem happy enough, don’t they?”

Lyra blinked. Suddenly she understood their strange blank incuriosity, the way their little trotting daemons seemed to be sleepwalking.

Say nothing, she thought, and shut her mouth hard.

What’s so great about Lyra is, she’s so quick to recognize a lie.

She truly is her father’s daughter.

Stay tuned.

Still More Awakenings: Sea Urchins

Last night was Second Saturday in Mendocino, and the weather was beautiful. Self walked down the street to the Artists Co-op on 10400 Kasten Street and saw some very beautiful artwork: paintings and sculpture and collages and jewelry, all by local artists.

Her friend, Mary-Ellen Campbell, had a few handmade books on exhibit, as well as collages. Self adores collages of all kinds.

DSCN0814

Detail, Shell Games by Mary-Ellen Campbell (Encaustic Collage)

Self loved the sharp little objects that are clustered on Mary-Ellen’s encaustic collages. Liza, an artist who self met at one of her previous readings in Mendocino, explained that those sharp little things are sea urchin spines. “If you go to the parking lot of Noyo Harbor in Fort Bragg, you’ll find lots of these scattered about,” Liza told self.

DSCN0815

Detail, Shell Games by Mary-Ellen Campbell (Encaustic Collage)

Liza told self that sea urchins are killing the forests of sea kelp that the local abalone population needs to survive (see San Francisco Chronicle article here), and that’s why abalone are becoming extremely hard to find.

She learns new things every day.

Fascinating.

Stay tuned.

 

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