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 The Subtle Knife

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PostSubject: The Subtle Knife   Tue Jun 15, 2010 6:31 am

Have any of you ever read Philip Pullman's "Dark Materials" books? I found The Golden Compass (Northern Lights in the UK) interesting, but The Subtle Knife is throwing me for all kinds of loops. He's one of those authors who seems to tap into all kinds of truth in his fiction, and while I found it amusing he gave a powerful, enigmatic character the name Asriel, I didn't think much of it until just now. I read a sentence, and that psychedelic feeling I've had all day (mentioned in a Body and Soul post) profoundly intensified... so much that I had to set the book down, and write this.

Check this out: "Lord Asriel is gathering an army, with the purpose of completing the war that was fought in heaven eons ago."

In the context of the book, openings are being made between the different worlds, which run parallel yet hold various differences. So far, this story deals with three, but there are millions, and this character has found a way to blast open the barrier between them, which is profoundly disturbing the Earth's magnetic field, and causing effects throughout these worlds.

Um, yeah... It seems kind of silly in a way for a young adult paperback to hit me so hard, but it did, and I was wondering what the rest of you would think of this.
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PostSubject: Re: The Subtle Knife   Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:52 am

I think that sounds cool. My view on fiction, especially fiction that "resonates" with the audience is that sometimes the creators are actually pulling into some wider pool of knowledge out there. Sometimes they do it consciously but moreover it's done unconsciously. I was recently writing about the connection between the "imagination" and how magick is performed, which essentially uses the same regions of the mind. It's interesting to me to note that the feeling of being "inspired" or tapping into one's creativity seems to be almost identical to the process that magickworkers use to create magick =).

That being said, possibly the author is tapping into something here... It'd be funny if he turned out to be kin himself. Maybe he just doesn't know it... or maybe he does o_O maybe he wrote a story about this in the full knowledge that he didn't consider it purely fiction O_o
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PostSubject: Re: The Subtle Knife   Tue Jun 15, 2010 5:57 pm

Dream'sEnd wrote:
maybe he wrote a story about this in the full knowledge that he didn't consider it purely fiction O_o

Funny you should say that. As I read back over that post, and started feeling silly about it, that same thought occurred to me. Actually, the way it hit me was, "There's nothing foolish about it. He knew exactly what he was saying!" The thought he could be kin crossed my mind as well; I think a lot of them cash in on those insights, to put them out there in hopes of reaching others.

Did you write about that on your website? It's a very interesting point, and true to my own experiences with creativity and magick. I know it gave me a jolt when I read, in an intro to one of his short stories, that Stephen King considered stories like artifacts, and writing was more a process of unearthing than making them up. That's what it always feels like to me. The same goes for art, and songs.
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PostSubject: Re: The Subtle Knife   Tue Jun 15, 2010 10:41 pm

I couldn't agree more with this............. fiction, art, music, songs, poetry............I think any act of inspiration and creativity can often tap into the hidden or lost history of this planet and bring forth an energy or resonance that speaks in a very loud voice to those who have a link to this history.

Also, considering the wealth of talent and ability we have in the members of this forum I also feel strongly that those who have skills and talents in these areas are often those who are either Kin or those associated with Kin, be it known or hidden.

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Razi'el
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PostSubject: Re: The Subtle Knife   Wed Jun 16, 2010 4:32 am

i've read the Dark Materials series, all the way through the Amber Spyglass, and it was one of my favorite stories to this day. my memory of it, however, is a bit stale, so i apologize for my lack of knowledge.

the only thing i truly recall is that there was something about the angels, and a rather large part aout the afterlife, and souls rejoining with the fabric of the universe.

as for the resonance you felt with it, it's actually not surprising. one of my personal favorite books i've read multiple times because of a similar reaction. the book "Blood and Chocolate" was it's title, and i forget the author, unfortunately. but it was based on the idea that a secret society of a different species, werewolves, specifically, was living right beneath the noses of the average public, and living quietly in the hopes that they wouldn't be hunted down by those meaning them harm. it's kinda tangental, but ah, well.
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PostSubject: Re: The Subtle Knife   Wed Jun 16, 2010 6:34 am

Quote :
writing was more a process of unearthing than making them up

Ooh, I like that.

Yeah, I think I might have touched on it briefly on the website.
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PostSubject: Re: The Subtle Knife   Wed Jun 16, 2010 7:11 am

I was kind of hoping to spark a discussion of similar experiences (should have just asked...) so not tangental at all. Wink

A Wrinkle in Time was the first book to hit me kind of like that, and A Wind in the Door (both by Madeleine L'Engle) actually taught me to communicate telepathically. One of the main characters in that was a many-eyed, many-winged seraphim. I was in high school, reading it inside my math book during class. The description of "kything" clicked something in my mind, so I focused on the cover art (of the seraphim) in a certain way, and thought "Hi Julie" over and over, at my best friend. She came up to me in the hall after that class, and asked me if I'd said hi on my way to the bathroom or something, because she clearly heard my voice addressing her. We played with it for about a month, testing our recall of messages and how far we could be apart and still receive them, but then she got freaked out and made us stop.

Az, I couldn't agree with you more about that link between kin and the arts. Another of those things I thought was kind of silly is how many musicians seem to put messages in their lyrics, and soundscapes. ("I felt the evilness and started transforming - RARRR!")
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PostSubject: Re: The Subtle Knife   Wed Jun 16, 2010 10:29 pm

really now? i may have to read this book! i've only ever read A Wrinkle In Time, it seemed odd, but i did like it. i never got around to reading the second one, though.

but thinking back on it, i was intrigued by the methodical Brain villain of the former of the two books, it made me feel sort of grim, i remember i didn't like the image of a world like that, and something, maybe an urge to prevent something similar, i don't know ^^;;

but anyway, more books that have made me feel that way... one was a book known as Abarat, again i forget the author, but it was about an alternate world with its own set of rules, and a girl ends up traveling there. it's a ring of islands, like an atoll, each one representing (and staying locked at) an hour of the day, 25 in total. the 25th island, or Hour, as they call it, is supposedly a place beyond time and reason, so no one but the ruler of the abarat goes there. it was interesting to say the least.
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PostSubject: Re: The Subtle Knife   Thu Jun 17, 2010 5:48 am

Sounds very cool. I'll have to look that up, once I'm finished with my avalanche of holds coming in from the library. Besides, I just got home from one of those lovely intuits: something told me to go to Half Price Books tonight, and led me to a shelf full of Sandman graphic novels. One of my roommates in college got me hooked on hers (Neil Gaiman is one of those who has to be rocking something Other), and I'd never seen two of the titles. The Crow was there too, which I have been fiending for since I moved from my last place. That idiot roommate said he'd never read it all the way through, but I devoured the thing insatiably. I don't know what it is about me and Detroit, but my god...!

I'm not sure where to start with all these goodies, but I'm off to figure out now. Wink
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