Watching for Pleasure Wednesday, Philip Pullman
Clockwise, starting from the Moose Munch
Harry & David Moose Munch – Dark Chocolate
See’s Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds
Ferrero Rocher Fine Hazelnut Chocolates
A Scrubby Bath Cloth
Starbucks Gift Card
Various Loose Pieces of Chocolate Candy
Le Petit Ecolier Dark Chocolate
Dark Chocolate Covered Milanos
A Flash Light
In order to reacclimatise, I would say depressurised in an attempt for others to understand the exact time/feeling I am speaking of, —post-Christmas, but it would not be accurate for me personally because I was never pressurised (unlike others that I will acknowledge have been and I am sorry for it, for their sake), I have been engrossed in movies, —library borrowed movies.
They are historical thrillers, that’s what these books are. Old-fashioned Victorian blood-and-thunder. Actually, I wrote each one with a genuine cliché of melodrama right at the heart of it, on purpose: the priceless jewel with a curse on it – the madman with a weapon that could destroy the world – the situation of being trapped in a cellar with the water rising – the little illiterate servant girl from the slums of London who becomes a princess … And I set the stories up so that each of those stock situations, when they arose, would do so naturally and with the most convincing realism I could manage.
There are a few recurring characters and they are very appealing, although, I understand Sally Lockhart does not appear in the fourth installment, or if so, only shortly. Sally is played by Billie Piper, someone I am surprised to find endearing because she did not quite grow on me in the few Doctor Who episodes that I have seen with her as the sidekick. Another recurring character is Jim Taylor (played by Matt Smith, the new Doctor Who), sort of a Cockney Jimmy Olsen, but not exactly, or maybe a less ambitious take on Dickens’s Mr. Guppy. Nevertheless he is likable enough, if not down right charming. Then there is a photographer and his sister. A photographer that Sally falls in love with and does the unmarried nasty with in the second book/film. Shocking!
Both movies are fun to watch, I would even say, camp. There, I admitted it. I am not ashamed to admit that I enjoyed both The Ruby in the Smoke and The Shadow in the North, very much, campy or not. A pleasant surprise for me because I recall how I ran out of my young adult literature class like my hair was on fire when we were assigned Pullman’s The Golden Compass. Moreover, as much as I know I will sound like an ungrateful brat, it was torture, pure torture sitting through His Dark Materials at the National Theatre. Not as much torture as it was sitting through Jekyll & Hyde, the musical, but definitely in the ballpark of sitting on wet grass while watching a sport that you are so not in to, nor appreciate.
The thing is Pullman’s Golden Compass and Dark Materials are science fiction-fantasy. This is where I risk my feminist credentials. I just cannot do science fiction and fantasy and it seems that many feminists not only dig it, but also insatiably soak it up. Well, I am guilty of loving Harry Potter, but Harry Potter is not really a fantasy in the truest sense of fantastical fiction. I don’t think so. Harry Potter, in my opinion has more elements of realism, mixed in with wishful type elements of fantasy (like who wouldn’t want to do magic in a groovy old Scottish castle? Come on!). On the other hand, maybe I am just incapable of suspending reality enough to place myself in science fiction and fantasy. That is certainly a deal breaker for me when I am exploring Fiction, I must be able to feel like I am right there, right there, not watching as a reading observer, but watching as a person in the room. I have yet to accomplish that with science fiction and fantasy, and I have not been motivated to try and I do not think I will be volunteering for the job any time soon. Luckily, for me anyway, Pullman has written more than fantasy, thus has provided me with some campy joy to help transitioned away from the pinnacle of yearly joy, —-Christmastime back into the ho-hum movements of the daily grind.