Philip Pullman’s Ponytail

It is “moving towards the place where I think the end will be. I’ll be so glad to reach it so I can cut my hair.” He has promised not to do so until the book is done. “When I cut my ponytail off I shall put it in a zip-lock bag and give it to the Bodleian,” he says with a smile. In a tone of mock self-importance, he adds: “Present it to the nation.”

“The book is getting longer. But it is filling up with things that are all germane to what the story is becoming. Some of the themes I turned up in the course of His Dark Materials are going to be central to it.” One of these is to do with William Blake’s ideas about how we see things, as expressed in a little poem he wrote in a letter to a friend. Pullman wants to dramatise Blake’s idea that we should have twofold vision – and see with feeling and understanding, rather than a reductionist single vision, which is interested only in facts.

Tantalizing tease from Philip Pullman about The Book of Dust in this interview mostly about his terrific-sounding graphic novel, The Adventures of John Blake, out in the UK in May 2017.


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4 responses to “Philip Pullman’s Ponytail

  1. Hah!!! no kidding. I kind of did that with The Sunbird – only I’d set myself a more dangerous goal, which was that I was hoping it would get some recognition. My hair became a good deal longer than Pullman’s. When nothing much happened after the book’s publication, eventually I got bored with myself and my affectations and ran out to the first hairdresser I could find who would give me a walk-in appointment. I got a really nice haircut. Over a decade later I have the same hairdresser. ;D

    But now I’m really looking forward to that new book from Pullman, and glad to know what the pony tail is all about! I saw him (though was too shy to speak to him) at a book launch last month and I did wonder!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. PS I did keep my hair, in a braid. Don’t think the Bodleian is interested, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I got to hear Pullman talk about Blake when I was in Oxford in January 2015. I remember that he was interested in Blake’s ideas about vision. Now I can’t wait to get the book!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. June M. Pace

    Reblogged this on Thornton Berry Shire Press and commented:
    we love any news about Philip Pullman!

    Liked by 1 person

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