Best Quotes from Philip Pullman

By | March 28, 2018

True education flowers at the point when delight falls in love with responsibility.

Philip Pullman

Being in love was like China: you knew it was there, and no doubt it was very interesting, and some people went there, but I never would. I’d spend all my life without ever going to China, but it wouldn’t matter, because there was all the rest of the world to visit.

Philip Pullman

I had passed through the entire British education system studying literature, culminating in three years of reading English at Oxford, and they’d never told me about something as basic as the importance of point of view in fiction!

Philip Pullman

We don’t need lists of rights and wrongs, tables of do’s and don’ts: we need books, time, and silence. Thou shalt not is soon forgotten, but Once upon a time lasts forever.

Philip Pullman

Trying to understand superstition rationally is like trying to pick up something made of wood by using a magnet.

Philip Pullman

Men pass in front of our eyes like butterflies, creatures of a brief season. We love them; they are brave, proud, beautiful, clever; and they die almost at once. They die so soon that our hearts are continually racked with pain.

Philip Pullman

And before I’d got to the end of the first paragraph, I’d come up slap bang against a fundamental problem that still troubles me today whenever I begin a story, and it’s this: where am I telling it from?

Philip Pullman

For a long time I thought I was a poet, but that’s a high title to claim.

Philip Pullman

For that reason you can’t write with music playing, and anyone who says he can is either writing badly, or not listening to the music, or lying. You need to hear what you’re writing, and for that you need silence.

Philip Pullman

I have maintained a passionate interest in education, which leads me occasionally to make foolish and ill-considered remarks alleging that not everything is well in our schools.

Philip Pullman

If you can’t think of what to write, tough luck; write anyway. If you can think of lots more when you’ve finished the three pages, don’t write it; it’ll be that much easier to get going next day.

Philip Pullman

My only real claim to anyone’s attention lies in my writing.

Philip Pullman

One curious thing about growing up is that you don’t only move forward in time; you move backwards as well, as pieces of your parents’ and grandparents’ lives come to you.

Philip Pullman

What I couldn’t help noticing was that I learned more about the novel in a morning by trying to write a page of one than I’d learned in seven years or so of trying to write criticism.

Philip Pullman

What I do say is that I can write verse, and that the writing of verse in strict form is the best possible training for writing good prose.

Philip Pullman

Everything has a meaning, if only we could read it.

Philip Pullman

Argue with anything else, but don’t argue with your own nature.

Philip Pullman

That’s the duty of the old, to be anxious on behalf of the young. And the duty of the young is to scorn the anxiety of the old.

Philip Pullman

Adam and Eve are like imaginary numbers, like the square root of minus one… If you include it in your equation, you can calculate all manners of things, which cannot be imagined without it.

Philip Pullman

The function of a book or a poem or a story is to delight, to enchant, to beguile.

Philip Pullman

Authors are not a special case, deserving of more sympathy than many other groups. We are a particular case of a general degradation of the quality of life, and we are not going to stop pointing it out, because we speak for many other groups as well.

Philip Pullman

I like every individual editor, designer, marketing and publicity person I deal with, but I don’t like what publishers, corporately, are doing to the ecology of the book world. It’s damaging, and it should change.

Philip Pullman

I’m trying to undermine the basis of Christian belief.

Philip Pullman

I love all types of music – jazz, great pop music, world music and folk music – but the music I listen to most is piano music from the 18th, 19th and 20th century. Russian music in particular.

Philip Pullman

The only instrument I play myself is the ukulele.

Philip Pullman

I love the way ravens fly; they are the most acrobatic and daring birds.

Philip Pullman

Everyone in the book’s ecology, starting with the author and including the publisher, the distributor, the booksellers, the libraries, and ending up with the reader, should benefit from a healthy book trade.

Philip Pullman

If a nation allows its literary culture to die, it’s a sign that it doesn’t fundamentally care.

Philip Pullman

I don’t like it when I see my books sold cheaply.

Philip Pullman

My parents tolerated me reading comics because they knew I was also reading ‘proper’ books, too.

Philip Pullman

Comics are a wonderful form. You can do so much with it.

Philip Pullman

I tried writing out a plot with the second or third novel I wrote, and it was so boring, so desperately boring.

Philip Pullman

Education and health were always matters of charity. You educated children and you helped the sick because they were good things to do, not because you were going to make money out of them. If you let the money-making principle, the profit-seeking motive, anywhere near education and health, things go bad.

Philip Pullman

It should be a firmly established part of the curriculum that children should visit theatres and concert halls.

Philip Pullman

Theatre is one of those things that children will love if they’re helped to get there to see it. No child will find his or her own way to the theatre.

Philip Pullman

The arts are beyond price; they’re beyond value. They’re of incalculable worth in what it means to be a human being.

Philip Pullman

Every government secretary of state or minister should jolly well go to the theatre, go to a concert, go to an art gallery, go to a museum, become somehow interested in these things. If they’re not interested, they shouldn’t be in government, full stop.

Philip Pullman

You’re lacking a human dimension of some sort if you’re not interested in the arts.

Philip Pullman

Possibly because I earn my living as a writer of fiction and possibly because it’s just the sensible thing to do, I like to pay attention to everything I come across, including things that evoke the uncanny or the mysterious.

Philip Pullman

One handy piece of equipment, which I recommend to any writer of fiction, is a set of Myriorama cards. I consult them frequently.

Philip Pullman

I write in pen because it works. A fountain pen is no good for writing in the way I do because I’d have to decide, each time I stopped, how long I was likely to stop for in order to know whether or not to put the cap on. But I never know. So instead, I use a ballpoint – a Montblanc, to be precise – the most comfortably balanced pen I’ve ever found.

Philip Pullman

I have a desk that I can raise or lower according to the state of my aching back. Sometimes I stand at it, and sometimes I have it high up to write at and sometimes a bit lower to type.

Philip Pullman

The best sort of activity is one that combines mental effort with sensuous delight. That’s why I love drawing.

Philip Pullman

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