Oh, yes. Finished The Secret Commonwealth…either yesterday or the night before it, and I just. Just.
I don’t know what to say, really. It wasn’t perfect (there seemed some mild inconsistencies with dæmon ‘mechanics’, for lack of a better term, that were introduced in HDM…but again, we saw those things almost solely through Lyra’s purview as a child, and she’s now an adult and privy to things she just didn’t know as a child, so…), but I loved it, and…it punched me right in the heart, and I needed it to.
“Had reason ever created a poem, or a symphony, or a painting? If rationality can’t see things like the secret commonwealth, it’s because rationality’s vision is limited. The secret commonwealth is there. We can’t see it with rationality any more than we can weigh something with a microscope: It’s the wrong sort of instrument. We need to imagine as well as measure.”
You know what I love the most about the book? Is that this is absolutely not a children’s book. Lyra grew up and the original readers grew up, too, and it honestly feels like Philip Pullman wrote this for us, which is admittedly ridiculous, but. I feel a little more anchored in the world because this book exists. Isn’t that weird?
The spoilery things below the jump~
I’m amused (and slightly vindicated, I’ll admit) that Pullman affirmed that Will and Lyra’s fade-to-black scene in The Amber Spyglass resulted in “just kissing”, because it always seemed so weird to me how the fandom insisted that two twelve-year-olds recently realising that they’ve fallen in love would immediately move towards sex. I’m not saying 12-year-olds can’t fall in love or have relationships — I was deeply in love with and in a relationship with someone when I was 12 — and I’m definitely not saying 12-year-old don’t think about sex, because yeah, they do. I certainly did. But it’s like…the actual act of sex is…not taboo, because that’s not it at all, if you’re raised in a healthy manner. It’s not that you think “ooh, we musn’t do that!” or anything of that kind (unless you’re religious, I suppose?), but it’s more that you just…don’t think of it in those first moments of realisation; there’s too much emotion, both overwhelming and life-affirming, to deal with. First kisses are like storms you get caught in. While you’re in the beginning of the storm you’re not thinking about a flood that might follow, because those first flashes of lightning are so new and novel and beautiful to you.
Also, the Blakeian overtones in the whole book, just…chilled me. In a good way (I think).
And just confirms that the Blake tarot is the closest thing to an actual goddamn alethiometer I’ll ever find in this world, asides from the i ching…which leads me to believe that Dust? Dust is Tao, and Tao is Dust, Dust is dark matter, dark matter is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart.
The whole universe is conscious.