Philip Pullman quotes

  • True education flowers at the point when delight falls in love with responsibility.
    -- Philip Pullman

    #True Love #Falling In Love #Flower

  • I feel with some passion that what we truly are is private, and almost infinitely complex, and ambiguous, and both external and internal, and double- or triple- or multiply natured, and largely mysterious even to ourselves; and furthermore that what we are is only part of us, because identity, unlike "identity", must include what we do. And I think that to find oneself and every aspect of this complexity reduced in the public mind to one property that apparently subsumes all the rest ("gay", "black", "Muslim", whatever) is to be the victim of a piece of extraordinary intellectual vulgarity.
    -- Philip Pullman

    #Passion #Gay #Thinking

  • You cannot change what you are, only what you do.
    -- Philip Pullman

    #Change #Being Yourself #Life Changing

  • I stopped believing there was a power of good and a power of evil that were outside us. And I came to believe that good and evil are names for what people do, not for what they are.
    -- Philip Pullman

    #Life #Believe #Names

  • If you want something you can have it, but only if you want everything that goes with it, including all the hard work and the despair, and only if you're willing to risk failure.
    -- Philip Pullman

    #Hard Work #Risk #Despair

  • 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

    #Maturity #Anxiety #Young

  • All writing is difficult. The most you can hope for is a day when it goes reasonably easily. Plumbers don't get plumber's block, and doctors don't get doctor's block; why should writers be the only profession that gives a special name to the difficulty of working, and then expects sympathy for it?
    -- Philip Pullman

    #Block #Writing #Doctors

  • Just finished 'Secrecy' - truly enthralling both as a love story and as a tale of suspense - but much more than both.
    -- Philip Pullman

    #Suspense #Stories #Love Story

  • I write almost always in the third person, and I don't think the narrator is male or female anyway. They're both, and young and old, and wise and silly, and sceptical and credulous, and innocent and experienced, all at once. Narrators are not even human - they're sprites.
    -- Philip Pullman

    #Wise #Silly #Writing

  • I am a strong believer in the tyranny, the dictatorship, the absolute authority of the writer.
    -- Philip Pullman

    #Strong #Writing #Authority

  • I think it's perfectly possible to explain how the universe came about without bringing God into it, but I don't know everything, and there may well be a God somewhere, hiding away. Actually, if he is keeping out of sight, it's because he's ashamed of his followers and all the cruelty and ignorance they're responsible for promoting in his name. If I were him, I'd want nothing to do with them.
    -- Philip Pullman

    #Ignorance #Thinking #Sight

  • I told him I was going to betray you, and betray Lyra, and he believed me because I was corrupt and full of wickedness; he looked so deep I felt sure he'd see the truth. But I lied too well. I was lying with every nerve and fiber and everything I'd ever done...I wanted him to find no good in me, and he didn't. There is none.
    -- Philip Pullman

    #Truth #Lying #Nerves

  • I'm for open-mindedness and tolerance. I'm against any form of fanaticism, fundamentalism or zealotry, and this certainty of 'We have the truth.' The truth is far too large and complex. Nobody has the truth.
    -- Philip Pullman

    #Tolerance #Truth Is #Form

  • ...because where we are is always the most important place.
    -- Philip Pullman

    #Important

  • Maybe sometimes we don't do the right thing because the wrong thing looks more dangerous, and we don't want to look scared, so we go and do the wrong thing just because it's dangerous. We're more concerned with not looking scared than with judging right.
    -- Philip Pullman

    #Fear #Judging #Looks

  • After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.
    -- Philip Pullman

    #Book #Writing #Mind

  • The book is second only to the wheel as the best piece of technology human beings have ever invented. A book symbolises the whole intellectual history of mankind; it's the greatest weapon ever devised in the war against stupidity.
    -- Philip Pullman

    #War #Book #Technology

  • She wondered whether there would ever come an hour in her life when she didn't think of him -- didn't speak to him in her head, didn't relive every moment they'd been together, didn't long for his voice and his hands and his love. She had never dreamed of what it would feel like to love someone so much; of all the things that had astonished her in her adventures, that was what astonished her the most. She thought the tenderness it left in her heart was like a bruise that would never go away, but she would cherish it forever.
    -- Philip Pullman

    #Adventure #Heart #Thinking

  • The best way to get kids to read a book is to say: 'This book is not appropriate for your age, and it has all sorts of horrible things in it like sex and death and some really big and complicated ideas, and you're better off not touching it until you're all grown up. I'm going to put it on this shelf and leave the room for a while. Don't open it.
    -- Philip Pullman

    #Sex #Book #Kids

  • 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

    #Reading #Views #Years

  • As Jane Austen might have put it: It is a truth universally acknowledged that young protagonists in search of adventure must ditch their parents.
    -- Philip Pullman

    #Adventure #Writing #Parent

  • You don't win races by wishing, you win them by running faster than everyone else does.
    -- Philip Pullman

    #Running #Winning #Race

  • So Lyra and her daemon turned away from the world they were born in, and looked toward the sun, and walked into the sky.
    -- Philip Pullman

    #Sky #Sun #World

  • Corruption and envy and lust for power. Cruelty and coldness. A vicious probing curiousity. Pure, poisonous, toxic malice. You have never from your earliest years shown a shred of compassion for sympathy or kindness without calculating how it would return to your advantage. You have tortured and killed without regret or hesitation; you have betrayed and intrigued and gloried in your treachery. You are a cess-pit of moral filth.
    -- Philip Pullman

    #Kindness #Regret #Compassion

  • I don't know where my ideas come from, but I know where they come to. They come to my desk, and if I'm not there, they go away again.
    -- Philip Pullman

    #Writing #Ideas #Going Away

  • 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

    #Book #Rights #Forever

  • People are too complicated to have simple labels.
    -- Philip Pullman

    #Simple #People #Labels

  • If a coin comes down heads, that means that the possibility of its coming down tails has collapsed. Until that moment the two possibilities were equal. But on another world, it does come down tails. And when that happens, the two worlds split apart.
    -- Philip Pullman

    #Mean #Two #Tails

  • 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

    #Growing Up #Moving #Grandparent

  • When you choose one way out of many, all the ways you don't take are snuffed out like candles, as if they'd never existed.
    -- Philip Pullman

    #Philosophy #Way #Candle

  • 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. My main concern is that an over-emphasis on testing and league tables has led to a lack of time and freedom for a true, imaginative and humane engagement with literature.
    -- Philip Pullman

    #School #League #Passionate

  • There are some themes, some subjects, too large for adult fiction; they can only be dealt with adequately in a children's book.
    -- Philip Pullman

    #Children #Book #Fiction

  • Long before writing, people were telling each other stories and the audiobook goes all the way back to that tradition.
    -- Philip Pullman

    #Writing #Long #People

  • 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

    #Being In Love #Interesting #People

  • I have stolen ideas from every book I have ever read.
    -- Philip Pullman

    #Book #Ideas #Stolen

  • It takes long practice, yes. You have to work. Did you think you could snap your fingers, and have it as a gift? What is worth having is worth working for.
    -- Philip Pullman

    #Thinking #Practice #Long

  • Every little increase in human freedom has been fought over ferociously between those who want us to know more and be wiser and stronger, and those who want us to obey and be humble and submit.
    -- Philip Pullman

    #Humble #Stronger #Want

  • If you can't think of what to write, tough luck; write anyway.
    -- Philip Pullman

    #Writing #Thinking #Luck

  • One moment several things are possible, the next moment only one happens, and the rest don't exist. Except that other worlds have sprung into being, on which the did happen.
    -- Philip Pullman

    #Other Worlds #Next #Moments