- xix, 455 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some colour), black and white photograph ; 25 cm
- Additional Authors
- Mason, Simon,
- "This is a Borzoi book"--Title page verso.Contents: Introduction / by Simon Mason -- Magic carpets : the writer's responsibilities -- The writing of stories : making it up and writing it down -- Heinrich von Kleist: "On the marionette theatre" : grace lost and regained -- Paradise lost : an introduction -- The origin of the universe : the storytelling of science and religion : a response to a lecture by Stephen Hawking -- The path through the wood : how stories work -- Dreaming of spires : Oxfords, real and imaginary -- Intention : what do you mean? -- Children's literature without borders : stories shouldn't need passports -- Let's write it in red : the practice of writing -- Epics : big stories about big things -- Folk tales of Britain : streams of stories down through the years -- As clear as water : making a new version of the Brothers Grimm -- A bar at the Folies-Bergère : modernism and storytelling -- Poco a poco : the fundamental particles of narrative -- The classical tone : narrative tact and other classical virtues -- Reading in the borderland : reading, books and pictures -- Oliver Twist : an introduction -- Let's pretend : novels, films and the theatre -- The Firework-Maker's Daughter on stage : the story of a story -- Imaginary friends : are stories anti-scientific? -- Maus : behind the masks -- Balloon debate : why fiction is valuable -- The anatomy of melancholy : an introduction to an indispensable book -- Soft Beulah's night : William Blake and vision -- Writing fantasy realistically : fantasy, realism and faith -- The story of The good man Jesus and the scoundrel Christ : a response to puzzled readers -- The cat, the chisel and the grave : do we need a theory of human nature to tell us how to write stories? -- "I must create a system ..." : a moth's-eye view of William Blake -- Talents and virtues : another visit to Miss Goddard's grave -- God and dust : notes for a study day with the Bishop of Oxford -- The Republic of Heaven : God is dead, long live the Republic!Includes index.Summary: "From the internationally best-selling author of the His Dark Materials trilogy, a spellbinding journey into the secrets of his art--the narratives that shaped his vision, his experience of writing and understanding the magic of storytelling. Philip Pullman is one of our greatest storytellers--and in this collection of more than thirty essays written over twenty years, he meditates on storytelling. Warm, funny, generous, entertaining and above all, deeply considered, these essays offer thoughts on a variety of topics, including the origin and composition of Pullman's own stories, the craft of writing and the storytellers who have meant the most to him. The art of storytelling is everywhere present in the essays themselves, in the instantly engaging tone, the vivid imagery and striking phrases, the resonant anecdotes, the humor and learnedness. Together they are greater than the sum of their parts: a single, sustained engagement with stories and storytelling."--Dust jacket.The author of the "His Dark Materials" trilogy shares insights into the art of writing while exploring how education, religion, and science, as well as his favorite classics, helped shaped his literary life.