I’m not mad keen on Philip Pullman, I find the His Dark Materials trilogy a bit dull, although I appreciate I’m probably in the minority there. However, today the BBC published an interview with him in which the public pose the questions, and Pullman answers. At first, he seems to be as dull as suspected. Duller, even. His answers are terse and bored and patronising. But as I read on I realised that what seems to be the worst interview ever is actually genius. By the end, I was laughing out loud. I don’t know if he did it on purpose, and it doesn’t really matter. Pullman has gone up in my estimation. Here are the highlights of the piece:
Did you ever expect His Dark Materials to become so popular, as well as such a controversial subject?
Are you still writing The Book of Dust? Can you give us a little more insight about it?
Not yet. I never show anyone work in progress.
Would you consider writing a story for Doctor Who’s time and space adventures?
No. I write the things I want to write, not things someone else asks me to.
I just read The Broken Bridge and loved it! I was wondering, how do you write from the point of view of characters that are so different from you (half-Haitian teenage girl)?
Thank you for your comment. I’m glad you enjoyed the story. As for how I wrote it, it’s a matter of imagination. You imagine what it would be like to be someone else, and then you write about it.
That last answer killed me. It’s like someone asking Phillip Seymour Hoffman how he went about playing the role of Truman Capote, and him replying “I pretended I was him”.