Philip Pullman’s Oxford: representations of the city of Oxford in His Dark Materials and Lyra’s Oxford

COX, Katharine and JORDAN, Spencer (2013). Philip Pullman’s Oxford: representations of the city of Oxford in His Dark Materials and Lyra’s Oxford. Journal of Children's Literature Studies, 9 (2), 19-30.

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    Abstract

    This essay analyses Philip Pullman’s representations of the city of Oxford in his trilogy His Dark Materials (1995-2000) and in his subsequent companion piece, Lyra’s Oxford (2003). In investigating his representations of Oxford, we consider the relationship between fictive, historical and contemporary versions of the city. The prominent changes that Pullman makes to Oxford in Lyra’s world form part of the basis for his construction of an alternative world. At the same time, these changes are in themselves politically and socially important.   In addition, the city of Oxford is emphatically a literary city. This is evident through the writers and academics associated with the city, as well as through the literary representations of Oxford itself. Pullman joins a group of children’s writers who have become central to the city’s thriving literary tourism industry, including Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland), CS Lewis (The Chronicles of Narnia), and JRR Tolkien (The Hobbit). This essay discusses the political and social consequences of Pullman’s constructions of Oxford and contextualizes the position of Pullman as a writer of Oxford.

    Item Type: Article
    Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Humanities Research Centre
    Departments - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities > Department of Humanities
    Page Range: 19-30
    Depositing User: Katharine Cox
    Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2018 15:15
    Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 12:27
    URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/21276

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