Saturday, December 08, 2007

Cosmic Strip

"His Dark Materials", the first part of which is in our theaters as "The Golden Compass," has as partial inspiration for its key concept, this.

Everyone has a daemon or animal spirit: when you are young, the daemon keeps changing shape; as you get older your daemon settles into a constant form. The daemons are the single most brilliant idea in the books. Pullman got the idea from paintings by Leonardo da Vinci ("The Lady with the Ermine"), Holbein ("The Lady and the Squirrel") and Tiepolo ("Young Woman with a Macaw"), where there seems to be a psychological link between the person and the creature.

"Suppose you're thinkin' about a plate of shrimp. Suddenly someone'll say, like, 'plate,' or 'shrimp,' or 'plate of shrimp' out of the blue, no explanation. No point in lookin' for one, either. It's all part of a cosmic unconsciousness."