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Philip Pullman Quotes

51 of the best book quotes from Philip Pullman
01
“To rebel was right and just, when you considered what the agents of the Authority did in His name.”
02
“Men and women are moved by tides much fiercer than you can imagine.”
03
“Dust is something bad, something wrong, something evil and wicked.”
04
“All of us . . . are engaged in a war already, although not all of us know it.”
05
“The universe is full of intentions, you know. Everything happens for a purpose.”
06
“I’d rather not know what’s in the future. I’ll stick to the present.”
07
“Human beings can’t see anything without wanting to destroy it, Lyra. That’s original sin.”
08
“Was there only one world, after all, that spent its time dreaming of others?”
09
“The place you fight cruelty is where you find it, and the place you give help is where you see it needed.”
10
“It’s impossible, and if it isn’t impossible, it’s irrelevant, and if it isn’t either of those things, it’s embarrassing.”
11
“Dust is only a name for what happens when matter begins to understand itself.”
12
“The Christian religion is a very powerful and convincing mistake, that’s all.”
13
“Good and evil are names for what people do, not for what they are.”
14
“All the history of human life has been a struggle between wisdom and stupidity.”
15
“So she had passed her childhood, like a half-wild cat.”
16
“Put your foot through the hole in the seedpod where I was playing, and you will become wise.”
17
“We have to build the Republic of Heaven where we are.”
18
“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.”
19
“Being a practiced liar doesn’t mean you have a powerful imagination. Many good liars have no imagination at all.”
20
“We are all subject to the fates. But we must all act as if we are not.”
21
″‘And has she told you what happens to the children?’ ‘No, she hasn’t told me that. I only just know that it’s about Dust, and they’re like a kind of sacrifice.’ Again, that wasn’t exactly a lie, she thought; she had never said that Mrs. Coulter herself has told her. ‘Sacrifice is a rather dramatic way of putting it. What’s done is for their good as well as ours.‘”
22
“You see, your mother’s always been ambitious for power. At first she tried to get it in the normal way, through marriage, but that didn’t work, as I think you’ve heard. So she had to turn to the Church.”
23
“Yes. Lyra has a part to play in all this, and a major one. The irony is that she must do it all without realizing what she’s doing. She can be helped, though, and if my plan with the Tokay had succeeded, she would have been safe for a little longer.”
24
“As for what experimental theology was, Lyra had no more idea than the urchins. She had formed the notion that it was concerned with magic, with the movements of the stars and planets, with tiny particles of matter, but that was guesswork, really.”
25
″‘Wren, you’re forgetting your place,’ said Lord Asriel. ‘Don’t question me; just do as I tell you.‘”
26
“With every second that went past, with every sentence she spoke, she felt a little strength flowing back. And now that she was doing something difficult and familiar and never quite predictable, namely lying, she felt a sort of mastery again, the same sense of complexity and control that the alethiometer gave her.”
27
“Somewhere out there is the origin of all the Dust, all the death, the sin, the misery, the destructiveness in the world. Human beings can’t see anything without wanting to destroy it, Lyra. That’s original sin. And I’m going to destroy it. Death is going to die.”
28
“I see the Master as a man having terrible choices to make; whatever he chooses will do harm, but maybe if he does the right thing, a little less harm will come about than if he chooses wrong. God preserve me from having to make that sort of choice.”
29
“Your parents, both strong in the world, both ambitious, and the Master of Jordan holding you in the balance between them.”
30
“She knew one thing: she was not pleased or proud to be able to read the alethiometer – she was afraid. Whatever power was making that needle swing and stop, it knew things like an intelligent being.”
31
“Her upbringing had given her an independence of mind that made her more like a girl of today than one of her own time - which was why she had walked out, and why she was not daunted by the prospect of being alone.”
32
“She was learning that if she pretended to be weak and frightened, and dabbed at her eyes with a lacy handkerchief, she could turn aside all manner of pressing questions.”
33
“So it was not Sally’s intention to kill- despite the gun she carried in her bag.”
34
“Her mother had been a wild, stormy, romantic young woman, who rode like a Cossack, shot like a champion, and smoked (to the scandal of the fascinated regiment) tiny black cheroots in an ivory holder.”
35
“She was solitary, but perfectly happy; the only blight on her childhood was the Nightmare.”
36
″‘It is Aunt Caroline, Aunt Caroline,’ said the lady, her voice whining and creaking irritably. ‘I have been told by my lawyer that I am your aunt. I did not expect it, I did not seek it, but I shall not shrink from it.‘”
37
“Sally went back to Peveril Square; life went back to normal. But there was a difference. Without knowing it, she had shaken the edge of a web, and the spider at the heart of it had awoken.”
38
″‘I always forgets me teeth indoors. Me pore dear husbands, these were... and when he died, pore lamb,’ she went on, ‘they were going into the grave with him, being as he was took so quick. Cholera, it was. Gone in a weekend, pore duck. But I whipped ‘em out his mouth afore they shut the lid on him.‘”
39
“Please, Miss Lockhart, take care, and heed this warning. For the sake of my friendship with your father- for the sake of your own life- come, as soon as you can, and hear what I have to say.”
40
″‘There’s no father. You’re alone. You must do without him. You must be strong.”
41
“In the fading light of a snowy winter’s evening, with church bells and timepieces sounding the hour, a story has been set in motion by turns magical, terrifying, and urgent as a ticking clock. Karl, an apprentice clockmaker who has missed a deadline that may well be his last; Fritz, the write, who has begun a story he can’t control; and Gretl, the innkeeper’s daughter, whose courage will soon need to match her kindness.”
42
“In the old days, when this story took place, time used to run by clockworks. Real clockwork, I mean, springs and cogwheels and gears and pendulums and so on. When you took it apart you could se how it worked, and how to put it together again. Nowadays time runs by electricity and vibrating crystals of quarts and goodness know what else.”
43
“Once upon a time (when time ran by clockwork) a strange event took place in a little German town. Actually, it was a series of events, all fitting together like the parts of a clock, and although each person saw a different part, no one saw the whole of it, but here it is, as well as I can tell it. It began on a winter’s evening, when townsfolk were gathering in the White Horse Tavern. The snow was blowing down from the mountains, and the wind was making the bells shift restlessly.”
44
″ The door opened, and far white flakes fo snow swirled in, to faint away into water as they met the hear of the parlor. The incomers, Herr Ringelmann the clockmaker and his apprentice, Karl, stamped their boots and shook the snow off their greatcoats. ‘It’s Herr Ringelmann’ said the Burgomaster. ‘Well, old friend, come and drink some beer with me! And a mug for young what’s his name, your apprentice. It’s your day of glory tomorrow, my boy!’
45
“It was the custom that when a clockmaker’s apprentice finished his period of service, he made a new figure for the great clock of Glockenheim. ‘So we’re to have a new piece of clockwork in the tower! Well, I look forward to seeing it tomorrow.’ ‘I remember when my apprenticeship came to an end’, said Herr Ringelmann, ‘I couldn’t sleep for thinking about what would happen when my figure come out of the clock. Supposing, I hadn’t counted the cogs properly? Supposing the spring was too stiff?’ ”
46
“We can control the future, my boy, just as we wind up the mechanism in a clock. Say to yourself: I will win the race - I will come first and you wind up the future like clockwork. The world has no choice but to obey! Can the hands of that old clock in the corner decide to stop? Can the spring in your watch decide to wind itself up and run backward? No! They have no choice. And nor has the future, once you have wound it up!′ ”
47
“Meanwhile Karl has been preparing the place in the mechanism of the great clock that was set aside for his masterpiece. Feverish with excitement, he hurried down the staircase of the clock tower and across the square to the inn. The old cat Putzi had come outside with Gretl, but he didn’t like the cold, and he sat on the windowsill, cleaning his ears, wondering if this man would let him in again for a snooze by the stove. But Karl didn’t notice him.
48
“Karl looked at him with a face full of savage bitterness. ‘I haven’t made a figure,’ he muttered. ‘I couldn’t do it. I’ve failed, Fritz. When the clock chimes ten tomorrow. But nothing will come out, nothing....’ He groaned softly, and turned away. ‘I can’t face them!’ he went on. ′ I should go and throw myself off the tower now and have done with it!.” ‘Oh, come on, don’t talk like that!’ said Fritz, who had never seen his friend so bitter.”
49
“Fritz had had to stop himself or interrupting when Karl spoke about the difficulty of working. Stories are just as hard as clocks to put together, and they can go wrong just as easily -as we shall see with Fritz’s own story in a page or two. Still Fritz was an optimist, and Karl was a pessimist, and that makes all the difference in the world.”
50
“Now as it happened, there was one other person awake, and that was Gretl, the landlord’s little daughter. She couldn’t sleep at all, and the reason for that was Fritz’s story. There was one thing she couldn’t get out of her mind. It wasn’t the clockwork in the dead Prince’s breast; it wasn’t the hoses foaming from terror or the dead driver behind the, it was the young Prince Florian.”
51
“But in the fifth year of his life, the little prince began to show signs of disturbing illness. There was a painful stiffness in his joints, he had a constant feeling of chill, and his face, which was normally so lively and expressive, was becoming masklike and rigid. Princess mariposa was worried to distraction, for he no longer looked nearly so handsome next to her.”

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