Saturday, 26 November 2011


Despite my pile of lovely new books, I'm working my way through Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials (again). They're just good yarns.

My favourite idea is that people have daemons, animals spirits which express a part of their nature. One of the baddies has a snake, for example, another has an evil golden monkey. It would make it very easy to suss out what a person is like right away, if we all had daemons.

In the stories, children's daemons can change form until they hit puberty when they remain the same animal for the rest of their adult life. I wonder if Philip Pullman means that children's characters are not fixed but adults are? I'm not sure if I believe that.

Anyway, I want to say mine would be a cat (moody, lazy, independent, solitary, night animal, yes all of that) but that's probably boring and predictable.

What would yours be?


  1. Obnov a horse, I hope, having spent years of my life trying to morph into one.

    Did you know that the Leonardo of the lady with the ermine is the inspiration for Lyra and Pantalaimon (sp?)? I adore that painting... Also wonderful spirit animals:


  2. ps. you're making me want to write novels.

  3. "Honeybadger don't give a shit! It just takes what it wants..." teehee!

    B, I remember playing in the playground with the horsey girls, sometimes we would play riding the horse and sometimes we would just be the horse. I didn't know that about Leonardo. Must check out Leonora Carrington, she was great.

    Do it ! Write a novel!!!

  4. Maybe daemons are like musical tastes - however much new stuff you discover through your life, the soundtrack to your teens never really leaves you, for good or ill.

    That said, I think I'd like a bat, please.

  5. An elephant obviously, although I suppose that might cause problems on the Tube.

  6. Yes. They're beautiful, intelligent creatures.
    Right, he didn't explain what would happen if youq daemon was a fish.

  7. To be honest, I'd like nothing more exotic than a dog, but I'd probably get a slug.

  8. I like dogs too but Philip is rather harsh on them - in the story people with dogs as daemons are usually servants. I think we can assume he's more of a cat person.

  9. It'd be a cat. Everything on my own terms.
    Daemons etc made me think of the opening of that Coen Bros film, when the dybbuk arrives at the cottage - so funny I larfed a lot. A Serious Man?

    Oh and Carrington woodcuts - I would love to own one.