Philip Pullman on the value of stories

I don’t usually read fantasy, but a couple of years ago, I read Philip Pullman’s Dark Materials trilogy (which I borrowed from my son and daughter, who were 11 and 13ish at the time). I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the books, but then he is a master writer.  I came upon this wise excerpt from his Carnegie Medal acceptance speech (2004) recently:

“All stories teach, whether the storyteller intends them to or not. They teach the world we create. They teach the morality we live by. They teach it much more effectively than moral precepts and instructions. We don’t need lists of rights and wrongs, tables of do’s and don’ts.  We need books, time and silence. ‘Thou shalt not’ is soon forgotten, but ‘Once upon a time’ lasts forever.”

Such profound words deserve to be remembered and considered over and over again.

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