Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Literary Reference : Northern Lights

Farder Coram was a chess player, and he knew how chess players look at a game in play. An expert player seemed to see lines of force and influence on the board, and looked along the important ones and ignored the weak ones; and Lyra's eyes moved the same way, according to some similar magnetic field that she could see and he couldn't.
Philip Pullman, Northern Lights, Scholastic, 2007, p.152. (Original date of publication 1995.)


ejh said...

Note: this is the first in a series featuring references to chess in literature - lesser-known ones (so not Nabokov, Zweig, Ilf and Petrov etc) but generally ones, nevertheless, that are not entirely passing references, ones that make some attempt at description of the play or the mental processes involved.

Jack Rudd said...

Will Last Round feature at any point? Superb chess story, that.

ejh said...

Jack - thanks for that but if the story is about chess, as such, then probably not. We're really looking for work which feature chess but are not about chess.

simona said...

Philip Pullman was my English teacher for a year at Marston Middle School in Oxford, you know.

We had a pretty good chess team back then run by Lester Millin, but I don't remember Mr Pullman playing chess at all.

Anonymous said...

Phillip Pullman was my English teacher whilst I attended Marston Middle school. I have strong memories of him sitting us in a circle on the floor. He would start us off with a topic and we each would each (in turn) make up a line of a story. Wonderful collective storytelling.
Lucy Pullen