14 October 2010

Day 201: The Subtle Knife

The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman.  ISBN: 9780375846724.

"Can you imagine my astonishment, in turn, at learning that part of my own nature was female, and bird-formed, and beautiful?"  Page 213-14.

I like the idea of having a soul or consciousness or conscience manifest as an animal.  I'm sure I'm not alone in talking with friends about what animals we would be.  I love even more the idea of being able to talk, out loud, to the manifestation.  How many of us talk to ourselves or go around and around in our heads when we're dealing with a particularly difficult problem?  It would be so much easier to have an actual dialog and agreement with something outside of yourself.  It would certainly give people a lot more confidence in their final decisions and how they conduct their daily lives.  Plus, having a constant companion, even if that companion is a part of yourself, would make life much more enjoyable.

What kind of animal do I think I would have for a daemon?  I'm not sure that's a question I can actually answer for myself, not honestly anyway.  I would want my daemon to be something grand and elegant, which is probably not the reality.  If I had to guess anyway, I would probably go with a ferret.  I do not particularly like ferrets.  Unless you have copious amounts of time and a high tolerance for bad smells and deviltry I don't think they make very good pets.  But they do seem to have characteristics that I share (not that bad smells...most days).

They are extremely clever.  I would not say that they are smart, because I don't think that they are, but they are definitely problem solvers and that's something I can very much identify with.  They have moments of hyper, frantic activity, followed by long periods of sleeping and leisure.  I have an extremely short attention span and need to be able to switch from activity to activity in order to really be stimulated.  I sometimes need to distract myself from one project with another in order to finish either of them.  I have hoarder tendencies, which I control by adding books to my list on Goodreads and borrowing library books rather than buying, among other methods.  I also have a bit of a mean streak which tends to show itself as mischievousness more than outright malevolence.

Perhaps someone else has a better idea of what animal spirit I really have.  I'd be interested to see what my readers think, considering you are the people who probably know me best.

A good review can be found at Pat's Fantasy Hotlist, which is not the "list of hot underwear model lineups in a fight to the death" that it sounds like.

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