Make Believe Numbers: A Multidimensional Analysis of Phillip Pullman’s Mythopoeic Vision

  • Michael Wodzak


Introduction: “But think of Adam and Eve like an imaginary number, like the square root of minus one: you can never see any concrete proof that it exists, but if you include it in your equations, you can calculate all manner of things that can’t be imagined without it” ( Pullman, p. 372).

The paragraph above, quoted from the end of The Golden Compass (Northern Lights in the UK) seems to encapsulate not only Philip Pullman’s spiritual worldview, and his evangelization of that view to adolescent readers, but also, as we shall see, his, perhaps, incomplete understanding of the concept of dimension. This is significant, because Pullman’s view of the cosmos is undoubtedly multidimensional.