Bacobts13, a poster on the IMDb boards has a copy of the book and was so kind enough to mail me all of the Lantern Slide notes from each of the books. Definitely needs to be thanked for putting in all that effort.
Bacobts13 from IMDb wrote:The copy I bought was a newer one - all 3 books combined into one compilation, and Pullman makes little postscript notes after each, which he titles "Lantern Slides"... Basically, his Lantern Slides are what he envisions as little bits of characters lives that were not involved in the stories themselves - back stories, insights further into the true natures of the characters, and in the direction of what you're inquiring about - snippets into the futures of characters.
Philip Pullman wrote:Sometimes it becomes possible for an author to revisit a story and play with it, not to adapt it to another medium (it's not always a good idea for the original author to do that), nor to revise or "improve" it (tempting though that is, it's too late: you should have done that before it was published, and your business now is with new books, not old ones). But simply to play.
And in every narrative there are gaps: places where, although things happened and the characters spoke and acted and lived their lives, the story says nothing about them. It was fun to visit a few of these gaps and speculate a little on what I might see there.
As for why I call these little pieces lantern slides, it's because I remember the wooden boxes my grandfather used to have, each one packed neatly with painted glass slides showing scenes from Bible stories or fairy tales or ghost stories or comic little plays with absurd-looking figures. From time to time he would get out the heavy old magic lantern and project some of these pictures on to a screen as we sat in the darkened room with the smell of hot metal and watched one scene succeed another, trying to make sense of the narrative and wondering what St. Paul was doing in the story of Little Red Riding Hood - because they never came out of the box in quite the right order.
I think it was my grandfather's magic lantern that Lord Asriel used in the second chapter of The Golden Compass. Here are some lantern slides, and it doesn't matter what order they come in.
LANTERN SLIDES - The Golden Compass
TNL/TGC Lantern Slide 1 wrote:Jordan College, like a great clockwork mechanism with every part connected ultimately to every other, and all slowly and heavily ticking despite the fur of dust on every cog, the curtains of cobweb draped in every corner, the mouse dirt, the insect husks, the leaf skeletons blown in every time the wind was in the east... Rituals and habits whose origins no one could remember, but which no one wanted to disturb. The great wheels and the small, the pins and the levers all performing their functions despite the wheezing and the creaking and the groaning of ancient timber. Sometimes the individual parts (a servant or a Scholar) forgot precisely what their function was in relation to the whole, but never that the whole had a function; and it was enough to do again what you had done yesterday, and every day before that, and trust to custom.
TNL/TGC Lantern Slide 2 wrote:Lyra hanging about the Castle Mill boatyard. Each Gyptian family had their particular patterns for decorating their boats, based on simple floral designs but becoming more and more complex and fanciful. Lyra watching old Piet van Poppel touching up his boat one day and laboriously copying the rose-and-lily pattern he was using, and then back in her room trying to paint it on her second-best dress before realizing that it would be better embroidered. And very soon after, having pricked her fingers countless times and snapped the threads and lost all patience with the task, throwing it away in disgust, and having to explain its absence to Mrs. Lonsdale.
TNL/TGC Lantern Slide 3 wrote:Lee Scoresby, attracted north by the money being made in the gold rush and making none, but acquiring a balloon by chance in a card game. He was the lover of a witch from the Karelia region, briefly, but she was killed in battle - "She spoiled me for women younger'n three hundred"; but he had plenty of lovers all the same.
TNL/TGC Lantern Slide 4 wrote:Asriel among the bears: "Iofur Raknison, I'm going to be entirely frank with you," followed by a string of confident and overbearing lies - had he noticed the bear-king's doll-daemon, the clue that he was unbearlike enough to be tricked? Or was it just luck? - but he knew the bears well enough. He was very like his daughter.
TNL/TGC Lantern Slide 5 wrote:Mrs. Coulter selected her lovers for their power and influence, but it did no harm if they were good-looking. Did she ever become fond of a lover? Not once. She could not keep her servants, either.
TNL/TGC Lantern Slide 6 wrote:Lyra had a crush on Dick Orchard, the older boy who could spit farther than anyone else. She would hang about the Covered market gazing at him hopelessly, and cover her pillow with clumsy kisses, just to see what it felt like.
TNL/TGC Lantern Slide 7 wrote:Every year the Domestic Bursar at Jordan would send for Lyra - or have her tracked down and caught - and have a photogram taken. Lyra submitted indifferently, and scowled at the camera; it was just one of the things that happened. It didn't occur to her to ask where the pictures went. As a matter of fact, they all went to Lord Asriel, but he would never have let her know.
TNL/TGC Lantern Slide 8 wrote:Benny, the pastry cook at Jordan, whose Dæmon was male, sitting in the warm cabin with his cousins the Costa family and listening to the story of how Lyra hijacked their boat, and their demand that someone discipline the brat. Their indignation was too much to bear without laughing. In return, he told them about how she rescued a starling from the kitchen cat, only for it to die anyway, and of how she plucked and gutted it clumsily and smuggled it into the great ovens, hoping to retrieve it when it was cooked. But the chef sent her packing, and in the bustle the starling was sent to table with the rest of the Feast, and was eaten with relish by the Master. The truth came out when the doctor had to be summoned to deal with the poor man's suffering. Lyra was unrepentant. "It wasn't for him," she said. "He's obviously got a delicate stomach. I could have eaten it." She was banned from the kitchens for a term. "Seems to me we got off lightly," said Tony Costa.
TNL/TGC Lantern Slide 9 wrote:Serafina Pekkala on her cloud-pine would find a still field of air at night and listen to the silence. Like the air itself, which was never quite still, the silence was full of little currents and turbulence, of patches of density and pockets of attenuation, all shot through with darts and drifts of whispering that were made of silence themselves. It was as different from the silence of a closed room as fresh spring water is from stale. Later, Serafina realized that she was listening to Dust.
LANTERN SLIDES - The Subtle Knife
TSK Lantern Slide 1 wrote:John Parry and the turquoise ring: how did he get hold of it? You could tell a story about the ring, and everything that had happened to it since it left Lee Scoresby's mother's finger; and you could tell a story about Lee himself, and recount his entire history from boyhood to the moment he sat beside the little hut on the flooded banks of the Yenisei, and saw the shaman's fist open to disclose the well-loved thing that he'd turned and turned round and round his mother's finger so long ago. The story lines diverge, and move a very long way apart, and come together, and something happens when the touch. That something would lead Lee to his death, but what happened to the ring? It must still be around, somewhere.
TSK Lantern Slide 2 wrote:A Dæmon is not an animal, of course; a Dæmon is a person. A real cat, face to face with a Dæmon in cat form, would not be puzzled for a moment. She would see a human being.
TSK Lantern Slide 3 wrote:All the time in Cittagazze, the sense of how different a place this could have been if it hadn't been corrupted; how easy it would have been not to make the knife, if they'd seen the consequences. A world of teeming plenty, of beautiful seas and temperate weather, of prosperity and peace - and still they wanted more.
TSK Lantern Slide 4 wrote:Will and his mother, visiting an elderly-seeming couple in a large house and getting a cold welcome. He was puzzled: he was too young to understand the conversation, the murmuring voices, his mother's tears. Later, all he remembered was the contempt on the older woman's face, the feeling that these two regarded his beloved mother as dirt, and his savage resolution never to let her be exposed to that brutality again. He was six. He would have killed them if he could. Very much later, he realized they were his father's parents.
TSK Lantern Slide 5 wrote:Lyra lying awake on the cold rocks, pretending to be asleep, while Will whispered to her Dæmon. How often did she think of that in the days that followed!
TSK Lantern Slide 6 wrote:The window in Alaska. Natural that the people of the area, if they knew about it at all, would regard it as a doorway to the spirit world; and natural that the other windows into our world should be hard to find, and often neglected. People don't like the uncanny, and rather than look fully at something disturbing, they'll avoid it altogether. That house that no one seems to live in for long, that corner of a field that the farmer never quite manages to plow, that broken wall that's always going to be repaired, but never is... There is such a place on Cader Idris in north Wales, and another in a hotel bedroom in Glasgow.
TSK Lantern Slide 7 wrote:Sir Charles Latrom every morning applying two drops of a floral oil to the centre of a large silk handkerchief, which he then bundled and tucked into his top pocket in a meticulous imitation of carefree elegance. He couldn't have named the oil: he'd stolen it from a bazaar in Damascus, but the Damascus of another world, where the flowers were bred for the fleshlike exuberance of their scent. As it developed through the day, the fragrance of the oil rotted like a medlar; Sir Charles would lean his head to the left and sniff appreciatively, perhaps too frankly for the comfort of most companions.
TSK Lantern Slide 8 wrote:Cittagazze under the moonlight, deserted and silent and open: the colonnades drenched in soft shadow, the Casino gardens so perfectly clipped and swept, the gravel paths... Every house lit, every door open to the warm night. It was the first place where Will had ever felt entirely safe and entirely welcome and entirely at home. Lonely, yes, at first, but he lived in that condition like a fish in water. He would never know how inconceivably strange he appeared, at first, to Lyra.
LANTERN SLIDES - The Amber Spyglass
TAS Lantern Slide 1 wrote:Mary thought the mulefa had no history, but that was because the history she'd been taught in school was about politics, the clash of nation states, the rise and fall of empires. In her time among the mulefa, she learned about a different kind of history. They had forgotten nothing they'd ever known, and such things as the story of the great storm of fifteen thousand years before, or the discovery of the cord fibre plant, or the weeklong ride of the one survivor of the south shore earthquake nursing his broken wheel as he had to cross-country to keep out of the floods, were all the subject of lengthy and complex recital, embroidered and counterpointed by the teller and the listeners jointly. Mary was not with them for long enough to discover whether they had any concept of fiction - or whether, indeed, those tales were remembered or invented.
TAS Lantern Slide 2 wrote:Kendal Mint Cake, and the delicate fastidious curiosity of Balthamos as he nibbled the edge of it. For the rest of his life, the taste of sugared peppermint brought that picture back to Will's mind, and he was there again beside the smoky little fire with the stream splashing in the darkness nearby.
TAS Lantern Slide 3 wrote:In Lyra's world, Dæmon; in the world of the mulefa, the oil-bearing wheels - both ways of making the workings of Dust apparent. In our world, what?
TAS Lantern Slide 4 wrote:Again, Will, later: the sense his hand and mind had learned together as the point of the knife searched among the tiniest particles of the air, the sense of feeling without touching, of knowing without spoiling, of apprehending without calculating. He never lost it. When he was a medical student, he had to pretend to make a wrong diagnosis occasionally: his success was in danger of looking supernatural. Once he was qualified, it became safer to go straight to the right answer. And then began the lifelong process of learning to explain it.
TAS Lantern Slide 5 wrote:Mary, absorbed and happy as she fooled around with the lacquer to make her spyglass; fooling around was something she'd never been able to explain to her colleague Oliver Payne, who needed to know where he was going before he got there. Back in Oxford, she gave three of her precious wheel-tree seeds to a scientist at the Botanic Garden, a nice man who understood the importance of fooling around. The seedlings are growing well, but she refuses to tell him where they came from.
TAS Lantern Slide 6 wrote:On the beach, the alethiometer suddenly inert in Lyra's hands, as if it had abandoned her.
TAS Lantern Slide 7 wrote:An infinity of silvery greens and gold-sand-brawns, the whispering of grass in the warm wind. Safety, sunlight.
TAS Lantern Slide 8 wrote:Mrs. Coulter in the cave, watching Will, speculating; Will watching her, speculating. Their words like chess pieces, placed with great care, each carrying an invisible nimbus of implication and possibility and threat. Both afterwards felt as if they had barely escaped with their life.
TAS Lantern Slide 9 wrote:Lyra at eighteen sitting intent and absorbed in Duke Humfrey's Library with the alethiometer and a pile of leather-bound books. Tucking the hair back behind her ears, pencil in mouth, finger moving down a list of symbols, Pantalaimon holding the stiff old pages open for her... "Look, Pan, there's a pattern there - see? That's why they're in that sequence!" And it felt as if the sun had come out. It was the second thing she said to Will next day in the Botanic Garden.