Being Alone: Experiences of Isolation in the Imaginary Worlds of His Dark Materials


  • Graham Law Waseda University


fantasy fiction, isolation, parallel words


What follows concerns the extent to which isolation as a psychological experience is shaped by isolation in the physical sense, that is, the relationship between being alone and feeling alone. Because of its apparently unlimited freedom both to play with material settings and to explore the human consequences, fantasy fiction seems an appropriate context in which to consider this question.

Author Biography

Graham Law, Waseda University

Professor in Media History


Anderson, B. (1983) Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso.

Appadurai, A. (1996) Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Nodelman, P. (1992) The Pleasures of Children’s Literature. New York: Longman.

Pullman, P. (2007a) His Dark Materials III: The Amber Spyglass. New York: Yearling.

Pullman, P. (2007b) His Dark Materials I: The Golden Compass. New York: Yearling.

Pullman, P. (2007c) His Dark Materials II: The Subtle Knife. New York: Yearling.

Saler, M. (2012) As If: Modern Enchantment and the Literary Prehistory of Virtual Reality. Oxford: Oxford University Press.






Thinking Space