Opening spatial hinges with mindful writing practice: negotiating Philip Pullman’s secret commonwealth

Journal article


Lovell, J. 2022. Opening spatial hinges with mindful writing practice: negotiating Philip Pullman’s secret commonwealth. Cultural Geographies. https://doi.org/10.1177/14744740221126988
AuthorsLovell, J.
AbstractThis article enquires how ‘spatial hinges’ between author Philip Pullman’s series The Book of Dust and different sites are unexpected and elusive, but may opened by mindfulness. Natalie Goldberg’s mindful writing practice techniques are used as an interpretative instrument to measure this hinging together of parallel worlds. The research data amalgamates interviews with Oxford fantasy tour guides conducted before COVID 19 restrictions with writing sprints about Lockdown walks in both a local park and on a guided tour of ‘Philip Pullman’s Oxford’. The data reveals how a secret commonwealth of elves and fairies infuse the parks with otherworldly, unexpected and exaggerated bucolic awakenings and intersubjectivity, exposing ancient mythical places, including a holloway. On a tour of Oxford, the imaginative storytelling techniques of the guide include impromptu flights of fancy and tilted perspectives that contribute to an atmosphere of unlikeliness, suggestive of Pullman’s texts. In addition, an experience of getting lost or ‘de-touring’, leads to unexpected encounters with the affective mystical presence of Pullman’s novels. The findings conclude that mindfulness may create a state of attunement to the reverberations of the opening of spatial hinges, allowing stories to reveal themselves spontaneously.
KeywordsCreative writing; Fantasy tourism; Literary tourism; Media tourism; Mindfulness; Philip Pullman; Spatial hinge; Storytelling
Year2022
JournalCultural Geographies
PublisherSAGE Publications
ISSN1474-4740
1477-0881
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1177/14744740221126988
Official URLhttps://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/14744740221126988
Publication dates
Online19 Oct 2022
Publication process dates
Deposited31 Oct 2022
Output statusPublished
Page range147447402211269
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