Enlarged worlds: Philip Pullman on writing and the arts

Folks who have stuck around this blog for a bit will know that I am a great fan of Philip Pullman, and he has a new essay up over at the New Humanist that is well worth reading: Writing is despotism, reading is democracy. Go read it. Here’s a preview that had me punching the air:

Then there’s education. We writers ought to make it clear too that the arts – not just learning about them, but doing them, actually writing and painting and playing music – have a vital part to play in the lives of our children. They have to do with enlarging and clarifying experience, in opening new worlds of possibility and delight and understanding and emotion. We who tell stories should be ready to say so. We should speak up when funds are being cut – funds for all kinds of art, for children’s theatre, for teaching music and lending musical instruments, for allowing students time to learn from writers and poets. All those good things are under threat, because the people in charge of the money can’t see any immediate financial advantage from spending it like that.