Fwd: Narnia

Nat Case ncase at hedbergmaps.com
Mon Oct 2 17:25:50 EDT 2000

>I meant to send this to the whole list

>I'm halfway through Narnia (Middle of the Silver Chair), and have a 
>few thoughts:
>1. A podium-style debate on education reform between CS Lewis ("It 
>was the sort of school where the teacher let the students do 
>whatever they want, and naturally what some of the students wanted 
>to do was bully the others") and Dean ("I decided to take a day off 
>for personal enrichment."). Oy.
>2. I was struck with Lion Witch and Wardrobe at how clearly this was 
>a book by someone who lived through World War II. I had the same 
>reaction last time I started Tolkien. Compare this with DWJ, who was 
>a very small child during the war, and more recent writers (like 
>Rowling). In British writing especially, the War was such powerful 
>force in people's lives, I'm thinking it has colored the whole field 
>of fantasy, and even now, there is a sort of backlash from people 
>like me whose parents were in the war.
>No more developed thoughts on that front yet. Maybe more later. I'm 
>curious as to people's thoughts on Jones' take on war.
>3. I'm struck by how intrusive the obviously religious elements in 
>Narnia are. It's as if there were two levels of story going on: the 
>one he obviously enjoyed, and the one where he was aware of his 
>responsibility as an Adult to Care for the Moral Well-Being of His 
>Readers. Even Aslan's character is not always specifically preachy. 
>I think part of the difference may be that old creative writing 
>mantra: "show, don't tell." Because his showing is, in an 
>old-fashioned way, wonderful. It's only when he gets going on who is 
>a good child and who is bad, that things really start falling apart 
>for me.

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