Narnia comments, including spoilers

Dorian E. Gray israfel at
Thu Sep 14 16:44:40 EDT 2000

Kyla said...

> yeah...whenever I'm reading the whole series, once I'm done with _The
> Silver Chair_ (because I tend to read them in chronological order, not
> publishing order, but I only started doing that *after* I'd read them all
> the first time--how *dare* they publish them in the wrong order? _The
> Magician's Nephew_ isn't *nearly* as cool if you don't already know how
> things are supposed to be! </rant>)

Uh...because that was the order C. S. Lewis *wrote* them in?  "The
Magician's Nephew" is cool because *Lewis* knew how things were supposed to

> I always think, "Do I really want to
> read _The Last Battle_? I sorta have to...sigh." And then I read it and it
> isn't nearly as bad as I've remembered, but I still think the ending is a
> copout.

Agreed.  Big-time.  But then, "The Silver Chair" is my favourite of all of
them, and always has been...though I love all of them, just not "The
Magician's Nephew" *quite* as much as the others, and "The Last Battle"
quite a lot less.
> SPOILER ALERT (for _The Last Battle_ and _The Lion, the Witch, and the
> Wardrobe_)
> (Is there actually anyone on the list who hasn't read them?  Just
> I just object to Lewis destroying his own world and saying "But that's
> okay! 'Cause there's the greater story, isn't that cool? It doesn't matter
> that they're all dead! 'Cause they're not!" Maybe it's my aversion to
> "this life doesn't matter because the next one's so much better." But I've
> always hated that.
Deeply annoying, you're quite right.  I don't care if the "uber-Narnia" is
ever so much more brilliant; it's the imperfect, flawed Narnia that we've
grown to know and love.

> And on the obvious Christian allegories in the Narnia books: the first
> time I read at least _The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe_, I had no
> clue that the Deeper Magic from before the dawn of time that brought Aslan
> back to life had anything to do with Jesus's resurrection. I thought,
> "Hey, cool! Deep magic thwarted by deeper magic! And so Edmund's saved and
> Aslan isn't dead!" And then someone, maybe my mother, told me what it was
> based on, and I felt cheated. And proselytized to. And I object to both of
> those.

That's kind of interesting, because I read and re-read "The Lion, the Witch
and the Wardrobe" several times before it dawned upon me that actually, if
you thought about it, you could make connections between the events in the
book and crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.  And I was thrilled at
having made this connection, and thought it (and I) was really clever.  Of
course, then I discovered that he wrote it that way on purpose, which for
some reason detracted from the thrill.  But I do still remember that first
thrill of what you might call intellectual discovery (I was maybe 10).  I'm
glad no-one told me before I figured it out for myself.  Then, I think I
*would* have felt cheated.  Oddly enough, in the last few years, since I
became a pagan, I find myself enjoying the Narnia books more than I did when
I was an atheist.  There's a lot in them that a pagan can relate to, and the
fact that Lewis didn't intend it that way doesn't bother me one bit.  Even
the death-and-resurrection bit - that comes up in a lot of mythologies, not
just the Christian one.  I think maybe that's why I don't like "The Last
Battle" so much...there's less in it that I can relate to my personal
beliefs.  Or maybe, a better way of putting it would be to say that there's
less in it that is open to more than one interpretation.  As I said before,
re Madeleine l'Engle, I don't like not having room to make my own decision.

Until the sky falls on our heads...

Dorian E. Gray
israfel at

"Some there be that shadows kiss
Such have but a shadow's bliss" -W. Shakespeare

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