Narnia comments, including spoilers

Margaret E Parks meparks at mtholyoke.edu
Thu Sep 14 23:15:58 EDT 2000


I suppose it might surprise people to know that my favorite is Magician's
Nephew--I've gotten the sense that I'm probably alone in that.  The one I
remember not liking the most (and it's been ages since I read them) is
Voyage of the Dawn Treader.  I don't remember why.  I do remember that I
really hated what happened to the older girl--Susan, right?  It depressed
me beyond words that she just sort of forgot and went on with her
perfectly horribly ordinary life.  I wonder what the religious message is
in that?

On Thu, 14 Sep 2000, Dorian E. Gray wrote:

> Date: Thu, 14 Sep 2000 21:44:40 +0100
> From: Dorian E. Gray <israfel at eircom.net>
> Reply-To: dwj at suberic.net
> To: dwj at suberic.net
> Subject: RE: Narnia comments, including spoilers
> 
> 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
> be.
> 
> > 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
> curious.)
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > 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.
> --
> Dorian E. Gray
> israfel at eircom.net
> 
> "Some there be that shadows kiss
> Such have but a shadow's bliss" -W. Shakespeare
> 
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