CS Lewis (Was: Favourite books)
Dorian E. Gray
israfel at eircom.net
Sun Dec 12 14:57:33 EST 2004
> In many ways my relationship with them is similar to yours, Katie. When I
> first read the _The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe_ (around the age of
> 11 or 12) I didn't specifically know about the Christian subtext either
> (though I did sense there was preaching going) and when I did learn over
> the following years about it, when I read the other Narnian books, it made
> me feel uncomfortable, though on another level it didn't interfere with my
> love of the books.
I came across Narnia when I was 7 or 8 and my father read them to me and my
brother as bedtime stories, a chapter a night. I think I was about 14 when
it dawned on me that the death and resurrection of Aslan could match up with
Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection, and I felt frightfully clever for
figuring that out.
Though I'm now a pagan, I don't find the Christian allegory in the books
bothers me at all; there's a fair bit of paganism in them too (look at
Bacchus and the Maenads in "Prince Caspian"), and I tend to feel that the
"teachings" of the stories can be seen (or at least I see them) as fairly
universal - Christianity, after all, does not have a monopoly on the ideas
of "don't lie, cheat, steal, be mean to people" any more than it has a
monopoly on the idea that willing self-sacrifice can be extremely powerful.
(To take a couple of examples.)
> The allure of the Narnian books, I think, may lie in the fact that the
> images and emotions of the books do hold a strong imaginative power in
> their own right.
Oh, absolutely. "Always winter and never Christmas", for instance, is an
image to strike dread into any heart!
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