CS Lewis (Was: Favourite books)

Dorian E. Gray israfel at eircom.net
Sun Dec 12 14:57:33 EST 2004

Ros said...

> 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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