CS Lewis (Was: Favourite books)

Margaret Ball margaret at onr.com
Sun Dec 12 21:29:21 EST 2004

> My experience with the Narnia books was a bit off from the usual. I 
> first encountered - completely by accident - The Magician's Nephew in 
> the public Library when I was about 9. Enjoyed it a lot and never 
> could find it again to reread it. 

> Fast-forward to age 11 or 12 at a friend's house and picking up her 
> copy of Lion, Witch and Wardrobe. Something about it struck me as 
> vaguely familiar from the get-go (probably the style) even though I 
> was sure I had never read it before. Borrowed the book. Was completely 
> aware once I got into the story that not only was this the *Easter* 
> story, but I was delighted to find that it was the *same world* as 
> that book I had never been able to find again! 

That's eerily similar to my experience. I think it was our third grade 
teacher who read a story to us aloud in the waiting time between the 
official end of school and the arrival of school buses.....and one of 
the books she read was Lion, Witch and Wardrobe. At that age I didn't 
really pay attention to the fact that she was reading from a book with a 
title and an author; it was just "ok, we have a few minutes of Story 
Time at the end of the day."  Because I had to take a city bus to get 
home, rather than a school bus, I had to leave earlier than the other 
kids and only got disconnected bits of the story, but for years I 
remembered it as something magical and beautiful that I wanted again. 
Then in, I think my early teens a friend was given a copy of Lion, Witch 
andWardrobe for Christmas and - it was almost as good as actually going 
through the wardrobe into Narnia - I realized that the magical world of 
my memory had been created by a real author and I knew his name and I 
could find the book and own it.

And then I found out that there were *more* Narnia books....   tracking 
down obscure English children's books wasn't easy when you lived in the 
Bible Belt in the early 60's, but I managed to accumulate the complete set.

My mother made disapproving noises about the Christian allegory and 
tried to poke logical holes in it - I think she was afraid I'd Get 
Saved.  It never bothered me. the Christian  stuff was so lightweight 
compared to the heavyhanded Bible  Belt people who surrounded me at school.

I saw a bumper sticker the other day that would be perfect for her, 
except that she doesn't drive any more: "MILITANT AGNOSITC. I don't know 
and you don't either."

Margaret Ball

Mathematicians are like Frenchmen; whatever you say to them they translate into their own language and forthwith it is something entirely different.


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