CS Lewis (Was: Favourite books)
Dorian E. Gray
israfel at eircom.net
Tue Dec 14 15:50:33 EST 2004
> The bit that got to me was the bit at the end of *The Last Battle* when
> Calormene soldier meets Aslan, and Aslan tells him, as near as makes no
> odds, that it isn't what you *say* you are worshipping but whether you
> behave in good ways in the process that makes the difference. I took this
> (at about age 8, I suppose) to mean that God was God was God and it didn't
> matter what we call Her, or to put it another way that a good Muslim was
> better than a bad Christian as far as God was concerned. That was
> the message I took away from the Narnia books more than any other, in
Well, yeah. "Evil done in the name of Good is still evil. Good done in the
name of Evil is still good." Quite a lot of people in this world of ours
could stand to remember that, I often think. Or to get down to brass tacks:
"It's not what you say, it's what you do."
Though "The Last Battle" is still my least favourite of the seven.
> After which I found it very difficult to cope with critics of Lewis who
> said he was a bigot, because that was so not-bigotted, to me. It almost
> made up for the horrid bias in *The Horse and His Boy*.
Mm, but that's still one of my favourites. I think I dismiss the bias as
"product of author's times" (which may or may not be an accurate dismissal)
and just enjoy the story. And I have to say that a lot of the depiction of
Calormen seems to me to have come straight out of "The Arabian Nights"!
>>Oh, absolutely. "Always winter and never Christmas", for instance, is an
>>image to strike dread into any heart!
> Well, apart from those of us on the list who either don't celebrate or
> don't enjoy Christmas.
Replace "Christmas" with "Midwinter festival of your choice", please. I
left the phrase intact because it was a quotation; I don't myself celebrate
Christmas. To me the very basic point of whatever most Northern Hemisphere
people are celebrating at this time of year is "hurray, the year has turned;
longer days, spring, renewal, etc. are coming so let's give them a hand
along with celebrations and encouraging candles and so forth". And without
meaning to offend the Christians on the list, I do think you can (or at
least I can) boil Christmas down to fairly much that - the birth of the
Saviour has to be the start of the renewal, no?
> If for instance one of one's near and dear family
> died on Christmas day, it may not thereafter be a day one feels much like
That is true. But I was thinking bigger picture and symbolism and stuff.
> Always winter is a bit daunting, I agree, because after a
> year or so everyone would presumably start to starve.
Depending on how much of a stockplie they had, yes.
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