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Jacques

Planet Narnia

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It's a praise of the "simple-ness" of childhood, which I confess I find a bit over-rated. It often seems there are rose colored glasses when it comes to the protagonists.

I don't like any praise of the simpleness of childhood either. My childhood wasn't simple! Maybe my finding the stories "thin", i.e. not fully realized in terms of the character's feelings, etc. the way children's lit often is now, as in Harry Potter, is the same thing you're saying here? Also, its been a few years since I read Narnia.

Edited by Harris-Stone

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I'm not sure we need to believe that Ward has found a special "key" that unlocks a "code", etc. Surely it would be of enormous significance if he had simply discovered a major stream in Lewis's thought and brought it back to our attention, no? It may or may not be oversimplifying to say that each of the Narnia books is specifically tied to a particular planet ... but surely an awareness of the role that baptized medieval astrology played in Lewis's thought can illuminate aspects of the Narnia books that many readers have overlooked until now.

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I'm not sure we need to believe that Ward has found a special "key" that unlocks a "code", etc. Surely it would be of enormous significance if he had simply discovered a major stream in Lewis's thought and brought it back to our attention, no? It may or may not be oversimplifying to say that each of the Narnia books is specifically tied to a particular planet ... but surely an awareness of the role that baptized medieval astrology played in Lewis's thought can illuminate aspects of the Narnia books that many readers have overlooked until now.

Thanks, PTC, that pretty well sums up what I was trying to say.

e2c, never mind the documentary, which--as you say--was doubtless simplistic and sensationalized for commercial purposes. The book is a scholarly work that investigates more widely and in greater depth. Based on the sources and pattern of textual analogues Ward presents, he's not just making this up because it would be a neat theory. And he doesn't try to insist that everything about the Narnia books (or Lewis's other books) fits into it, either.

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N.T. Wright on Planet Narnia.

This introduction to a masterpiece is something of a masterpiece in its own right. Lewis’s ghost (whom Lewis envisaged as a possible benign presence around Magdalene College, Cambridge) has reason to be grateful that the crucial discovery was made by someone capable of expounding it with such subtlety and depth. There are tiny blemishes, of which the reversal of the kappa and chi in the Greek word for character is perhaps the most obvious, but the overall effect is remarkable. Michael Ward has written a book whose “donegality” is the medieval scholarship, the poetic craftsmanship, the philosophical acumen and the imaginative genius of the self-consciously Jovial Lewis himself. It would be a great pity if the still prevailing Saturnine mood of our times, which has belittled and sometimes even reviled Lewis as a thinker, were to blind us to his remarkable literary, philosophical, cosmological and theological achievement.

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N.T. Wright wrote:

: Lewis’s ghost (whom Lewis envisaged as a possible benign presence around Magdalene College, Cambridge) . . .

Heck, never mind what Lewis envisioned -- J.B. Phillips claimed to have actually met it/him!

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N.T. Wright on Planet Narnia.

This introduction to a masterpiece is something of a masterpiece in its own right. Lewis’s ghost (whom Lewis envisaged as a possible benign presence around Magdalene College, Cambridge) has reason to be grateful that the crucial discovery was made by someone capable of expounding it with such subtlety and depth. There are tiny blemishes, of which the reversal of the kappa and chi in the Greek word for character is perhaps the most obvious, but the overall effect is remarkable. Michael Ward has written a book whose “donegality” is the medieval scholarship, the poetic craftsmanship, the philosophical acumen and the imaginative genius of the self-consciously Jovial Lewis himself. It would be a great pity if the still prevailing Saturnine mood of our times, which has belittled and sometimes even reviled Lewis as a thinker, were to blind us to his remarkable literary, philosophical, cosmological and theological achievement.

I couldn't be happier to find that N.T. Wright generally approves of this book. The review is very even-handed. As I think I said before, Ward's book changes Lewis criticism permanently.

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I'd go so far as to say that yes, she's very preoccupied, but who's to say that she'll stay that way?

That's just it! Susan gets another chance.

She doesn't die when the rest do. She lives and has a chance to change before meeting her Maker. If you look at it that way, Lewis is actually being merciful to her. Not by taking her whole family, I don't mean -- but by not taking her at the same time, so she can repent.

And Beth, you make some excellent points, especially with the "Hills" comparison. I think that's exactly what Lewis was trying to portray. He may not have been wholly successful with it, because he's been misunderstood so much. But he wasn't TOTALLY ignorant of the ways of teenage girls -- he actually had known a few in his life -- so I don't think he was truly trying to argue that their growth and development were intrinsically evil.

ETA: Oh, sorry. I just realized what an old post that was. ::blush:: This is such an odd thread; it's always appearing and disappearing. I don't always remember to look at the dates!

Edited by Gina

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Granted -

2nd chance

but still... I'm not sure he really thought through the consequences of it all.

In terms of the devastation she had to face, with losing her entire family in an incredibly traumatic way. Or of how distressing her being left out might be - has been - for many children who've read the books.

Yes, but . . .

sometimes people become so hardened that nothing but devastation will get them to a place where they're ready to call on Christ again. I realize that's a highly unpalatable fact and one that should be handled sensitively and delicately. But sometimes -- unfortunately -- it really is the truth.

Perhaps Lewis thought this out more thoroughly than we did! (And it's not like he was writing from some ivory tower -- he knew firsthand, from his mother's death, how awful it is for a child to lose even one family member.)

Read [em]Letters to Children[/em] sometime -- it's the loveliest little book, and shows that Lewis really did have an understanding of and affection for children.

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