Narnia Chat

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Re: Narnia Chat

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon May 16, 2011 10:48 pm

"The word "ass" appears in 4 of the books. Being British, it probably did not mean the same to him as it does to Americans (as a swear word), but he could have left it out, espebliplly since he only used it four times and did use "donkey" in other places. However, considering the filthy state of his mind, it is possible that he thought this cute."

Oh my dear Lord!!!!

GB that is awful and so biased towards a single viewpoint there is nothing there i would risk taking at face value. Whilst I do not doubt Lewis' pagan affections most of what is here is reads like hysterical nonsense to me. Even the representation of the Golden Dawn is flawed.

As for the end of the film and my perceived christianity in it, as I cannot recall how the book ends I have no way of knowing how it plays on the page by comparison, but maybe it was the way it was done on film but I don't know anyone who has seen it who did not think it was a 'Christian ending.' (except for a friends young child who said "does he mean Santa?"

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Re: Narnia Chat

Post by Gandalf's Beard on Mon May 16, 2011 10:59 pm

The first link is actually well researched. Very little of it is actually nonfactual. It is the author's spin that is problematic. But there is some great stuff in it. Check out the section on Sun Worship. The author really nails it.

Don't be put off by the ludicrous Nutty Spin-Job. There is some great information in there that I have personally confirmed, which makes me love Lewis all the more. Very Happy Anyone that Extreme Right Wing Jesus Freaks Hate has to f***** awesome. Cool

GB

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Why the Steven Seagal shooting kids GIF in my signature this last week??? To be perfectly honest, I didn't know why I posted it until tonight! I have been posting a lot on FB the past week about the Culture of Paranoia, Guns, and Violence in the US. The GIF reflected some of my visceral reactions to the School and Mall shootings!

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Re: Narnia Chat

Post by Gandalf's Beard on Mon May 16, 2011 11:12 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:

GB that is awful and so biased towards a single viewpoint there is nothing there i would risk taking at face value. Whilst I do not doubt Lewis' pagan affections most of what is here is reads like hysterical nonsense to me. Even the representation of the Golden Dawn is flawed.

As for the end of the film and my perceived christianity in it, as I cannot recall how the book ends I have no way of knowing how it plays on the page by comparison, but maybe it was the way it was done on film but I don't know anyone who has seen it who did not think it was a 'Christian ending.' (except for a friends young child who said "does he mean Santa?"

Actually, the author is not that far off when it comes to the actual facts regarding The Golden Dawn, again it is the author's Rabid Perspective that is flawed, not necessarily the information it is based on.

As far as the end of VotDT is concerned; I quite agree that most people taking it at face value would only recognize the Christian allegory, not being familiar with Lewis's World-View. Particularly adults, only Children brought up in Christian Households would necessarily make that connection. As I was raised in a firmly Agnostic household, as a child I just thought Aslan meant that he was magically here also. I am not the only Pagan to have been turned into a Pagan by Narnia. A fairly well known Wiccan Author by the pseudonym Starhawk also credits Lewis for turning her into a Pagan.

http://www.beliefnet.com/Entertainment/Movies/The-Chronicles-Of-Narnia-Prince-Caspian/How-Narnia-Made-Me-A-Witch.aspx

GB

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Why the Steven Seagal shooting kids GIF in my signature this last week??? To be perfectly honest, I didn't know why I posted it until tonight! I have been posting a lot on FB the past week about the Culture of Paranoia, Guns, and Violence in the US. The GIF reflected some of my visceral reactions to the School and Mall shootings!

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Re: Narnia Chat

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon May 16, 2011 11:19 pm

I read all the Narnia books as a child blissfully ignorant of all the underlying meanings, being about 7 or 8 when I read them so for me they were just fantastic stories. I probably got more 'english christianity' from the views expressed in the Famous Five, Enid Blyton books I read at the same time than from Lewis. However I've never really considered whether those books influenced my later leanings towards all things mystical. Possibly.

Not got time right now to go through the rest of the links on that page, but I have bookmarked it and will give him a fair hearing. As you say if Lewis can annoy someone like that so much he must have been on to something! Very Happy

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Re: Narnia Chat

Post by Gandalf's Beard on Mon May 16, 2011 11:48 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:I read all the Narnia books as a child blissfully ignorant of all the underlying meanings, being about 7 or 8 when I read them so for me they were just fantastic stories. I probably got more 'english christianity' from the views expressed in the Famous Five, Enid Blyton books I read at the same time than from Lewis. However I've never really considered whether those books influenced my later leanings towards all things mystical. Possibly.


For the most part i had the same experience, except that CS Lewis really made me believe in Magic. And my Magical World-View informs my Mystical side to this day. When I'm not focussed on the facts of Existential Reality (such as Science and Politics) I live in a Magical World in which my Imagination reigns Supreme.

I'm going to post an old short article I wrote for a friend's Blog Website. It needs to be significantly revised and updated as I have learned so much more about CS Lewis since then. But in it's basics, it is a good broad outline that I refer back to in my longstanding attempt to write my own book on the subject.


ARE THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA CHRISTIAN BOOKS?


Clearly, C. S. Lewis was a Christian. Also, it is obvious that he intended The Chronicles of Narnia to reflect Christian themes and ideas. Despite this, he himself did not consider the books to be Christian per se. As some scholars have already pointed out, the Chronicles are not technically allegorical. In fact, Lewis himself, like his friend Tolkien, did not necessarily approve of allegories in some fiction. [Having met at Oxford, Tolkien was perhaps his closest friend and colleague, although their relationship cooled later in their lives. They were both members of the informal literary discussion group known as the Inklings.] It is apparent; however, that some allegory did indeed slip into his books. The most obvious example is Aslan who represents a Christ-like figure. As noted by others, this is not a strictly one to one relationship.

I should note at this point that Lewis was an Anglican in mid 20th century Britain. He was not, by modern American standards, a fundamentalist in any way. His views were nuanced and scholarly, and today in America they might be seen as liberal (though in his time and place they were considered conservative). He did not believe in bullying people into Christianity but gently leading them to Christ through example. His intent then was to use the fairy tale as a didactic device to teach young people in particular the values he believed were Christian.

Lewis had, in fact, been an atheist since his mother’s death and was brought back to Christianity by Tolkien, who was a Catholic and had for a long time been extremely bothered by what he perceived as Lewis's Anti-Catholicism. It is somewhat ironic then that he became a much more fervent promoter of Christianity than Tolkien and odder still that they would both write literature that greatly inspired a neo-pagan revival during the 1960s cultural-revolution that would last until today.

I return now to the question of whether The Chronicles of Narnia are, in fact, “Christian” books. In a word—no—neither by intent or allegory. But this is not the end of the story, for lurking in Lewis’s subconscious we find a passionate pagan that is revealed through a closer reading of the books. First, there is the obvious: he stuffed his fairy tale with characters from Greco-Roman mythology, and also from Celtic and Norse pre-Christian traditions.

Deeper still, an animistic spirit thrives in the Chronicles as the trees, stars and rivers are revealed to be sentient beings. Other deities are referred to, from the river god who destroys a bridge that binds his waters, to the slumbering god of time as he lies in the underworld waiting to be released at the end of Narnia.

Nor should we forget the strong feminine presence that shines through the patriarchal shackles of C. S. Lewis’s intellect, as represented by Lucy, Jill, Polly and Aravis. They are in most respects the moral center of the books and closest to Aslan. Furthermore, they easily overshadow the negative representations of women such as the White Witch, the Green Witch, and poor Susan, who seems to get a bum rap.

When we get to The Magician’s Nephew and, especially, The Last Battle, we find the traces of Eastern religious doctrines, notably Hinduism and Buddhism. For example, the wood between the worlds has a remarkably Buddhist flavor. And in the world of Charn we get a sense of deep time that is strikingly Hindu.

But it is in The Last Battle that the Hindu/Buddhist strain of thought leaps off the page in the form of the god Tash, who strongly resembles Shiva the Destroyer. Aslan himself points out to a prince of Calormen that though he worshipped Tash he was in fact a follower of Aslan all along. Perhaps in the same way as the god Krishna is an “avatar” of the supreme god Vishnu in the Hindu pantheon. In fact, it is interesting to note, given Aslan is the central character in the stories, that one of the early incarnations of Vishnu (“The Great Protector”) was the lion-headed god Narasimha (a solar deity like the many other lion associated resurrected sun gods such as Mithra[s]). This is more than suggestive of the Hindu notion that the Creator and the Destroyer are ultimately different aspects of the same being, which is a function of Hindu monism, the highest level of polytheism.

And, finally, in the New Narnia after the destruction of Old Narnia, reality is revealed as multi-dimensional. As Lewis himself describes it “…like layers of an onion” or like a many faceted jewel that infinitely reflects itself. As the Narnians race “further up and further in,” they reach the Garden which contains yet another Narnia even further up and further in. This continues until they see laid out not just another Narnia but also beyond to our own world and another England further up and further in … whew … exhausting and exhilarating—and existentially Buddhist.

In closing, yes there are Christian themes in the Chronicles of Narnia, but they are a pagan-influenced Christianity that reveals not just the hidden yearning of C. S. Lewis but, as the continuing popularity of the books attest to, a hidden longing in all of us for magic—the magical world-view of animism—and enlightenment; a chance to reach Nirvana and pull back the veil of the world for all of us to see the utmost realm, or, if you will, the Void which contains all realities within, i. e., not “Christian” in a sense that many Christians today would recognize or acknowledge.

When I first starting seriously studying Lewis in a Scholarly manner, I came to the conclusion that CS Lewis was what many Christians call an Inclusivist--which is to say, that like many liberal modern Catholics and Anglicans believe, there is room in heaven for the Non-believer who has led a Good Life. Unlike Conservative and Right Wing Christians who are Exclusivists; for whom Christ is the only way.

Now, I no longer believe that CS Lewis was an Inclusivist.

There is, in fact, a third category: Universalist--or the belief that all Spiritual Paths are valid as long as the practitioner does Good Works. As I have read now a number of biographies with different perspectives, and many of Lewis's own works, including his Christian Apologetics, I have reached the conclusion that Lewis was--for all intents and purposes--a Universalist, a Gnostic of sorts, and most importantly, that his whole World-View is a Magical One, based on his own introduction to Fairy Tales and Pagan Myths as a child.

I don't have any more time for posting at the moment. But when I do, I will post some of my notes, annotations, and excerpts of Lewis's own works that provide the empirical basis for my conclusions.

GB



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Why the Steven Seagal shooting kids GIF in my signature this last week??? To be perfectly honest, I didn't know why I posted it until tonight! I have been posting a lot on FB the past week about the Culture of Paranoia, Guns, and Violence in the US. The GIF reflected some of my visceral reactions to the School and Mall shootings!

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Re: Narnia Chat

Post by odo banks on Tue May 17, 2011 12:40 am

It's my good fortune to see Christianity as a pagan religion. (I even see Judaism that way). Everything else is hair-splitting. I never thought the Narnia books Christian even when I was a teenager when I read most of them. (I read the Magicians Nephew when younger - and liked it. I still think it the best book beside the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The Last Battle was weakest).

As to earlier comments about the movie maybe improving the book, I think this was definitely done with the Prince Caspian movie. The book was a bit lightweight in my opinion. Voyage was probably my second least favorite book, though I enjoyed it more when rereading it fairly recently. The Christianity did not faze me even then. It seems very pagan to me still ---- just like Christianity does, actually. Is that a conundrum? Shocked

C.S. Lewis wasn't really your American Right kind of Christianity. In fact, in my opionion, he was hardly a Christian at all, not in the American Evangelical sense anyhow. I can see why some of those American Christian Cultists would hate him. Me, I simply love him - but not homosexually though. (I only say this just in case Mr Tyrant wants to jump to that silly conclusion. He has priors for such "jumping", as we know Shocked ).

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Re: Narnia Chat

Post by Gandalf's Beard on Tue May 17, 2011 2:14 am

odo banks wrote:It's my good fortune to see Christianity as a pagan religion. (I even see Judaism that way). Everything else is hair-splitting. I never thought the Narnia books Christian even when I was a teenager when I read most of them. (I read the Magicians Nephew when younger - and liked it. I still think it the best book beside the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The Last Battle was weakest).

As to earlier comments about the movie maybe improving the book, I think this was definitely done with the Prince Caspian movie. The book was a bit lightweight in my opinion. Voyage was probably my second least favorite book, though I enjoyed it more when rereading it fairly recently. The Christianity did not faze me even then. It seems very pagan to me still ---- just like Christianity does, actually. Is that a conundrum? Shocked

C.S. Lewis wasn't really your American Right kind of Christianity. In fact, in my opionion, he was hardly a Christian at all, not in the American Evangelical sense anyhow. I can see why some of those American Christian Cultists would hate him. Me, I simply love him - but not homosexually though. (I only say this just in case Mr Tyrant wants to jump to that silly conclusion. He has priors for such "jumping", as we know Shocked ).

Yes...well...Christianity stole all the best bits from Pagan religions. But don't tell most Christians that, for they will never cop to it. Rolling Eyes I should know, I tried that thesis out on Christians when I was dabbling with Theosophy. And nearly every major denomination categorically denies that. So, really, it's not "hairsplitting" at all to point out the distinctions. Such "piddling" distinctions are what Exclusivists, and even many Inclusivists thrive on. The problem is that they believe that they are Monotheists.

Pointing out that their definition of the Trinity as 3 "Persons" amounts to a confession of Polytheism will get you nowhere. So one simply has to take Christians at their word and ignore the fact that they hold two mutually exclusive ideas--at least according to their self-defined views (of course Polytheism and Monotheism can be complementary concepts as they are in Hinduism, but Christians don't hold to that view. Also, the Trinity and Monotheism can be reconciled another way--by positing that God, like Humans, has a Physical Body, Spirit (i.e. Energy, the animating force of life), and Soul (which is another way to say Mind). Mind, Body, Spirit; these are defining principles of the Eastern system of thought. I thought i was being helpful ; offering them an out, a way to have their Trinity and their Monotheism too, without having to concoct a Pretzel as imagined by Escher as their Metaphysic. Rolling Eyes Silly me. They weren't having any of that. So, take them at their word and be done with it.

As to Judaism, I disagree, with some qualifications. Trying to use the term pagan in the fashion you are, completely erases the meanings of the word (there is more than one definition, but all are related). What you are really trying to say is that (nearly) ALL Religions are based, to varying degrees, on Magical Thinking and the Reliance on Faith alone to carry the day, with no evidence (and none necessary) to support their views. If you had said that, I would agree with you wholeheartedly. But that is not the same as attempting to say all religions are pagan.

The Mythology of the 2 versions of Genesis found in the Bible demonstrate a clear transition from a Polytheist view to a Monotheist view. Originally, the Hebrews shared the regional theological beliefs of their time; as imagined in Sumer/Babylonian Mythology. In fact, the second version of Genesis picks up where Gilgamesh, and the Enuma Elish, leave off. The Sky God Marduk slays Tiamat and declares himself the One God above all other Gods. The plural Elohim in Genesis 1 becomes Yahweh Elohim, or Lord of the Gods. The basics of Polytheism are still there, but now the dynamic has shifted.

Even by Moses' time, the 10 Commandments is most concerned about explicitly declaring that Yahweh is the One God above all other Gods, which implies that the Hebrews still had a concept framed in Polytheism. But that is essentially the last we ever hear of Polytheism in the Tanakh. from that point on, there are no other Gods. Full Stop. Period. Moses has a maniacal fit when--after hanging out with a talking Burning Bush that carves out the 10 commandments--he returns from the mountain to find the Hebrews are partying it up, having orgies and building Golden Calves to honour Baal. No More Gods...just GOD.

The Hebrews have finally converted to Monotheism and cast off their Sinful Polytheistic Pagan ways. So the distinction is very clear...Monotheism is not Pagan by definition.

GB

PS: As turns out, because of the way Christians conceptualize the Trinity, neither Judaism nor Islam recognizes Christianity as a truly monotheistic religion. They tend to see Christianity as a Pagan Polytheist Perversion of the Abrahamic Religion. They are essentially correct on that score Wink (maybe not on the Perversion part though).

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Why the Steven Seagal shooting kids GIF in my signature this last week??? To be perfectly honest, I didn't know why I posted it until tonight! I have been posting a lot on FB the past week about the Culture of Paranoia, Guns, and Violence in the US. The GIF reflected some of my visceral reactions to the School and Mall shootings!

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Re: Narnia Chat

Post by odo banks on Tue May 17, 2011 2:31 am

Well put arguments GB - but still of the hair splitting type. Examine your Old Testament texts more closely. NO sense of polytheism anywhere after Moses? Come on now...

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Re: Narnia Chat

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue May 17, 2011 9:07 am

umm this is off topic I know but its connected to the Jesus link GB provided- I couldn't help myself but have a nosey round the site. I think my favourite passage so far is this ;

'American women today are sex pigs—They spread their legs on stage with seducing imprudent looks on their faces, gyrating like complete idiots, jumping around in sensual positions, sticking their tongues out of their mouth like dogs, exposing their bodies and causing men to greatly lust upon them. Sadly, this is a commonly accepted practice nowadays in cheerleading, theatre shows, plays, skating, and by Country and Rock performers. It's a disgrace upon America. We are a nation of pornographic filth, lewd women, and sexual perversion. No wonder sexual sins are at epidemic levels in America. Those little whores are driving men crazy!'

Someone has been spending to much time in a darkened room havung urges and self loathing! This person needs to crack on off, open the curtains and go outside and meet some people before their repressed urges lead them to picking up a gun and shooting down 'whores'. After all it can't be the writers fault when its so clearlty the fault of those teasing little filthbags! Oh dear, oh dear.

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Re: Narnia Chat

Post by Ringdrotten on Tue May 17, 2011 11:12 am

I don't see the problem with women like that Wink

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Re: Narnia Chat

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue May 17, 2011 11:18 am

Sadly I never seem to meet enough women like this! Maybe i should hang about with more Christians- they seem to see them everywhere they go.

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Re: Narnia Chat

Post by Ringdrotten on Tue May 17, 2011 11:25 am

I have been blessed with the company of such girls for 17 days now! But alas, the russefeiring is over. The ladies (and the gents) no longer have an excuse for unrespectable behaviour seven days a week. Time to dust of the old school books again! study

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Re: Narnia Chat

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue May 17, 2011 11:29 am

Well at least you survived it! And have the memories- or more likely in this disrespectable modern age stored all the best 'memories' on your phone! Oh to be young again!
(Actually scrap that last thought- on balance I prefer being old and crabbit, its less trouble).

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Re: Narnia Chat

Post by Ringdrotten on Tue May 17, 2011 11:44 am

Very Happy Laughing

Some nights I remember less from than others, but I've still got a fair share of good memories Wink Last night was particularly fun Very Happy We were all at the traditional May 16th football game in the city (our team plays a match that day every year, and it's about the only match of the year where no seats are free), and our team didn't play very well. So when the other team, Haugesund, scored, we changed our dialects to the dialect spoken in Haugesund, and told the security folks we had gone to the wrong tribune (that's the word for it, right?) and that we wanted to go sit with the Haugesund-supporters.

We managed to convince them we were telling the truth, and suddenly we're in the middle of all these guys looking at us like we were supporters of the other team (they were right about that, I guess. They recognized the clothes used by the russ, and there were no russ with the Haugesund-lot). Still, we sat down, no trouble yet. Then our friends from the other side start shouting our names, cheering and all that. Nearly started a brawl in there, so the guards threw us out. It was a bad game after all, so we weren't too sorry about it Laughing

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Re: Narnia Chat

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue May 17, 2011 11:56 am

Very Happy Can't imagine trying that at a Rangers v Celtic match. Brawl?- war more like and likelihood of you coming back out alive less than 0!
Still sounds like fun, in a nearly started a riot sort of a way- are you sure you have no Scotshobbit blood in you Ringdrotten?

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Re: Narnia Chat

Post by Ringdrotten on Tue May 17, 2011 12:06 pm

Might just have some! Perhaps one of them vikings brought a nice Scottish lady home one time, who knows Laughing

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Re: Narnia Chat

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue May 17, 2011 12:12 pm

"a nice Scottish lady"- Ringdrotten.

Boy they must have got lucky there! Very Happy Sure you don't mean a crabbit, rip your face off for looking at her wrong Scottish lady, they are far more common.

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Re: Narnia Chat

Post by Ringdrotten on Tue May 17, 2011 12:20 pm

lol!

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Re: Narnia Chat

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue May 17, 2011 12:24 pm

See tv programmes thread for the evidence. I wish it was but in jest! Feminism in Scotland has always had a tendancy to be delivered at the end of a manicured fist!

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Re: Narnia Chat

Post by Eldorion on Tue May 17, 2011 5:03 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Someone has been spending to much time in a darkened room havung urges and self loathing!

Hello, welcome to Jesusland. Very Happy
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Re: Narnia Chat

Post by Gandalf's Beard on Tue May 17, 2011 6:10 pm

Eldorion wrote:
Pettytyrant101 wrote:Someone has been spending to much time in a darkened room havung urges and self loathing!

Hello, welcome to Jesusland. Very Happy

Bwa Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha ha!!!! That's brilliant Eldo!!! Very Happy

I'm certain that the kids of Southpark (with the exception of Cartman) will emigrate to Pacificstan when they are old enough!

GB

PS: I told you (Petty) that those sites are entertaining. They are a real slice of American Apple Pie...served with Poo Cream (instead of Whipped or Ice Cream).

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Re: Narnia Chat

Post by odo banks on Thu May 19, 2011 12:17 am

Not hobbit food at all, I'd say! Shocked

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Re: Narnia Chat

Post by leelee on Tue Jun 28, 2011 3:35 am

Eldorion wrote:
Gandalf's Beard wrote:After all, CS Lewis and Tolkien were pals.

On the other hand, Tolkien did say in Letter 265 that "It is sad that 'Nania' and all that part of C.S.L's work should remain outside the range of my sympathy, as much of my work was outside his."

Though I don't entirely agree with that sentiment. Wink

I don't quite understand where the professor was coming from when he said , 'as much of my work was outside his.' I wonder at that since he says clearly that it was Jack who pestered him , encouraged him, comforted him prodded him along to complete his work. He mentions somewhere I think that but for Jack he might not have finished the thing, something like that. If so, why would Jack bother at all to do this if John Ruel's work was 'outside his range of sympathy'? Shocked
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Re: Narnia Chat

Post by Orwell on Tue Jun 28, 2011 3:50 am

I think it had something to do with Lewis' carelessness. I don't think Lewis was very methodical in his approach, pinching ideas from left, right and centre with no grand schemes and histories behind his stories. This might be what Tolkien was really alluding to. I think he found the Narnia books slapdash with too many contrasting ideas mixed together in the one pot.

I also think, though, that Tolkiens style in The Hobbit (and Roverrandom and other tales of his) was not all that dissimilar to Lewis in his Narnia books, so, indeed, the idea that 'as much of my work was outside his" is not perfectly true. I think it was as much about Tolkien being annoyed at Lewis trying to steal his thunder, so to speak. In Lewis's defence, he only did what Tolkien did, got inspired by others, with special impetus given by his love of Tolkien's, "Hobbit". Tolkien should have felt complimented, not aggrieved in my opinion.

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Re: Narnia Chat

Post by Orwell on Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:43 pm

Yes, I think you're right, Orwie. Nod

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