I decided to ignore all my Book Expo America books for the moment and (re)read the entire Chronicles of Narnia. I’m pretty sure I’ve read them all before, but I don’t remember more than three or four. I DO remember The Magician’s Nephew being my favorite, though now that I’ve reread it I don’t know why that is. I’m up to #3 (internal chronologically, which is how my omnibus is set up)– The Horse and His Boy– and I’m really enjoying the whole thing.
A few years ago I remember some bloggers talking about Narnia and the underlying Christian themes and how those themes made some people upset. I remember myself being upset and I wrote a comment (I think on Memory’s blog) about how I felt betrayed or something. I don’t feel any of that now; in fact, I kinda LIKE picking out the different Biblical references and seeing how C.S. Lewis explains his POV re:Christianity. Makes me want to read an annotated version or a critical analysis of the series or something. (Anyone have any recommendations regarding that, send ‘em my way.)
I think I’m not upset any more partly because I’m older and less prone to being upset by books, and ALSO because I can see that C.S. Lewis wasn’t trying to make me upset. Maybe we don’t agree about some things (I’m worrying about Susan already, for instance) but that doesn’t mean he wanted to stomp all over my childhood feelings about fantasy lands and the people therein.
That said, I DO have some issues. I think they’re related to Christianity? For example, in The Magician’s Nephew, two humans are made King and Queen over all of Narnia. They’re not from Narnia, they aren’t magical people, and though they’re very nice I can’t help but think that it’d have been less weird for a country filled with magical talking animals/creatures (and one that was CREATED by a magical talking animal/creature, for that matter) to have been ruled over by, like, a talking horse or something. It doesn’t seem right that outsider humans are given domain over Narnia; it’d be like someone from Mars being made president of the United States by Santa Claus.
However! It’s a Biblical thing, right? Like, humans have domain over all animals– I’m sure I remember that from Sunday school– so in the context of the Narnian view of Christianity it makes total sense. Also it DOES set it up for the four Pevensies to be made rulers in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; selected (by Aslan/God) instead of by birthright, see.
Anyway, I’m starting Prince Caspian right now and I expect I’ll be done with the series by the end of the week. I’ve gotten an urge to reread The Magicians, too, and possibly also watch the newer Narnia movies (I’ve only seen the first and that was back when it first came out in 2005).
What are you reading this week?