9.15.2009

#10. The Chronicles of Narnia

[For the Rules, click here.]

"One word, Ma'am," he said, coming back from the fire; limping, because of the pain. "One word. All you've been saying is quite right, I shouldn't wonder. I'm a chap who always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it. So I won't deny any of what you said. But there's one thing more to be said, even so. Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things--trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that's a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We're just babies making up a game, if you're right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That's why I'm going to stand by the play world. I'm on Aslan's side even if there isn't any Aslan to lead it. I'm going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn't any Narnia. So, thanking you kindly for our supper, if these two gentlemen and the young lady are ready, we're leaving your court at once and setting out in the dark to spend our lives looking for Overland. Not that our lives will be very long, I should think; but that's small loss if the world's as dull a place as you say."

Author: C.S. Lewis

Synopsis: Sent to a magnificent old house in the country to escape the air raids in London, the four Pevensie children discover a path through a wardrobe into a different world--a world of magic and danger, where even children must be heroes. Throughout the seven books, the Pevensies turn out to be neither the first nor the last of Adam's sons and Eve's daughters to visit the world; the Seven Friends of Narnia (and the eighth) between them see its beginning, explore its farthest reaches, and witness its end.

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The first time I read Narnia was in the back seat of the family car as we moved from Florida to Montana when I was seven. I got through six and a half of the books on that six-day trip. Since then, I've read all of those books multiple times again, taken one seven-week class on their meanings, and seen two different partial sets of movie adaptations. Now I just need to read Michael Ward's Planet Narnia, and I'll be all set.

Few writers match C.S. Lewis in ability to communicate through their chosen medium. I'll be pretty happy if I do half as well. Lewis understood mythology and Christianity, logic and imagination, and had mastered the tricky art of communicating great complexity with real simplicity. I call that genius.

The Horse and His Boy is probably my favorite of the Chronicles; I've certainly read it the most times. But The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is powerful, too, and The Silver Chair speaks to me very personally. The quote above is from The Silver Chair.

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