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Narnia fever

The New Yorker has a long piece on C.S. Lewis. If anything, the article exemplifies the superficial understanding of Christianity common among educated Westerners: as a religious fantasy without any present reality. To some degree, the article makes one wonder whether Lewis himself struggled with the same temptation. On the contrary the real presence of God in the world through sacramental signs is completely obvious in the works of Tolkien, but that seems to be beyond the understanding of the New Yorker's critic.

Reader Comments (4)

Sloppy article. It gets the title of Lewis's grief memoir wrong. It's not “A Grief Portrayed,” but "a Grief Observed." Calling the Space Trilogy "science fiction against science" is pretty clever, but I'm not sure that the epithet fits entirely. I also think that Perelandra is much better than the article admits.

Rhetorically, the article brilliantly builds upon Tolkien's criticism of Lewis's use of allegory, but then uses that argument to advance nihilism. I don't think that Tolkien's criticism of Lewis's allegory is entirely fair. JRRT had his own fish to fry and one of them was his theory of subcreation.

Allegory, and even Lewis's allegory, has certain weaknesses and flaws, but Narnia is the profound fruit of a Christian life (a sinful and flawed life, no doubt). I'm not quite ready to write off Dante, Milton, and George MacDonald either.

November 19, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterDeep Furrows

David Quinn in his book Iris Exiled: A Synoptic History of Wonder claims that one of the symptoms of the decay of wonder is the rise of fantasy. We create new worlds when we lose sight of the real one. I'm not sure whether I agree, but here's the book:


November 19, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterSanti

err, it's Dennis Quinn.

November 19, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterSanti

http://www.getreligion.org/?p=1193" REL="nofollow">Get Religion weighs in

November 24, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterDeep Furrows

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