19397Re: Planet Narnia
- Feb 7, 2008Sorry, yes, it's Hulst, not Orff. I regularly get the two confused.
I attended a lecture offered by Dr. Ward in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in
mid-January in which he presented the thesis of his book. It was interesting
that he took the time to go on a four-point "detour", as he called it, in
order to "set up our minds", so to speak, to be as receptive as possible for
his thesis. I think he's quite aware of the kinds of objections that will
typically be raised.
Ward gave us a hand-out with 5 quotes from Lewis works as part of his
detour. These are:
1. a section from The Discarded Image (ch. 5) (1935);
2. the "descent of the gods" section of ch. 15 from That Hideous
3. a quote from "The Alliterative Metre" from Selected Literary Essays(1935)
4. a part of a poet, 'The Planets' from Collected Poems (1935);
5. a quote about Jupiter from Arthruian Torso (1948), chapter 4.
More about these later.
Ward disagrees with a subconscious inclusion because of the above quoted
texts. As to "a scholar finding what he's looking for", the way Ward
described it was that he was reading "The Planets" poem and happened upon
the following lines:
"Of wrath ended
And woes mended, of winter passed
And guilt forgiven, and good fortune
Jove is master; and of jocund revel,
Laughter of ladies. The lion-hearted,
The myriad minded, men like the gods,
Helps and heroes, helms of nations
Just and gentle, are Jove's children,
Work his wonders. On his wide forehead
Calm and kingly, no care darkens
Nor wrath wrinkles: but righteous power
And leisure and largess their loose splendours
Have wrapped around him - a rich mantle
Of ease and empire."
Ward read these lines, he told us, and a recognition occurred; he found
himself thinking, "Have I not read such things in Lewis somewhere else?"
And then he reread The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and found this poem
written there, theme for theme, in a children's story.
Ward said that Lewis only intended originally to write the one book. From
Lewis, "The characters of the planets, as conceived by medieval astrology,
seem to me to have a permanent value as spiritual symbols - to provide
des Geistes which is specially worth while in our own generation. Of Saturn
we know more than enough. But who does not need to be reminded of Jove?" -
this from The Alliterative Metre.
Ward said that Lewis seems to have intended to represent God in the aspect
of Jove, incognito as it were. The reference to Saturn, is, of course, a
reference to the first world war.
So Jove is known as "Fortuna Major" and became the first and only intended
story; but Lewis found that he enjoyed himself so much in the writing that
he decided to do another and picked first "Fortuna Minor", that is, Venus.
Apparently, The Magician's Nephew, with its Garden of the Hesperides, was
the Venus story Lewis took up next but apparently had great difficulties
presenting to pre-adolescents. It was the last story he finished, but the
Ward made a point of showing how the seeming incongruousness of Father
Christmas and fauns, for example, coming from two different myths, is
answered by this harmonizing theme of Jove: Father Christmas is a jovial
figure, perhaps the most jovial in the modern era.
There was much more, but I would not belabor you.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- << Previous post in topic Next post in topic >>