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CSL & allegory

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  • David Lenander
    CSL also wrote _The Pilgrim s Regress_, which is a lot more allegorical in CSL & JRRT s strict sense than any of the Narnian Chronicles. I think that I ve
    Message 1 of 4 , Mar 4, 2004
      CSL also wrote _The Pilgrim's Regress_, which is a lot more
      "allegorical" in CSL & JRRT's strict sense than any of the Narnian
      Chronicles. I think that I've read some argument somewhere that,
      strictly speaking, even that book isn't really a True Allegory. Of
      course, I'm not sure that _The Pearl_ is, either.

      Note also that CSL wrote a lot of books in which he thought the *story*
      was most important and primary, even if (he said on several occasions)
      other (secondary) meanings must come from and naturally do come from
      the writer's deeper convictions. He seemed to leave open the
      possibility that readers might still enjoy and benefit from the story
      without appreciating or even apprehending the meaning or allegory (in a
      very loose sense of the word). I realize that he also seemed to
      somewhat contradict these positions in the famous "slipping past
      watchful dragons" essay.

      Furthermore, we have many accounts of readers that have read and
      enjoyed the Narnia stories without noticing the Christian content.
      Another thought is that (as both Tolkien and Lewis seemed to
      acknowledge on occasion) little in Christian mythology was unique or
      original, it's just the myth that happens to be true. So, if you work
      at it, you could probably find non-Christian antecedents for most or
      all of the events in LWW in pre-Christian mythology and fairy tale.

      David Lenander / d-lena@... / (651) 292-8887
      2095 Hamline Ave. N.
      Roseville, MN 55113

      http://www.umn.edu/~d-lena/RIVENDELL.html
    • Carl F. Hostetter
      ... Absolutely, but that is because, I submit that both Lewis and Tolkien would say, the Christian elements are there, in the fabric of the story, even if not
      Message 2 of 4 , Mar 4, 2004
        On Mar 4, 2004, at 12:53 PM, David Lenander wrote:

        > He seemed to leave open the possibility that readers might still enjoy
        > and benefit from the story without appreciating or even apprehending
        > the meaning or allegory

        Absolutely, but that is because, I submit that both Lewis and Tolkien
        would say, the Christian elements are there, in the fabric of the
        story, even if not recognized as such by the reader, and that it is
        those elements that speak to that part of the reader (the soul) that
        hungers for such stories, because they are True, again whether this is
        recognized by the reader at a conscious level or not.

        My fear/expectation is that there will be a systematic effort to remove
        those elements from the story (as there was with Jackson's "vision" of
        _The Lord of the Rings_), because they don't conform to the Hollywood
        party line.
      • Christine Howlett
        Well, I m one witness; yes, at the age of 27 I first read the Narnia series and loved them without tying them to any theology. The themes seemed familiar from
        Message 3 of 4 , Mar 4, 2004
          Well, I'm one witness; yes, at the age of 27 I first read the Narnia series
          and loved them without tying them to any theology. The themes seemed
          familiar from other fairy tales and children's books, though exceptionally
          imaginative and well-done. I had been divorced from a church I had been
          barely exposed to, so no wonder I didn't notice CSL's religious leanings. A
          year later I had been baptized and joined the church, and thought, wow, I
          had better re-read those stories; I'm pretty sure I missed something. Since
          it was CSL's Mere Christianity that convinced me to seek out a church, I
          guess maybe something subconscious was at work in the earlier books. Or
          not. They were wonderful both times.
          Christine
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "David Lenander" <d-lena@...>
          To: <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Thursday, March 04, 2004 12:53 PM
          Subject: [mythsoc] CSL & allegory


          > CSL also wrote _The Pilgrim's Regress_, which is a lot more
          > "allegorical" in CSL & JRRT's strict sense than any of the Narnian
          > Chronicles. I think that I've read some argument somewhere that,
          > strictly speaking, even that book isn't really a True Allegory. Of
          > course, I'm not sure that _The Pearl_ is, either.
          >
          > Note also that CSL wrote a lot of books in which he thought the *story*
          > was most important and primary, even if (he said on several occasions)
          > other (secondary) meanings must come from and naturally do come from
          > the writer's deeper convictions. He seemed to leave open the
          > possibility that readers might still enjoy and benefit from the story
          > without appreciating or even apprehending the meaning or allegory (in a
          > very loose sense of the word). I realize that he also seemed to
          > somewhat contradict these positions in the famous "slipping past
          > watchful dragons" essay.
          >
          > Furthermore, we have many accounts of readers that have read and
          > enjoyed the Narnia stories without noticing the Christian content.
          > Another thought is that (as both Tolkien and Lewis seemed to
          > acknowledge on occasion) little in Christian mythology was unique or
          > original, it's just the myth that happens to be true. So, if you work
          > at it, you could probably find non-Christian antecedents for most or
          > all of the events in LWW in pre-Christian mythology and fairy tale.
          >
          > David Lenander / d-lena@... / (651) 292-8887
          > 2095 Hamline Ave. N.
          > Roseville, MN 55113
          >
          > http://www.umn.edu/~d-lena/RIVENDELL.html
          >
          >
          >
          > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
        • dmsherwood_heather
          ... Narnia series ... seemed ... exceptionally ... been ... leanings. A ... wow, I ... something. Since ... church, I ... books. Or ... Of ... *story* ...
          Message 4 of 4 , Mar 8, 2004
            --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Christine Howlett" <chowlett@e...>
            wrote:
            > Well, I'm one witness; yes, at the age of 27 I first read the
            Narnia series
            > and loved them without tying them to any theology. The themes
            seemed
            > familiar from other fairy tales and children's books, though
            exceptionally
            > imaginative and well-done. I had been divorced from a church I had
            been
            > barely exposed to, so no wonder I didn't notice CSL's religious
            leanings. A
            > year later I had been baptized and joined the church, and thought,
            wow, I
            > had better re-read those stories; I'm pretty sure I missed
            something. Since
            > it was CSL's Mere Christianity that convinced me to seek out a
            church, I
            > guess maybe something subconscious was at work in the earlier
            books. Or
            > not. They were wonderful both times.
            > Christine
            > ----- Original Message -----
            > From: "David Lenander" <d-lena@u...>
            > To: <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
            > Sent: Thursday, March 04, 2004 12:53 PM
            > Subject: [mythsoc] CSL & allegory
            >
            >
            > > CSL also wrote _The Pilgrim's Regress_, which is a lot more
            > > "allegorical" in CSL & JRRT's strict sense than any of the Narnian
            > > Chronicles. I think that I've read some argument somewhere that,
            > > strictly speaking, even that book isn't really a True Allegory.
            Of
            > > course, I'm not sure that _The Pearl_ is, either.
            > >
            > > Note also that CSL wrote a lot of books in which he thought the
            *story*
            > > was most important and primary, even if (he said on several
            occasions)
            > > other (secondary) meanings must come from and naturally do come
            from
            > > the writer's deeper convictions. He seemed to leave open the
            > > possibility that readers might still enjoy and benefit from the
            story
            > > without appreciating or even apprehending the meaning or allegory
            (in a
            > > very loose sense of the word). I realize that he also seemed to
            > > somewhat contradict these positions in the famous "slipping past
            > > watchful dragons" essay.
            > >
            > > Furthermore, we have many accounts of readers that have read and
            > > enjoyed the Narnia stories without noticing the Christian content.
            > > Another thought is that (as both Tolkien and Lewis seemed to
            > > acknowledge on occasion) little in Christian mythology was unique
            or
            > > original, it's just the myth that happens to be true. So, if you
            work
            > > at it, you could probably find non-Christian antecedents for most
            or
            > > all of the events in LWW in pre-Christian mythology and fairy
            tale.
            > >
            > > David Lenander / d-lena@u... / (651) 292-8887
            > > 2095 Hamline Ave. N.
            > > Roseville, MN 55113
            > >
            > > http://www.umn.edu/~d-lena/RIVENDELL.html
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
            > > Yahoo! Groups Links
            > >
            > >
            > >Yes Lewis tought that STORY had a value apart from any message.He
            even several times said on the record that sercing for THE MEANING
            could spoil a story
            The message is there but then Lewis would have said that any
            honestly written book even one setting out the case for suppressing
            the Christian Church will witness to Christ,It can't help doing so.(&
            of course the other side of the coin that it is possible to get Evil
            out of the Gospels)
            dmsherwood53@...
            > >
            > >
            > >
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