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CSL on live-action Aslan: "Blasphemy"

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  • Patrick H. Wynne
    Here s something interesting from the BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/4481756.stm In a nutshell, a 1959 letter by C.S. Lewis to BBC producer
    Message 1 of 23 , Nov 30, 2005
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      Here's something interesting from the BBC:

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/4481756.stm

      In a nutshell, a 1959 letter by C.S. Lewis to BBC producer
      Lance Sieveking (who had done a radio version of "The
      Magician's Nephew" which met with Lewis's approval) includes
      comments by Lewis that he was "absolutely opposed" to a live-
      action tv version, and that "anthropomorphic animals, when taken
      out of narrative into actual visibility, always turn into buffoonery
      or nightmare."

      Lewis also says that a "human, pantomime" version of Aslan
      would be "blasphemy".

      Yikes!

      -- Pat
    • Stolzi
      ... From: Patrick H. Wynne ... I think we have to realize what a pantomime version would mean: a human actor on his hind legs in a
      Message 2 of 23 , Nov 30, 2005
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        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Patrick H. Wynne" <pwynne@...>



        > Here's something interesting from the BBC:
        >
        > http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/4481756.stm
        >
        > In a nutshell, a 1959 letter by C.S. Lewis to BBC producer
        > Lance Sieveking (who had done a radio version of "The
        > Magician's Nephew" which met with Lewis's approval) includes
        > comments by Lewis that he was "absolutely opposed" to a live-
        > action tv version, and that "anthropomorphic animals, when taken
        > out of narrative into actual visibility, always turn into buffoonery
        > or nightmare."
        >
        > Lewis also says that a "human, pantomime" version of Aslan
        > would be "blasphemy".

        I think we have to realize what a "pantomime" version would mean: a human
        actor on his hind legs in a clumsy lion suit. Quoting from a post of mine
        to SpareOom:

        'If we read the actual letter we find that Lewis' objection was to live
        action TV, not so much to
        cartoons (if they could be good ones; his feelings about Disney cartoons
        were mixed) and he spoke specifically of a pantomime-animal Aslan, which is
        of course not the same as a CGI Aslan. And he wrote approving the BBC radio
        dramatization, so obviously he wasn't against =all= adaptations.'

        While I have very mixed feelings about the upcoming movie, I don't think we
        can extrapolate from this letter that Lewis would have considered it
        "blasphemy."

        Diamond Proudbrook
      • Lezlie
        Is it possible to send along the URL of the Literary site mentioned in the article where the letter has been posted? Thanks, Lezlie
        Message 3 of 23 , Nov 30, 2005
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          Is it possible to send along the URL of the "Literary site" mentioned
          in the article where the letter has been posted? Thanks, Lezlie

          -- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Patrick H. Wynne" <pwynne@g...> wrote:
          >
          > Here's something interesting from the BBC:
          >
          > http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/4481756.stm
          >
          > In a nutshell, a 1959 letter by C.S. Lewis to BBC producer
          > Lance Sieveking (who had done a radio version of "The
          > Magician's Nephew" which met with Lewis's approval) includes
          > comments by Lewis that he was "absolutely opposed" to a live-
          > action tv version, and that "anthropomorphic animals, when taken
          > out of narrative into actual visibility, always turn into buffoonery
          > or nightmare."
          >
          > Lewis also says that a "human, pantomime" version of Aslan
          > would be "blasphemy".
          >
          > Yikes!
          >
          > -- Pat
          >
        • David Bratman
          Tolkien had a similar opinion of such mechanical gimmicks: I once saw a so-called children s pantomime , the straight story of Puss-in-Boots, with even the
          Message 4 of 23 , Nov 30, 2005
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            Tolkien had a similar opinion of such mechanical gimmicks:

            "I once saw a so-called 'children's pantomime', the straight story of
            Puss-in-Boots, with even the metamorphosis of the ogre into a mouse. Had
            this been mechanically successful it would either have terrified the
            spectators or else have been just a turn of high-class conjuring. As it
            was, though done with some ingenuity of lighting, disbelief had not so much
            to be suspended as hung, drawn, and quartered."


            At 01:12 PM 11/30/2005 +0000, Patrick H. Wynne wrote:
            >Here's something interesting from the BBC:
            >
            >http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/4481756.stm
            >
            >In a nutshell, a 1959 letter by C.S. Lewis to BBC producer
            >Lance Sieveking (who had done a radio version of "The
            >Magician's Nephew" which met with Lewis's approval) includes
            >comments by Lewis that he was "absolutely opposed" to a live-
            >action tv version, and that "anthropomorphic animals, when taken
            >out of narrative into actual visibility, always turn into buffoonery
            >or nightmare."
            >
            >Lewis also says that a "human, pantomime" version of Aslan
            >would be "blasphemy".
          • Patrick Wynne
            ... Ask, and ye shall receive: http://www.nthposition.com/ -- Pat
            Message 5 of 23 , Nov 30, 2005
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              On Nov 30, 2005, at 10:28 AM, Lezlie wrote:

              > Is it possible to send along the URL of the "Literary site" mentioned
              > in the article where the letter has been posted? Thanks, Lezlie

              Ask, and ye shall receive:

              http://www.nthposition.com/

              -- Pat
            • Hugh Davis
              I did not know about this radio version. Were the other Chronicles adapted during Lewis lifetime? Do any copies exist? Hugh
              Message 6 of 23 , Dec 1, 2005
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                I did not know about this radio version. Were the other Chronicles adapted
                during Lewis' lifetime? Do any copies exist?

                Hugh


                >From: David Bratman <dbratman@...>
                >Reply-To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                >To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                >Subject: Re: [mythsoc] CSL on live-action Aslan: "Blasphemy"
                >Date: Wed, 30 Nov 2005 10:10:38 -0800
                >
                >Tolkien had a similar opinion of such mechanical gimmicks:
                >
                >"I once saw a so-called 'children's pantomime', the straight story of
                >Puss-in-Boots, with even the metamorphosis of the ogre into a mouse. Had
                >this been mechanically successful it would either have terrified the
                >spectators or else have been just a turn of high-class conjuring. As it
                >was, though done with some ingenuity of lighting, disbelief had not so much
                >to be suspended as hung, drawn, and quartered."
                >
                >
                >At 01:12 PM 11/30/2005 +0000, Patrick H. Wynne wrote:
                > >Here's something interesting from the BBC:
                > >
                > >http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/4481756.stm
                > >
                > >In a nutshell, a 1959 letter by C.S. Lewis to BBC producer
                > >Lance Sieveking (who had done a radio version of "The
                > >Magician's Nephew" which met with Lewis's approval) includes
                > >comments by Lewis that he was "absolutely opposed" to a live-
                > >action tv version, and that "anthropomorphic animals, when taken
                > >out of narrative into actual visibility, always turn into buffoonery
                > >or nightmare."
                > >
                > >Lewis also says that a "human, pantomime" version of Aslan
                > >would be "blasphemy".
                >
              • David Bratman
                ... Walter Hooper s Lewis Companion lists the 1959 LWW as the only Chronicle radio dramatization in Lewis s lifetime. (There have been others since.) It says
                Message 7 of 23 , Dec 1, 2005
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                  At 06:39 AM 12/1/2005 -0500, Hugh Davis wrote:
                  >I did not know about this radio version. Were the other Chronicles adapted
                  >during Lewis' lifetime? Do any copies exist?

                  Walter Hooper's Lewis Companion lists the 1959 LWW as the only Chronicle
                  radio dramatization in Lewis's lifetime. (There have been others since.)
                  It says nothing about whether it still exists in any form (a lot of radio
                  in those days was live and never recorded).

                  DB
                • Jonathan Michael Reiter
                  That s true. It was only just recently that I myself heard about the BBC s practice of throwing out old videotape recordings or recording over them... Ouch.
                  Message 8 of 23 , Dec 1, 2005
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                    That's true. It was only just recently that I myself heard about the BBC's practice of throwing out old videotape recordings or recording over them... Ouch. Just think about all the cool old TV shows that will be seen again...
                    Atomtetsuwan2002
                    at2k2
                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: David Bratman
                    To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Thursday, December 01, 2005 12:56 PM
                    Subject: Re: [mythsoc] CSL on live-action Aslan: "Blasphemy"


                    At 06:39 AM 12/1/2005 -0500, Hugh Davis wrote:
                    >I did not know about this radio version. Were the other Chronicles adapted
                    >during Lewis' lifetime? Do any copies exist?

                    Walter Hooper's Lewis Companion lists the 1959 LWW as the only Chronicle
                    radio dramatization in Lewis's lifetime. (There have been others since.)
                    It says nothing about whether it still exists in any form (a lot of radio
                    in those days was live and never recorded).

                    DB



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                  • Hugh Davis
                    Thank you. I need to read up on this in the Companion. I d love to find out more about the production. Does the fact their only take was MN suggest they were
                    Message 9 of 23 , Dec 3, 2005
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                      Thank you. I need to read up on this in the Companion. I'd love to find out
                      more about the production.

                      Does the fact their only take was MN suggest they were following the
                      chronology (just to stir that pot)?


                      >From: David Bratman <dbratman@...>
                      >Reply-To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                      >To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                      >Subject: Re: [mythsoc] CSL on live-action Aslan: "Blasphemy"
                      >Date: Thu, 01 Dec 2005 10:56:17 -0800
                      >
                      >At 06:39 AM 12/1/2005 -0500, Hugh Davis wrote:
                      > >I did not know about this radio version. Were the other Chronicles
                      >adapted
                      > >during Lewis' lifetime? Do any copies exist?
                      >
                      >Walter Hooper's Lewis Companion lists the 1959 LWW as the only Chronicle
                      >radio dramatization in Lewis's lifetime. (There have been others since.)
                      >It says nothing about whether it still exists in any form (a lot of radio
                      >in those days was live and never recorded).
                      >
                      >DB
                      >
                    • WendellWag@aol.com
                      In a message dated 12/3/2005 8:11:01 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, HughHDavis@hotmail.com writes: Does the fact their only take was MN suggest they were
                      Message 10 of 23 , Dec 3, 2005
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                        In a message dated 12/3/2005 8:11:01 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
                        HughHDavis@... writes:

                        Does the fact their only take was MN suggest they were following the
                        chronology (just to stir that pot)?



                        That's unlikely. Until the books were re-ordered in the mid-1990's by the
                        publishers, hardly anyone even thought about the books being ordered in any
                        way except for the publication order. The only reason that the books got
                        re-ordered is that Douglas Gresham, who essentially controls any decisions by the
                        Estate, decided that he liked the new ordering. The letter that they
                        constantly cite is a hopelessly flimsy excuse. Lewis never communicated any thought
                        about re-ordering the books to anyone else except that one child, and that
                        doesn't sound like anything except him being nice to the kid.

                        Wendell Wagner


                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Mike Foster
                        We discussed this yesterday when Far Westfarthing smial discussed LWW. Gresham had defended his re-ordering at Belmont University s CSL conference Nov. 3.
                        Message 11 of 23 , Dec 3, 2005
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                          We discussed this yesterday when Far Westfarthing smial discussed LWW.
                          Gresham had defended his re-ordering at Belmont University's CSL
                          conference Nov. 3. Applauders included me. Though I had tried
                          severally to read in the publication order, never got further than VotDT.

                          Bought the reordered set & sped through those puppies.

                          LWW: having re-read it for 3rd? time for smial, it was both better and
                          worse than I remembered it was. It will make a smashing film of the
                          Action Jackson variety.

                          Can we have Mythsoc prize for Most Tolkien Ripoffs in LWW Noted?
                          I stopped counting at ten, but I'm sure we can find more.

                          Jo & I did a dramatic reading of the Ruth Pitter-CSL debate re:
                          catechesis on the Beavers' hospitality that RP records in Hooper's CSL
                          Companion in 'Who's Who' to amuse the group. Twice.

                          To better understand Aslan, observe sparrows at a bird feeder when a big
                          scarlet tom cardinal flies up.

                          Cheers,
                          Mike

                          Guess who won both debates?

                          WendellWag@... wrote:

                          >
                          >In a message dated 12/3/2005 8:11:01 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
                          >HughHDavis@... writes:
                          >
                          >Does the fact their only take was MN suggest they were following the
                          >chronology (just to stir that pot)?
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >That's unlikely. Until the books were re-ordered in the mid-1990's by the
                          >publishers, hardly anyone even thought about the books being ordered in any
                          >way except for the publication order. The only reason that the books got
                          >re-ordered is that Douglas Gresham, who essentially controls any decisions by the
                          >Estate, decided that he liked the new ordering. The letter that they
                          >constantly cite is a hopelessly flimsy excuse. Lewis never communicated any thought
                          >about re-ordering the books to anyone else except that one child, and that
                          >doesn't sound like anything except him being nice to the kid.
                          >
                          >Wendell Wagner
                          >
                          >
                          >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                          >Yahoo! Groups Links
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                        • juliet@firinn.org
                          ... Er, doesn t the mail below say the 1959 LWW and nothing about Magician s Nephew? Maybe I missed something.
                          Message 12 of 23 , Dec 3, 2005
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                            On Sat, Dec 03, 2005 at 08:09:22AM -0500, Hugh Davis wrote:
                            > Thank you. I need to read up on this in the Companion. I'd love to find out
                            > more about the production.
                            >
                            > Does the fact their only take was MN suggest they were following the
                            > chronology (just to stir that pot)?

                            Er, doesn't the mail below say "the 1959 LWW" and nothing about
                            Magician's Nephew? Maybe I missed something.
                            >
                            >
                            > >From: David Bratman <dbratman@...>
                            > >Reply-To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                            > >To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                            > >Subject: Re: [mythsoc] CSL on live-action Aslan: "Blasphemy"
                            > >Date: Thu, 01 Dec 2005 10:56:17 -0800
                            > >
                            > >At 06:39 AM 12/1/2005 -0500, Hugh Davis wrote:
                            > > >I did not know about this radio version. Were the other Chronicles
                            > >adapted
                            > > >during Lewis' lifetime? Do any copies exist?
                            > >
                            > >Walter Hooper's Lewis Companion lists the 1959 LWW as the only Chronicle
                            > >radio dramatization in Lewis's lifetime. (There have been others since.)
                            > >It says nothing about whether it still exists in any form (a lot of radio
                            > >in those days was live and never recorded).
                            > >
                            > >DB
                            > >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                            > Yahoo! Groups Links
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                          • Hugh Davis
                            Well, I was partly being facetious. It s interesting that they adapted that one, but it is one that is much better for radio than television (at least at that
                            Message 13 of 23 , Dec 3, 2005
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                              Well, I was partly being facetious. It's interesting that they adapted that
                              one, but it is one that is much better for radio than television (at least
                              at that time), in terms of the scope of the imagination.


                              >From: WendellWag@...
                              >Reply-To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                              >To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                              >Subject: Re: [mythsoc] CSL on live-action Aslan: "Blasphemy"
                              >Date: Sat, 3 Dec 2005 11:11:17 EST
                              >
                              >
                              >In a message dated 12/3/2005 8:11:01 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
                              >HughHDavis@... writes:
                              >
                              >Does the fact their only take was MN suggest they were following the
                              >chronology (just to stir that pot)?
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >That's unlikely. Until the books were re-ordered in the mid-1990's by the
                              >publishers, hardly anyone even thought about the books being ordered in any
                              >way except for the publication order. The only reason that the books got
                              >re-ordered is that Douglas Gresham, who essentially controls any decisions
                              >by the
                              >Estate, decided that he liked the new ordering. The letter that they
                              >constantly cite is a hopelessly flimsy excuse. Lewis never communicated
                              >any thought
                              >about re-ordering the books to anyone else except that one child, and that
                              >doesn't sound like anything except him being nice to the kid.
                              >
                              >Wendell Wagner
                              >
                              >
                              >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              >
                            • Hugh Davis
                              The letter (on http://www.nthposition.com/blasphemyinnarnia.php) says Magician s Nephew in brackets, so I had that in my head as the one adapted. Perhaps I m
                              Message 14 of 23 , Dec 3, 2005
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                                The letter (on http://www.nthposition.com/blasphemyinnarnia.php) says
                                Magician's Nephew in brackets, so I had that in my head as the one adapted.

                                Perhaps I'm wrong, and I admit I didn't know about this radio version before
                                this thread. Will someone confirm?

                                Hugh


                                >From: juliet@...
                                >Reply-To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                                >To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                                >Subject: Re: [mythsoc] CSL on live-action Aslan: "Blasphemy"
                                >Date: Sat, 3 Dec 2005 10:54:08 -0600
                                >
                                >On Sat, Dec 03, 2005 at 08:09:22AM -0500, Hugh Davis wrote:
                                > > Thank you. I need to read up on this in the Companion. I'd love to find
                                >out
                                > > more about the production.
                                > >
                                > > Does the fact their only take was MN suggest they were following the
                                > > chronology (just to stir that pot)?
                                >
                                >Er, doesn't the mail below say "the 1959 LWW" and nothing about
                                >Magician's Nephew? Maybe I missed something.
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > >From: David Bratman <dbratman@...>
                                > > >Reply-To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                                > > >To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                                > > >Subject: Re: [mythsoc] CSL on live-action Aslan: "Blasphemy"
                                > > >Date: Thu, 01 Dec 2005 10:56:17 -0800
                                > > >
                                > > >At 06:39 AM 12/1/2005 -0500, Hugh Davis wrote:
                                > > > >I did not know about this radio version. Were the other Chronicles
                                > > >adapted
                                > > > >during Lewis' lifetime? Do any copies exist?
                                > > >
                                > > >Walter Hooper's Lewis Companion lists the 1959 LWW as the only
                                >Chronicle
                                > > >radio dramatization in Lewis's lifetime. (There have been others
                                >since.)
                                > > >It says nothing about whether it still exists in any form (a lot of
                                >radio
                                > > >in those days was live and never recorded).
                                > > >
                                > > >DB
                                > > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                                > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                              • David Bratman
                                ... And that is what the news article originally quoted by Patrick Wynne (based on the letter, presumably) says too, which I didn t notice when I wrote about
                                Message 15 of 23 , Dec 3, 2005
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                                  At 02:23 PM 12/3/2005 -0500, Hugh Davis wrote:
                                  >The letter (on http://www.nthposition.com/blasphemyinnarnia.php) says
                                  >Magician's Nephew in brackets, so I had that in my head as the one adapted.

                                  And that is what the news article originally quoted by Patrick Wynne (based
                                  on the letter, presumably) says too, which I didn't notice when I wrote
                                  about the 1959 LWW.

                                  But Hooper's Companion, my source, is very clear that it was LWW. He gives
                                  a cast list, and I do not recall Peter, Susan, Edmund, Lucy, and Mr Tumnus
                                  appearing in The Magician's Nephew.

                                  I suspect what happened is this: whoever added the bracketed reference to
                                  MN to the letter had registered that the book dramatized was the first of
                                  the Chronicles, and then went to look at a current copy and found that MN
                                  was the "first"!!!

                                  Yet another example of the toxicity of the change of ordering.

                                  David Bratman
                                • David Bratman
                                  ... That s very interesting; you re the first person I ve encountered to report feeling that way. However, it need not prove that the reordering is better.
                                  Message 16 of 23 , Dec 3, 2005
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                                    At 10:25 AM 12/3/2005 -0600, Mike Foster wrote:
                                    >We discussed this yesterday when Far Westfarthing smial discussed LWW.
                                    >Gresham had defended his re-ordering at Belmont University's CSL
                                    >conference Nov. 3. Applauders included me. Though I had tried
                                    >severally to read in the publication order, never got further than VotDT.
                                    >
                                    >Bought the reordered set & sped through those puppies.

                                    That's very interesting; you're the first person I've encountered to report
                                    feeling that way.

                                    However, it need not prove that the reordering is better. After all, by
                                    your own account you had read LWW, PC, and VDT before you first read MN.
                                    So in fact your first-reading order (the ordering debate is not meant to
                                    apply to subsequent readings) was closer to a publication-first order than
                                    to a chronological order, even though it was not exactly the same as either.

                                    The one good argument against publication-first order is that Lewis became
                                    a better writer as he went along through the Chronicles. Or at least I'd
                                    agree with that statement, though that hasn't prevented LWW from becoming
                                    the most indispensable classic volume of the set (which is why the first
                                    movie was made of it, and why, for instance, children's lit expert K.V.
                                    Johansen believes you should read LWW first, even though she accepts the
                                    chronological order). But despite Lewis's improving writing I'd call the
                                    best books SC (my own favorite of the set) and HHB, as MN and LB, though
                                    written later, to my mind suffer slightly from being too concerned with
                                    wrapping up beginnings and endings.

                                    David Bratman
                                  • WendellWag@aol.com
                                    In a message dated 12/3/2005 11:16:31 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, WendellWag@aol.com writes: That s unlikely. Until the books were re-ordered in the
                                    Message 17 of 23 , Dec 3, 2005
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                                      In a message dated 12/3/2005 11:16:31 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
                                      WendellWag@... writes:

                                      That's unlikely. Until the books were re-ordered in the mid-1990's by the
                                      publishers, hardly anyone even thought about the books being ordered in any
                                      way except for the publication order. The only reason that the books got
                                      re-ordered is that Douglas Gresham, who essentially controls any decisions
                                      by the
                                      Estate, decided that he liked the new ordering. The letter that they
                                      constantly cite is a hopelessly flimsy excuse. Lewis never communicated any
                                      thought
                                      about re-ordering the books to anyone else except that one child, and that
                                      doesn't sound like anything except him being nice to the kid.



                                      When I wrote that, I was *not* discussing whether the publication or the
                                      chronological ordering is "better." That's an argument about literary opinion,
                                      and while I have an opinion about it, I'm willing to concede that there's an
                                      argument for each side. On the subject of whether the subject of the
                                      ordering of the books even came up before the mid-1990's though, I don't think
                                      there's any question. No one even discussed the issue of the ordering before
                                      then. The only reason that the change happened is because of the taste of
                                      Douglas Gresham.

                                      Wendell Wagner


                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    • Mike Foster
                                      This rather reminds of some of my more purist JRRT students who suggested beginning course readings with The Silmarillion. Right, I would say. And who
                                      Message 18 of 23 , Dec 3, 2005
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                                        This rather reminds of some of my more purist JRRT students who
                                        suggested beginning course readings with The Silmarillion. Right, I
                                        would say. And who besides the three or two of you wd. be still be
                                        enrolled as of week 4?

                                        Mike

                                        WendellWag@... wrote:

                                        >
                                        >In a message dated 12/3/2005 11:16:31 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
                                        >WendellWag@... writes:
                                        >
                                        >That's unlikely. Until the books were re-ordered in the mid-1990's by the
                                        >publishers, hardly anyone even thought about the books being ordered in any
                                        >way except for the publication order. The only reason that the books got
                                        >re-ordered is that Douglas Gresham, who essentially controls any decisions
                                        >by the
                                        >Estate, decided that he liked the new ordering. The letter that they
                                        >constantly cite is a hopelessly flimsy excuse. Lewis never communicated any
                                        >thought
                                        >about re-ordering the books to anyone else except that one child, and that
                                        >doesn't sound like anything except him being nice to the kid.
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >When I wrote that, I was *not* discussing whether the publication or the
                                        >chronological ordering is "better." That's an argument about literary opinion,
                                        >and while I have an opinion about it, I'm willing to concede that there's an
                                        >argument for each side. On the subject of whether the subject of the
                                        >ordering of the books even came up before the mid-1990's though, I don't think
                                        >there's any question. No one even discussed the issue of the ordering before
                                        >then. The only reason that the change happened is because of the taste of
                                        >Douglas Gresham.
                                        >
                                        >Wendell Wagner
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                                        >Yahoo! Groups Links
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
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                                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                      • Mike Foster
                                        ... Obviously others were applauding to in Nashville. ... Agreed! LWW has some of the same flaws of Out of the Silent Planet Perelandra, to a lesser extent in
                                        Message 19 of 23 , Dec 3, 2005
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                                          David Bratman wrote:

                                          >At 10:25 AM 12/3/2005 -0600, Mike Foster wrote:
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >>We discussed this yesterday when Far Westfarthing smial discussed LWW.
                                          >>Gresham had defended his re-ordering at Belmont University's CSL
                                          >>conference Nov. 3. Applauders included me. Though I had tried
                                          >>severally to read in the publication order, never got further than VotDT.
                                          >>
                                          >>Bought the reordered set & sped through those puppies.
                                          >>
                                          >>
                                          >
                                          >That's very interesting; you're the first person I've encountered to report
                                          >feeling that way.
                                          >
                                          Obviously others were applauding to in Nashville.

                                          >
                                          >However, it need not prove that the reordering is better. After all, by
                                          >your own account you had read LWW, PC, and VDT before you first read MN.
                                          >So in fact your first-reading order (the ordering debate is not meant to
                                          >apply to subsequent readings) was closer to a publication-first order than
                                          >to a chronological order, even though it was not exactly the same as either.
                                          >
                                          >The one good argument against publication-first order is that Lewis became
                                          >a better writer as he went along through the Chronicles.
                                          >

                                          Agreed! LWW has some of the same flaws of Out of the Silent Planet
                                          Perelandra, to a lesser extent in the second but Lord, Perel. drags. THS is the best written of
                                          the Ransom trilogy but as John Rateliff so aptly said, OotSP, attempts
                                          least but succeeds most.

                                          For short but more detailed observations on this, interested readers can
                                          post me separately.

                                          So LLW has that same baby-lion's-first-stumbling-steps charm.

                                          But if Tolkien and Rowling have what Auden called "the nominative gift",
                                          CSL lacks it. Rumblebuffin?

                                          Mike

                                          > Or at least I'd
                                          >agree with that statement, though that hasn't prevented LWW from becoming
                                          >the most indispensable classic volume of the set (which is why the first
                                          >movie was made of it, and why, for instance, children's lit expert K.V.
                                          >Johansen believes you should read LWW first, even though she accepts the
                                          >chronological order). But despite Lewis's improving writing I'd call the
                                          >best books SC (my own favorite of the set) and HHB, as MN and LB, though
                                          >written later, to my mind suffer slightly from being too concerned with
                                          >wrapping up beginnings and endings.
                                          >
                                          >David Bratman
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                                          >Yahoo! Groups Links
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >


                                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                        • David Bratman
                                          ... Not clear exactly what aspect they were applauding. Your story - which, don t forget, essentially amounts to finding MN easier to read AFTER you d already
                                          Message 20 of 23 , Dec 3, 2005
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                                            At 08:03 PM 12/3/2005 -0600, Mike Foster wrote:
                                            >>That's very interesting; you're the first person I've encountered to report
                                            >>feeling that way.
                                            >>
                                            >Obviously others were applauding to[o] in Nashville.

                                            Not clear exactly what aspect they were applauding. Your story - which,
                                            don't forget, essentially amounts to finding MN easier to read AFTER you'd
                                            already read LWW, apparently more than once - remains the only one I know
                                            that thereby leads to a preference for the MN-first order.

                                            >This rather reminds of some of my more purist JRRT students who
                                            >suggested beginning course readings with The Silmarillion. Right, I
                                            >would say. And who besides the three or two of you wd. be still be
                                            >enrolled as of week 4?

                                            Beginning Narnia with LWW would only remind me of beginning Tolkien's
                                            legendarium with The Silmarillion if LWW were as difficult and challenging
                                            as The Silmarillion. Not very likely.

                                            DB
                                          • Stolzi
                                            ... Umm, I =like= Rumblebuffin. I think there are far more problematic names elsewhere in Lewis. Bardia? Redival? I never even cared much for Elwin as
                                            Message 21 of 23 , Dec 4, 2005
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                                              > But if Tolkien and Rowling have what Auden called "the nominative gift",
                                              > CSL lacks it. Rumblebuffin?
                                              >

                                              Umm, I =like= "Rumblebuffin." I think there are far more problematic names
                                              elsewhere in Lewis. Bardia? Redival? I never even cared much for "Elwin" as
                                              Ransom's first name, Tolkien-tribute though it may be.

                                              Elwin Ransom
                                              Was very handsome.
                                              He kindled in Jane a romantic spark,
                                              But then sent her back to silly old Mark.

                                              Diamond Proudbrook
                                            • Stolzi
                                              ... Where or when did he do that, Mike? I asked him a question at the banquet which touched on this, but don t remember such a specific defense in his answer;
                                              Message 22 of 23 , Dec 4, 2005
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                                                >
                                                >>At 10:25 AM 12/3/2005 -0600, Mike Foster wrote:
                                                >>
                                                >>
                                                >>>We discussed this yesterday when Far Westfarthing smial discussed LWW.
                                                >>>Gresham had defended his re-ordering at Belmont University's CSL
                                                >>>conference Nov. 3.

                                                Where or when did he do that, Mike? I asked him a question at the banquet
                                                which touched on this, but don't remember such a specific defense in his
                                                answer; but then I have a memory like a sieve, and I don't mean a Pensieve.

                                                Diamond Proudbrook
                                              • Mike Foster
                                                At the banquet on Nov. 3, during the Q&A after his speech. Reepicheep is the worst nominative offender. Mike ... [Non-text portions of this message have been
                                                Message 23 of 23 , Dec 4, 2005
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                                                  At the
                                                  banquet on Nov. 3, during the Q&A after his speech.

                                                  Reepicheep is the worst nominative offender.

                                                  Mike

                                                  Stolzi wrote:

                                                  >>>At 10:25 AM 12/3/2005 -0600, Mike Foster wrote:
                                                  >>>
                                                  >>>
                                                  >>>
                                                  >>>
                                                  >>>>We discussed this yesterday when Far Westfarthing smial discussed LWW.
                                                  >>>>Gresham had defended his re-ordering at Belmont University's CSL
                                                  >>>>conference Nov. 3.
                                                  >>>>
                                                  >>>>
                                                  >
                                                  >Where or when did he do that, Mike? I asked him a question at the banquet
                                                  >which touched on this, but don't remember such a specific defense in his
                                                  >answer; but then I have a memory like a sieve, and I don't mean a Pensieve.
                                                  >
                                                  >Diamond Proudbrook
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                                                  >Yahoo! Groups Links
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >


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