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Re: [mythsoc] Digest Number 2078

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  • Katie Glick
    On 9 Dec 2005 15:26:03 -0000, mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
    Message 1 of 3 , Dec 9, 2005
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      On 9 Dec 2005 15:26:03 -0000, mythsoc@yahoogroups.com <
      mythsoc@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
      >
      >
      >
      > From: "Stolzi" <Stolzi@...>
      > Subject: The Roar Over C.S. Lewis's Otherworldly Lion
      >
      > May require registration. Fairly accurate, though with a flip tone that
      > may
      > annoy Lewis' fans.
      >
      >
      > http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/07/AR2005120702613.html
      >
      > This article scores fairly high. I only see two obvious errors, one is
      > minor - Mrs. Moore's name was "Janie," not "Janice." Then there's
      >
      > ' As academic, as Christian apologist (meaning one who speaks in defense
      > of)
      > and finally, best known, as the author of the seven books in the Narnia
      > series, published between 1950 and 1956. '
      >
      > Surely the third "best known" career is as a novelist - with several books
      > to his credit besides Narnia: the "Space Trilogy" and his last novel,
      > "Till
      > We Have Faces."



      Well, it depends on how you look at it ... I think it's true that he is best
      known for writing the Narnia books, since many people who have read the
      Narnia books don't even know he wrote anything else. On the other hand,
      you're right to say that as an author, he wrote more than just the one
      series of books and failing to mention that just perpetuates the ignorance
      of those who don't know.

      The other thing I noticed is that the article says that Jadis is Satan. Is
      this right? I was always under the impression that she was supposed to be
      Lilith (based on the Magician's Nephew) but I have never looked into it,
      that's just what I thought based on my extremely limited knowledge of Old
      Testament mythology. Can someone clarify?

      -kt


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • juliet@firinn.org
      ... That s what I don t understand, Mr. Beaver, said Peter, I mean isn t the witch herself human? She d like us to believe it, said Mr. Beaver, and it s
      Message 2 of 3 , Dec 9, 2005
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        On Fri, Dec 09, 2005 at 08:50:31AM -0800, Katie Glick wrote:
        > The other thing I noticed is that the article says that Jadis is Satan. Is
        > this right? I was always under the impression that she was supposed to be
        > Lilith (based on the Magician's Nephew) but I have never looked into it,
        > that's just what I thought based on my extremely limited knowledge of Old
        > Testament mythology. Can someone clarify?
        >
        "That's what I don't understand, Mr. Beaver," said Peter, "I mean isn't
        the witch herself human?"

        "She'd like us to believe it," said Mr. Beaver, "and it's on that that
        she bases her claim to be Queen. But she's no Daughter of Eve. She
        comes of your father Adam's--" (here Mr. Beaver bowed) "your father
        Adam's first wife, her they called Lilith. And she was one of the Jinn.
        That's what she comes from on one side. And on the other she comes of
        the giants. No, no, there isn't a drop of real Human blood in the Witch."

        "That's why she's bad all through, Mr. Beaver," said Mrs. Beaver.

        "True enough, Mrs. Beaver," replied he, "there may be two views about
        Humans (meaning no offence to the present company). But there's no two
        views about things that look like Humans and aren't."


        There's the passage from LWW chapter VIII that I'm pretty sure is the
        most explicit explanation of the northern witches' ancestry and makeup
        given in the Chronicles.

        A bit from MN about Jadis:

        "Hardly human" was what Digory thought when he looked at her; and he
        may have been right, for some say there is giantish blood in the royal
        family of Charn.


        It's worth noting that George MacDonald, who was one of Lewis' influences,
        wrote a novel called _Lilith_. Here's a quote from that book, in which
        Adam tells about Lilith:

        "Lilith, when you came here on the way to your evil will, you little thought
        into whose hands you were delivering yourself!--Mr. Vane, when God created
        me--not out of Nothing, as say the unwise, but out of His own endless
        glory--He brought me an angelic splendour to be my wife: there she lies!
        For her first thought was power; she counted it slavery to be one with me,
        and bear children for Him who gave her being. One child, indeed, she bore;
        then, puffed with the fancy that she had created her, would have me fall
        down and worship her! Finding, however, that I would but love and honour,
        never obey and worship her, she poured out her blood to escape me, fled to
        the army of the aliens, and soon had so ensared the heart of the great
        Shadow that he became her slave, wrought her will, and made her queen of
        Hell. How it is with her now, she best knows, but I know also....

        "Then God gave me another wife--not an angel but a woman--who is to this
        as light is to darkness."


        In MN, Jadis tries to tempt Digory to eat fruit from a forbidden tree,
        much like the serpent in the Garden of Eden. Knowing that Lewis didn't
        see the Chronicles of Narnia as an allegory, though, I wouldn't interpret
        that as Jadis being Satan. Aslan holds Digory responsible for bringing
        Jadis to Narnia, and also warns Digory and Polly that one day someone from
        our world may find a secret as evil as the Deplorable Word (the bit of
        magic by which Jadis destroyed her own world). Those story elements don't
        really bear out the idea of Jadis as Satan.

        My $.02,
        Julie
      • london_mougins
        a mush of borrowings from myth, fable, fairy tales and Beatrix Potter As charming as the Narnia stories are, I think this characterisation from the
        Message 3 of 3 , Jan 2, 2006
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          "a mush of borrowings from myth, fable, fairy tales and Beatrix Potter"

          As charming as the Narnia stories are, I think this characterisation from the Washington Post article isn't wrong.

          Jadis (in French, jadis means "formerly" or "in the past") is supposed to be a descendant of Lilith, Adam's first wife. Lewis borrowed heavily from George Macdonald's Lilith, which includes a magic chamber that is a gateway into another world.

          In Macdonald's story, Lilith's "first thought was POWER; she counted it slavery to be one with me [Adam], and bear children for Him who gave her being. One child, indeed, she bore; then, puffed with the fancy that she had created her, would have me fall down and worship her! Finding, however, that I would but love and honour, never obey and worship her, she poured out her blood to escape me, fled to the army of the aliens, and soon had so ensnared the heart of the great Shadow, that he became her slave, wrought her will, and made her queen of Hell."

          But Jadis is also a Satan figure in the Narnia stories; the "deep magic from the dawn of time" gives her the right to slay any traitor, and hence she lays claim to Edmund.

          My impression is that the Narnia stories were written hastily and sequentially, without much attention given as new stories were composed to matching their details with those of the earlier stories. Hence they have a number of inconsistencies (e.g. in some places Aslan tells some children that they are never told what would have happened, or any other stories than their own; in others he cheerfully tells them what would have happened and relates others' stories.) and the narrative whole that they try to form is somewhat loose and floppy. We are told (in The Magician's Nephew) how Jadis came into Narnia, but not how she gained the right to execute sinners, or what kind of sinners she had a right to.

          This doesn't mean that the Narnia stories aren't wonderfully entertaining and enjoyable, just that they can't be read as a treatise of Systematic Theology.



          Lilith, along with much of Macdonald's work, is downloadable from www.gutenberg.org.




          --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Katie Glick <ktglick@g...> wrote:
          >
          > On 9 Dec 2005 15:26:03 -0000, mythsoc@yahoogroups.com <
          > mythsoc@yahoogroups.com wrote:
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > > From: "Stolzi" Stolzi@c...
          > > Subject: The Roar Over C.S. Lewis's Otherworldly Lion
          > >
          > > May require registration. Fairly accurate, though with a flip tone that
          > > may
          > > annoy Lewis' fans.
          > >
          > >
          > > http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/07/AR2005120702613.html
          > >
          > > This article scores fairly high. I only see two obvious errors, one is
          > > minor - Mrs. Moore's name was "Janie," not "Janice." Then there's
          > >
          > > ' As academic, as Christian apologist (meaning one who speaks in defense
          > > of)
          > > and finally, best known, as the author of the seven books in the Narnia
          > > series, published between 1950 and 1956. '
          > >
          > > Surely the third "best known" career is as a novelist - with several books
          > > to his credit besides Narnia: the "Space Trilogy" and his last novel,
          > > "Till
          > > We Have Faces."
          >
          >
          >
          > Well, it depends on how you look at it ... I think it's true that he is best
          > known for writing the Narnia books, since many people who have read the
          > Narnia books don't even know he wrote anything else. On the other hand,
          > you're right to say that as an author, he wrote more than just the one
          > series of books and failing to mention that just perpetuates the ignorance
          > of those who don't know.
          >
          > The other thing I noticed is that the article says that Jadis is Satan. Is
          > this right? I was always under the impression that she was supposed to be
          > Lilith (based on the Magician's Nephew) but I have never looked into it,
          > that's just what I thought based on my extremely limited knowledge of Old
          > Testament mythology. Can someone clarify?
          >
          > -kt
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >



          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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