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Interesting Narnia review, I thought

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  • Stolzi
    Especially the crack about vowels, and the wife s reaction. (She s from China) http://corner.nationalreview.com/06_01_01_corner-archive.asp#085763 Oh, what
    Message 1 of 7 , Jan 3, 2006
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      Especially the crack about vowels, and the wife's reaction. (She's from
      China)

      http://corner.nationalreview.com/06_01_01_corner-archive.asp#085763

      Oh, what the heck, I'll copy in the whole thing:

      DERBS IN NARNIA [John Derbyshire]
      Took family to see "Chronicles of Narnia, LWW" yesterday. All enjoyed it.
      The kids remembered the book, said it was just as they imagined. Danny wants
      to see a match-up movie, "Aslan vs. King Kong." (We had some fun with that,
      spinning off similar titles: "Gandalf vs. Darth Vader," "Spiderman vs. White
      Witch," etc.) Nellie rated it a couple of ticks above the last Harry Potter
      movie, whichever that was, don't ask me.

      I managed to enjoy the thing moderately after firmly pushing aside the
      mental baggage I brought with me, viz.:

      (a) All those dire memories of tweedy pipe-smoking Lewis clones trying to
      pound Anglicanism into my infant head.

      (b) My general & instinctual aversion to religious intellectualizing,
      politicizing, apologetics & allegory of any sort (as opposed to "mere
      religion," of which I strongly approve).

      (c) My ditto to English child actors. I found myself wishing they'd
      Americanized the whole thing. The boys' faces, for example, were what in my
      own childhood we called "public school faces." Boys who attended public
      schools (which in England means tony private boarding schools) had a certain
      kind of face. You could spot them at a hundred yards. Peter and Edmund both
      have public school faces--the kind I grew up wanting to smash a fist into.
      And then there are the phonetics. Why can't English kids pronounce simple
      vowels and diphthongs any more? Why do they have to turn "No" into
      "Noueiuw"? Aren't there any good American kids' fantasy stories that could
      be movie-ized? Did "Wizard of Oz exhaust the genre? Come on, my fellow
      Americans, rise to the challenge here.

      The reaction I was really interested in was my wife's. She wasn't present
      when I read the books to the kids, had never read them herself, and does not
      know about the Christian angle, or indeed know anything much about
      Christianity. (She's Buddhist.) Well, she liked the movie a lot, thought it
      "a great story," and teared up when Aslan was slain. I take that as
      definitive. It's a good movie, and should do well on worldwide distribution.
      Posted at 08:59 AM

      Diamodn Proudbrook
    • Jonathan Michael Reiter
      This is Atomtetsuwan2002, Stolzi. What do you mean by public school face? Is that a facial expression of disgust, or something? What do you mean?
      Message 2 of 7 , Jan 3, 2006
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        This is Atomtetsuwan2002, Stolzi. What do you mean by public school face? Is that a facial expression of disgust, or something? What do you mean?
        Atomtetsuwan2002
        at2k2
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Stolzi
        To: Mythopoeic Society ; SpareOom@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Tuesday, January 03, 2006 10:40 AM
        Subject: [mythsoc] Interesting Narnia review, I thought



        Especially the crack about vowels, and the wife's reaction. (She's from
        China)

        http://corner.nationalreview.com/06_01_01_corner-archive.asp#085763

        Oh, what the heck, I'll copy in the whole thing:

        DERBS IN NARNIA [John Derbyshire]
        Took family to see "Chronicles of Narnia, LWW" yesterday. All enjoyed it.
        The kids remembered the book, said it was just as they imagined. Danny wants
        to see a match-up movie, "Aslan vs. King Kong." (We had some fun with that,
        spinning off similar titles: "Gandalf vs. Darth Vader," "Spiderman vs. White
        Witch," etc.) Nellie rated it a couple of ticks above the last Harry Potter
        movie, whichever that was, don't ask me.

        I managed to enjoy the thing moderately after firmly pushing aside the
        mental baggage I brought with me, viz.:

        (a) All those dire memories of tweedy pipe-smoking Lewis clones trying to
        pound Anglicanism into my infant head.

        (b) My general & instinctual aversion to religious intellectualizing,
        politicizing, apologetics & allegory of any sort (as opposed to "mere
        religion," of which I strongly approve).

        (c) My ditto to English child actors. I found myself wishing they'd
        Americanized the whole thing. The boys' faces, for example, were what in my
        own childhood we called "public school faces." Boys who attended public
        schools (which in England means tony private boarding schools) had a certain
        kind of face. You could spot them at a hundred yards. Peter and Edmund both
        have public school faces--the kind I grew up wanting to smash a fist into.
        And then there are the phonetics. Why can't English kids pronounce simple
        vowels and diphthongs any more? Why do they have to turn "No" into
        "Noueiuw"? Aren't there any good American kids' fantasy stories that could
        be movie-ized? Did "Wizard of Oz exhaust the genre? Come on, my fellow
        Americans, rise to the challenge here.

        The reaction I was really interested in was my wife's. She wasn't present
        when I read the books to the kids, had never read them herself, and does not
        know about the Christian angle, or indeed know anything much about
        Christianity. (She's Buddhist.) Well, she liked the movie a lot, thought it
        "a great story," and teared up when Aslan was slain. I take that as
        definitive. It's a good movie, and should do well on worldwide distribution.
        Posted at 08:59 AM

        Diamodn Proudbrook



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      • WendellWag@aol.com
        In a message dated 1/3/2006 10:00:23 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, jmrmpd@sasktel.net writes: What do you mean by public school face? Is that a facial
        Message 3 of 7 , Jan 4, 2006
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          In a message dated 1/3/2006 10:00:23 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
          jmrmpd@... writes:

          What do you mean by public school face? Is that a facial expression of
          disgust, or something? What do you mean?


          She was giving all of a review of the movie that she had read in _The
          National Review_. She wasn't saying that herself. You would have to ask the
          author of the review (John Derbyshire) what he meant and there's no way to do that
          except by writing to _The National Review_.

          Wendell Wagner


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • David Bratman
          I would presume that a public school face is not a particular facial expression, but a type of well-bred, self-satisfied appearance that seems to signal I m
          Message 4 of 7 , Jan 4, 2006
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            I would presume that a "public school face" is not a particular facial
            expression, but a type of well-bred, self-satisfied appearance that seems
            to signal "I'm secure in the knowledge of my own superiority" to the kind
            of people who see class warfare issues in innocent works of literature.

            DB
          • Stolzi
            ... From: ... Not quite true. I have the Derb s e-mail address, and he does answer things he gets from readers. Today he had a follow-up
            Message 5 of 7 , Jan 4, 2006
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              ----- Original Message -----
              From: <WendellWag@...>


              >
              > You would have to ask the
              > author of the review (John Derbyshire) what he meant and there's no way
              > to do that
              > except by writing to _The National Review_.

              Not quite true. I have the Derb's e-mail address, and he does answer things
              he gets from readers. Today he had a follow-up quote at National Review
              Online about the "Americanization" thing, and I quote it below, with part of
              a follow-up email I sent him on the topic.

              -------------------------------------------------------------
              " AMERICAN KIDS' FANTASY STORIES [John Derbyshire]
              "A reader recommends Edward Eager's books and wonders why movie producers
              have never taken them up. "
              ---------------------------

              Even better, perhaps, the fantasy stories of Madeleine l'Engle, starting
              with A WRINKLE IN TIME (has Nellie read this?). The series has a great
              female protagonist and her family, plus several not-quite-human characters,
              and with today's CGI, should be more than feasible to produce. I've seen
              one of them done as a very entertaining stage adaptation.
              -----------------------------------------------------------------

              Diamond Proudbrook
            • Stolzi
              Wondering here what a progressive school face would be, as seen on Eustace and Jill, and how to cast it. I ve added to Mr Derbyshire a recommendation of
              Message 6 of 7 , Jan 4, 2006
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                Wondering here what a "progressive school face" would be, as seen on Eustace
                and Jill, and how to cast it.

                I've added to Mr Derbyshire a recommendation of SUMMERLAND, by Michael
                Chabon, a quintessentially American fantasy.

                Diamond Proudbrook
              • Stolzi
                I ve argued with Mr Derbyshire and tried to point him to the evidence in Lewis himself of that writer s aversion to the public school ethos and all its works,
                Message 7 of 7 , Jan 4, 2006
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                  I've argued with Mr Derbyshire and tried to point him to the evidence in
                  Lewis himself of that writer's aversion to the public school ethos and all
                  its works, but he has a perhaps irrational distaste which he doesn't care to
                  shake.

                  On this subject, before leaving it, we may quote amusingly from Ch VIII of
                  SURPRISED BY JOY:

                  "It was, of course, to turn us into public-school boys that my father had
                  originally sent us to Wyvern [actually, Malvern College - DP]; the finished
                  product appalled him."

                  This particularly in reference to Warnie, who had taken to the treatment as
                  Jack never did.

                  Diamond Proudbrook
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