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Re: Lucy, Galadriel, and Temptation

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  • Lynn Maudlin
    CSL wasn t writing allegory but trying to imagine Christ coming to a world in which the animals could talk - the king of the beasts being the lion, etc. -
    Message 1 of 15 , Dec 10, 2007
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      CSL wasn't writing allegory but trying to imagine Christ coming to a
      world in which the animals could talk - the king of the beasts being
      the lion, etc. - Lewis was trying to make Aslan as much like Jesus as
      he could imagine, Jesus in the form of a great Lion in a land of
      talking animals. That was a point that escaped me for quite a few
      years; you probably know it but just in case you didn't... {grin}

      -- Lynn --

      --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, John D Rateliff <sacnoth@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      > One of the reasons I can read the books as
      > fantasy but not as allegory.
      >
      > --JDR
      >
    • Lynn Maudlin
      De-lurking Marc, I think there are many situations in which *most* of us learn better the hard way. I ve often admired those rare humans who can learn from the
      Message 2 of 15 , Dec 10, 2007
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        De-lurking Marc, I think there are many situations in which *most* of
        us learn better the hard way. I've often admired those rare humans who
        can learn from the mistakes of others; for myself, I tend to be the,
        "what do you mean, 'the stove is hot'? OUCH!!!" type.

        Allowing her to experience the sadness of indulging in that spell may
        have been the 'least expensive' way for her to learn a solid lesson.

        imho, of course, ymmv.

        -- Lynn --

        --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Marc Drayer" <mdrayer2001@...> wrote:
        >
        > I've been thinking about this, and it prompted me to come out of
        > lurkdom...
        >
        > Of course, why Aslan allowed her to fall for the lesser temptation
        > to magically eavesdrop on her friend, I don't know.
        >
        > Under the Mercy,
        > Marc Drayer
        >
      • John D Rateliff
        ... Well, all I can say is that for me he failed utterly. I can only read the books if I suspend disbelief and treat Aslan as a purely fictional character,
        Message 3 of 15 , Dec 11, 2007
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          On Dec 10, 2007, at 2:58 PM, Lynn Maudlin wrote:
          > Lewis was trying to make Aslan as much like Jesus as he could imagine

          Well, all I can say is that for me he failed utterly. I can only
          read the books if I 'suspend disbelief' and treat Aslan as a purely
          fictional character, like Manwe or Mana-Yood-Sushai or Koshchei the
          Deathless (i.e., as god, not God).
          I suspect others have the reverse problem with Pullman; they read
          his fantasy as if he were writing a realistic novel about our world,
          and react accordingly.
          --JDR
        • alexeik@aol.com
          ... From: John D Rateliff To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com Sent: Wed, 12 Dec 2007 1:29 am Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Re: Lucy, Galadriel, and
          Message 4 of 15 , Dec 13, 2007
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            -----Original Message-----
            From: John D Rateliff <sacnoth@...>
            To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Wed, 12 Dec 2007 1:29 am
            Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Re: Lucy, Galadriel, and Temptation







            On Dec 10, 2007, at 2:58 PM, Lynn Maudlin wrote:
            > Lewis was trying to make Aslan as much like Jesus as he could imagine

            Well, all I can say is that for me he failed utterly. I can only
            read the books if I 'suspend disbelief' and treat Aslan as a purely
            fictional character, like Manwe or Mana-Yood-Sushai or Koshchei the
            Deathless (i.e., as god, not God).
            I suspect others have the reverse problem with Pullman; they read
            his fantasy as if he were writing a realistic novel about our world,
            and react accordingly.
            <<

            Are they entirely unjustified in this, though? Not all of Pullman's story takes place in a fantasy world: parts of it are anchored in the primary world as well (or a world so similar to ours that its precise identity?makes no difference), and in those parts it does try to convince the reader directly about issues in the primary world. My impression has been that the aspect of the story that offends Christian readers most?is not so much the "death of God" theme as the subplot involving Dr. Mary Malone, the ex-nun-turned-scientist who jettisons both her religious vocation and her faith in general as a result of tasting marzipan. If this took place entirely in a fantasy setting, it could be taken as a clever reversal of the "Turkish delight" theme in _LWW_, and appreciated on the same?level, mythopoeically. But Pullman clearly presents it as his own judgment on Christianity in our world -- a judgment he wants his readers to share. In the process he shows himself incapable of imagining what a religious vocation would feel like (a serious lack in an imaginative writer), and also suggests that he has an extraordinarily shallow?understanding of this-worldly Christianity, seeing it as having no spiritual dimension beyond a simple denial of the body and its pleasures. Whether one agrees with him or not, it turns his story into a primary-world polemic rather than a mythopoeic statement. This is what terminally ruined _The Amber Spyglass_ for me, although I really enjoyed?most of the two previous books.
            Alexei
            ??





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          • Lynn Maudlin
            Interesting. I have no problem reading Aslan as CSL s concept of Jesus interacting in a world of talking animals. I don t expect it to be *my* concept of Jesus
            Message 5 of 15 , Dec 13, 2007
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              Interesting. I have no problem reading Aslan as CSL's concept of Jesus
              interacting in a world of talking animals. I don't expect it to be
              *my* concept of Jesus interacting in a world of talking animals (!!)
              but it's close enough to be recognizable.

              I've not read Pullman; I guess anybody who proudly trumpets himself as
              the anti-CSL is just not very appealing to me. Don't know if I'll see
              the film or not.

              -- Lynn --

              --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, John D Rateliff <sacnoth@...> wrote:
              >
              >
              > On Dec 10, 2007, at 2:58 PM, Lynn Maudlin wrote:
              > > Lewis was trying to make Aslan as much like Jesus as he could imagine
              >
              > Well, all I can say is that for me he failed utterly. I can only
              > read the books if I 'suspend disbelief' and treat Aslan as a purely
              > fictional character, like Manwe or Mana-Yood-Sushai or Koshchei the
              > Deathless (i.e., as god, not God).
              > I suspect others have the reverse problem with Pullman; they read
              > his fantasy as if he were writing a realistic novel about our world,
              > and react accordingly.
              > --JDR
              >
            • John D Rateliff
              Two interesting pieces of news out of the U.K. today, one happy news, the other sad. First, a J. K. Rowling manuscript just sold at auction for a children s
              Message 6 of 15 , Dec 13, 2007
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                Two interesting pieces of news out of the U.K. today, one happy news,
                the other sad.

                First, a J. K. Rowling manuscript just sold at auction for a
                children's charity. They were hoping it'd go for about fifty thousand
                pounds; instead it went for two million (over four million dollars).
                Wow.

                http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/7142656.stm

                Second, Terry Pratchett, author of the DIscworld series (among
                others), has just revealed that he has early onset Alzheimer's. He's
                planning to keep writing while he can.

                http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/7141458.stm

                --JDR
              • John D Rateliff
                ... It starts out presenting it as if it s the real world, but since fantasy events begin to happen in it it s revealed as just another fantasy world by that
                Message 7 of 15 , Dec 13, 2007
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                  On Dec 13, 2007, at 12:25 PM, alexeik@... wrote:
                  > Are they entirely unjustified in this, though? Not all of Pullman's
                  > story takes place in a fantasy world: parts of it are anchored in
                  > the primary world as well (or a world so similar to ours that its
                  > precise identity makes no difference)

                  It starts out presenting it as if it's the real world, but since
                  fantasy events begin to happen in it it's revealed as just another
                  fantasy world by that very fact. And it's not the portrayal of
                  religious figures in Will's world that upsets the people calling for
                  boycotts of the film or removal of the books from libraries but how
                  they appear in Lyra's world and the fantasy worlds of the third book.

                  > . . . the subplot involving Dr. Mary Malone, the ex-nun-turned-
                  > scientist who jettisons both her religious vocation and her faith
                  > in general as a result of tasting marzipan. If this took place
                  > entirely in a fantasy setting, it could be taken as a clever
                  > reversal of the "Turkish delight" theme in _LWW_, and appreciated
                  > on the same level, mythopoeically.

                  I like the idea of the two scenes being inverse of each other; I'd
                  not thought of that before. It struck me as the most trivial possible
                  reason to lose yr faith; I hope for her sake it was at least good
                  marzipan, just as I've always hoped it was a pretty good apple.

                  > Whether one agrees with him or not, it turns his story into a
                  > primary-world polemic rather than a mythopoeic statement. This is
                  > what terminally ruined _The Amber Spyglass_ for me, although I
                  > really enjoyed most of the two previous books.

                  I thought the first book was brilliant. The second was an interesting
                  attempt to start from a different point and work to the same place;
                  didn't quite come off, but worth reading. The third was a terrible
                  hash, both polemic (which was annoying) and mythopoeic (mainly I
                  think derived from Blake's prophetic books). I've always wondered
                  what the original version of the third book, which he took back from
                  the publisher and extensively rewrote, was like.

                  --JDR
                • John D Rateliff
                  ... In that case, I wouldn t recommend your reading the books. You might still enjoy the movie, which strips out all the parts of the story I think you d find
                  Message 8 of 15 , Dec 13, 2007
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                    On Dec 13, 2007, at 1:15 PM, Lynn Maudlin wrote:
                    > I've not read Pullman; I guess anybody who proudly trumpets himself
                    > as the anti-CSL is just not very appealing to me. Don't know if
                    > I'll see the film or not.

                    In that case, I wouldn't recommend your reading the books. You might
                    still enjoy the movie, which strips out all the parts of the story I
                    think you'd find objectionable, but it's pretty lightweight as a
                    result and shd be enjoyed (or not) pretty much just as entertainment.

                    --JDR
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