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Re: [mythsoc] Philip Pullman article

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  • Stolzi@aol.com
    In a message dated 3/6/01 8:22:28 AM Central Standard Time, ... He is a Christ figure, of course. But Lewis said that the Lion was not meant to stand for
    Message 1 of 47 , Mar 6, 2001
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      In a message dated 3/6/01 8:22:28 AM Central Standard Time,
      tgshaw@... writes:

      > I'm afraid it would take an awful lot of "mental gymnastics" (as my debate
      > coach used to say) for me to come up with a logical argument that Aslan, at
      > least, is _not_ allegorical. Line him up against the reams of discussion
      > that have been produced regarding possible Christ figures in LotR, and I
      > believe there's a clear case of allegory vs. applicability.

      He is a Christ figure, of course. But Lewis said that the Lion was not meant
      to "stand for Christ-in-this-world" but rather to say "IF Christ were
      incarnate in another world, what might happen there?" Sorry, I can't find
      the passage at the moment; but here is another one:

      "Some people seem to think that I began by asking myself how I could say
      something about Christianity to children; then fixed on the fairy tale as an
      instrument; then collected information about child-psychology and decided
      what age-group I'd write for; then drew up a list of basic Christian truths
      and hammered out 'allegories' to embody them. This is all pure moonshine. I
      couldn't write in that way at all. Everything began with images; a faun
      carrying an umbrella, a queen on a sledge, a magnificent lion. At first
      there wasn't even anything Christian about them; that element pushed itself
      in of its own accord. It was part of the bubbling."

      -- "Sometimes Fairy Stories May Say Best What's to be Said" - collected in

      One of the pitfalls of "straight allegory" might be illustrated by my son,
      about seven at the time, who was having the stories read to him. He
      realized one day, on his own, Who Aslan was, which we confirmed, then came to
      me another day inquiring seriously, "If Aslan is Jesus, is Reepicheep John
      the Baptist?" (hoo ha!)

      As for the idea of reading the stories with "parental guidance about
      bullying," it just depresses me exceedingly. But then I am an old f*rt and
      very un-PC.

      I'd expect a child hearing the stories to love Reepicheep, and not to be
      particularly interested in "Justice for Harold and Alberta!" ... Need to
      re-read to be sure, but wouldn't it be true to say that Eustace's chief
      problem was =selfishness=, not priggishness - it's the selfishness which
      requires his de-dragoning? Though there's no question that Eustace starts
      out as a prig; but the priggishness is presented chiefly for amusement ("This
      is a merry shipmate you've brought us, Cousin!" says Caspian - or similar

      Consider, though, the humility w/which Edmund tells him, "I did worse."

      But there's no question that one could dissect the whole book for instances
      of people who think they have the right to administer correction, and do it.
      (think of the Magician and the Dufflepuds, of Reepicheep spanking Eustace, of
      Caspian's actions upon arriving in the Lone Islands) If you object to that
      and think it "bullying," then I suppose you =are= going to find Lewis
      dangerous, "vile," and incorrect... That's a metaphorical and general
      "you," Trudy, not a personal reflection.

      Mary S
    • WendellWag@aol.com
      In a message dated 3/10/01 12:56:32 PM Eastern Standard Time, Stolzi@aol.com writes:
      Message 47 of 47 , Mar 10, 2001
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        In a message dated 3/10/01 12:56:32 PM Eastern Standard Time, Stolzi@...

        << Must today's children be protected from Lewis'
        evils? Or should the first chapter be revised to say simply that "Eustace's
        parents were rather disagreeable people" - as DR DOOLITTLE has (in my view
        rightly) been rewritten in certain parts, as PL Travers rewrote a bothersome
        chapter of MARY POPPINS? >>

        It's possible to take a middle position. It's possible to think a writer is
        good and to agree with him on many things and yet to disagree with him on
        others, while not finding it necessary to tell children that they should
        ignore certain points in the book. I give all my nieces and nephews a copy
        of the Chronicles of Narnia. I agree with much of Lewis said, but I think
        that (like anyone else) he was incorrect on a few issues. I don't find it
        necessary to include an "errata" list of wrong ideas in Lewis's books (or
        anyone else's books I give as presents). I think that my nieces and nephews
        are already learning the lesson that they should read a lot of books and
        think for themselves about the issues involved.

        Wendell Wagner
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