Back to Narnia

The Chronicles of Narnia, 7 Volumes: Full-Color Collector's Edition  -     By: C.S. Lewis
    Illustrated By: Pauline Baynes

Lately I’ve been bumping into quotes by C.S. Lewis in unexpected places. I took that as a sign that it was time for me to revisit his Chronicles of Narnia.

Aaah! That’s fine! The book we had is falling apart, so we ordered a boxed set (the one pictured above: you can find it at amazon, or with colorized illustrations by Pauline Baynes. I was quite surprised by how heavy the box was, until I discovered the high quality of the books: strong, glossy paper.

But it’s what’s inside the books that counts. I’ve just finished The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, a parable in which the great Lion, Aslan, stands for Jesus Christ. I can’t imagine there’s anybody here who’s totally unfamiliar with these books. Suffice it to say that these are Christian books, truth brought out through fantasy, that are just as well-loved now as they were when they first came out in the 1950s. They have stood the test of time; and if our civilization survives, they’ll be part of it.

Really, you have no idea what a relief it is to put away the nooze and pick up a Narnia book. I’m in The Magician’s Nephew now, watching in delighted astonishment as Lewis uses a mere few words to mow down all the self-important self-anointed bogus intellectuals who ever lived. Gee, I originally typed that as “self-imported.” Now I think I ought to let it stand. Self-imported they certainly are.

I love these books, and they have inspired my own. If you haven’t read Narnia yet, there’s a treat in store for you.

Back to Narnia

See the source image

It’s only a few minutes past 1 p.m., and I want my Narnia! Patty gave me the BBC Chronicles of Narnia on disc, the whole series, and rather than just sit here and watch my work-load pile up before my very eyes, I’m going to light out for Narnia.

The still, above, is from The Silver Chair. The cast is interesting. The girl playing Jill Pole, Camilla Power, is still a busy actor on British TV, and in spite of all her other work, is still best known for her visit to Narnia–which she doesn’t mind a bit. We have Tom Baker (center) as Puddleglum: he’s best known for playing Doctor Who. And the boy playing Eustace, David Thwaite, I believe has gone on to be a lawyer. They don’t seem to have any lawyers in Narnia, so he wouldn’t have a lot of competition.

The big splashy new Narnia movies, replete with hi-tech special effects–well, sorry, but there’s just no comparison. They never have gotten around to making their version of The Silver Chair. The kid they had for Eustace, who was perfect in the role in their otherwise not-so-hot Voyage of the Dawn Treader, is now way too old to pass for Eustace. I wanted those movies to succeed, but they tinkered with the stories, plugged in a lot of “improvements” that were not improvements at all, and the whole project seems to be floating belly-up.

Oh, well. We still have these, from the 1980s, and they’re still just wonderful. Now that you can get them on easy-to-store discs… what are you waiting for?

Note: I’m pretty sure there’s a made-in-Hong Kong version of The Silver Chair. I’d love to see it, but so far it has eluded me.

P.S.–I have just discovered a trailer for a new movie of The Silver Chair–which is the first I’ve heard of it. I’m not convinced this movie will eventually be released, and not going to hold my breath waiting for it.

I’m sorry, but if that’s Jill and Eustace, I’m the Smith Brothers.

Special Treat: Narnia Music

Geoffrey Burgon composed this theme music for the BBC’s much-loved adaptation of C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia, back in the 1980s.

The beauty of this music never fails to move me, sometimes very close to tears. I think it’s because Aslan the Lion is, after all, meant to represent Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And the thought of being in His presence ought to move you.

Coming Up: New Narnia Book by Liberals

Image result for narnia map

Gee, I wish that map of Narnia had reproduced in a larger size. I don’t know how to enlarge it, so break out your magnifying glasses.

When I come back from the nursing home this morning, I’ll tell you about a  new book that’s bound to generate sharp interest: a whole new Chronicle of Narnia, written not by C.S. Lewis, but by liberals.

Stay tuned!

C.S. Lewis’ Literary Art: Narnia

One of the things that makes readers keep coming back to The Chronicles of Narnia, whether they are consciously aware of it or not, is C.S. Lewis’ understated but uniquely effective writing style. The words you choose to put on paper, and your skill in arranging them, has a lot to do with how your story is received. I’m afraid many aspiring writers don’t pay enough attention to this.

In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader we encounter a boy named Eustace Scrubb, one of Lewis’ most memorable characters. Eustace is an obnoxious little prig who has an awful lot of growing up to do.

But first we meet his parents.

“He didn’t call his Father and Mother ‘Father’ and ‘Mother’, but Harold and Alberta. They were very up-to-date and advanced people. They were vegetarians, non-smokers and tee-totallers, and wore a special kind of underclothes. In their house there was very little furniture and very few clothes on beds and the windows were always open.”

Does that not tell you, in a very few well-chosen words, everything you need to know about Eustace and his upbringing? Is it any wonder that he’s such a twerp, and thinks so highly of himself?

No one ever beat C.S. Lewis for packing so much pertinent information into such a small paragraph.

Some writers don’t tell you enough, and so the story and the characters never come alive. And some tell you way too much, and bog the whole thing down.

I guess a lifetime of reading, studying, discussing, and writing about great literature wasn’t wasted on Mr. Lewis.

You’ll never be able to imitate him, but anyone who wants to write a novel can surely learn from him.

C.S. Lewis and The Deplorable Word

In the hall of Charn’s dead kings and queens, Queen Jadis returns to life. But she hasn’t learned her lesson.

For me, one of the most memorable scenes in C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia occurs in The Magician’s Nephew when Digory and Polly travel to a world called Charn and find it completely dead. No blade of grass, no drop of water–all dead, all dust.

In the dead city of Charn they find a hall of perfectly preserved dead kings and queens of Charn. How did this happen?

Two queens, sisters, both of them incredibly powerful witches, battled each other to become the supreme ruler of all of Charn. There’s always someone who wants to become the Supreme Ruler of Bloody Everything. On the point of losing the war, Queen Jadis utters a spell, The Deplorable Word, which wipes out all life on Charn. Another spell, inadvertently activated by Digory, brings her back to life so she can go on to become the White Witch, supreme tyrant over Narnia, where she made it “always winter, but never Christmas.”

This was written in the 1950s, when fear of a world-destroying nuclear war was a new thing, and very real to many people. World War II was also fresh in memory. Can there be any doubt that Hitler, cornered in his bunker, would have spoken The Deplorable Word, if he’d had it?

When the Serpent seduced Eve with his “ye shall be as gods” snake-oil, he tapped into a fatal aspect of human nature that remains with us today–the desire to be, like God, supreme ruler over everything. But God has promised that honor to His Son, Jesus Christ; and instead of a Deplorable Word, God says, “Behold, I make all things new” (Revelation 21:5)–thus highlighting the difference between a righteous, loving God and sinful, fallen man.

The lust to rule the world is still with us, in spades–in the U.N., in Washington, D.C., in Brussels, in ISIS, among the Global Warming mob, and liberally strewn throughout the minds of intellectuals.

But God is with us, too, and His word shall prevail.


What the World Needs Now! Smarter Mice

Defenders of Planned Parenthood, your friendly neighborhood baby-butchers, say it’s okay for PP to sell off baby parts because they’ll be used in “medical research” that will benefit the entire human race.

How do they propose to benefit us? What kind of research are they doing?

Well, one of their little science experiments is to inject brain cells from aborted babies into mice. This is being doing by scientists, if we may call them that, at the University of Rochester ( ). Supposedly it makes the mice smarter by “improving the efficiency” of their brains.

I thought this story was a hoax at first, but apparently it’s true.

Speaking as someone who has had many a pet mouse, it’s been my experience that mice are already plenty smart. The average mouse only lives about a year and a half; and you’d be amazed by how much they can learn, and how fast they can learn it, in that little time. A year-old mouse is much smarter than a year-old human. In fact, it’s smarter than some high school kids I’ve known.

Mice are limited by their short life-spans. If a mouse could live ten years, it would learn to read and write and probably wind up in Congress.

“Scientific research” to make mice smarter–well, really, how good an idea is that?

Reepicheep lives.