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Gopnik on C.S. Lewis - Impressions and Expressions of Ijon
November 22nd, 2005
07:34 pm

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Gopnik on C.S. Lewis
The New Yorker ran a good article on C.S. Lewis's faith and literary work, by Adam Gopnik. More poignant and interesting than the usual recaps about Lewis and Narnia.

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From:goliard
Date:November 22nd, 2005 07:25 pm (UTC)
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Thanks for this link - a thoughtful, well-written article, though frankly I could do without the voyeurism (I like Lewis too much to want to hear about his "mild sadomasochistic fantasies"). And the writer's claim that Aslan is an unsuitable Christ figure, and that a humble proletarian donkey would have fitted the role better, merely shows how the Christian story might have been allegorized by an unbeliever, for whom the basic fact about Jesus is that he was a carpenter's son from Bethlehem. This is not the basic fact for a Christian, and Lewis's choice of symbol reflects that.

In any case, I certainly agree that the stories are best where they are least allegorical. That is, unless I'm wrong and Reepicheep and Puddleglum have prototypes in the New Testament.
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From:gaal
Date:November 22nd, 2005 07:37 pm (UTC)
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II Mice 14:3 etc.? :-)
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From:dorable
Date:November 22nd, 2005 09:00 pm (UTC)
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Some of the allegory works really well though. It's been a while, so I only remember one example (I don't even remember which book it was...): where the kids are trapped underground and told that the world above is only an illusion. And they say they're going to keep on believing in it even if it is just an illusion. That was really powerful stuff on both levels.

But I'm a fan of Christian symbolism, so.
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From:goliard
Date:November 22nd, 2005 09:49 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, that's in The Silver Chair, and you're right, it's a wonderful scene. But then it isn't specifically Christian allegory, is it?
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From:dorable
Date:November 22nd, 2005 10:55 pm (UTC)
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It is. I mean, it can be interpreted farther to fit other faiths and even political beliefs -- good allegories have lots of layers -- but the Christian interpretation is very close and clean. Earth vs. the Heavenly Jerusalem.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:November 23rd, 2005 11:58 am (UTC)

gopnik'sarticle

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FYI: Look at the piece about Gopnik, Lewis, and Narnia at www.anagnosticchristian.com
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