Notes on Some Narnia Novels

These are not reviews but old notes I found. They are pointers for rereadings.

The Magician’s Nephew

Narnia’s creation story. Lewis does a fine job with it. His strong Platonism comes through at times. Never entirely sure how Lewis squares creation theology with Platonism.

*the hall of images in Charn, suggesting a less real reality. Probably ties in with evil as a privation of good.
* the horse compares his existence in Earth as a shadowy one compared with Narnia.

And of course, Aslan’s creation is speech-act. He speaks and things happen. 

The Last Battle

This is one of those books you aren’t allowed to “Review” and “Criticize.” You simply sing its praises.

In some ways it is the hardest of the Narnia books to read. Not because of any density or ambiguity, but because so many themes echo one another and Lewis is utilizing advanced Platonic metaphysics. In this book we see Lewis in his fully Platonic self. The last chapter is simply a running explanation of Archetype and Image.

In many ways this could explain the problem of Emeth. Is Lewis saying that unbelievers who simply “Try hard” get into heaven? I don’t think it is that simple. We become what we worship. Aslan tells Emeth there was a disjunct between Emeth’s offering noble worship to “Tash” when the character of that demon couldn’t except that worship.

Should we adopt this into our theology? Probably not, but it does explain Romans 1 and the Psalms. All the gods of the heathens are demons. We become like we worship. Emeth, however, was not becoming like Tash. Therefore, Emeth wasn’t worshiping Tash.

In terms of style the prose is glorified and exalted. Towards the end Lewis’s descriptions made the glories of heaven real.

And in terms of sheer greatness, few characters in literature match King Tirian. And while we are speaking of “kings:” There is a not so subtle connection between the abandoning of Aslan and the rejection of monarchy.

My favorite passage in all of Lewis’s literature:

But immediately, from behind Tash, strong and calm as the summer sea, a voice said:

“Begone, Monster, and take your lawful prey to your own place: in the name of Aslan and Aslan’s great Father, the Emperor-over-sea.”

The hideous creature vanished, with the Tarkaan still under its arm. And Tirian turned to see who had spoken. And what he saw then set his heart beating as it had never beaten in any fight.

Seven Kings and Queens stood before him, all with crowns on their heads and all in glittering clothes, but the Kings wore fine mail as well and had their swords drawn in their hands…

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