Thursday, January 24, 2008

9. & 10. "The Horse and His Boy" and "Prince Caspian"

by C.S. Lewis.

My son, who is an avid writer of gory mythological stories (yes, he's written more pages than I have, and he's illustrated them, as well), asked me if C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien ever battled it out over their respective pieces of work. I had never considered that, and together we found that both writers were in the same writing group. Talking trees indeed!

In the Narnia series, The Horse and His Boy can easily be overlooked. It tells about the reigns of King Edmund and Queens Susan and Lucy, but it feels like Lewis wrote it simply to make sure readers knew they had powerful adventures in Narnia before slipping back into the wardrobe.

Which brings us to Prince Caspian. I had to read this since the movie comes out in May, and I'm sure to have a 9-year-old dragging me to the theater... not too difficult - have you seen the actor who plays Prince Caspian?

The four royalty are back in England, but Prince Caspian, fighting for the throne of Narnia, calls them back to help him. You can imagine the rest, but it's still a charming read. And for those of you who missed the Christianity symbolism in the LWaW, it is plastered all over this one.

The Horse and His Boy - 1.25 out of 5.0 Bay Horses.

Prince Caspian - 3.0 out of 5.0 Non-Alcoholic Wassails.


Jeane said...

The Horse and His Boy was always one of my favorites, just because it had a talking horse!

Anskov said...

I liked the Horse and His Boy because the locale was quite different from the other books and it was a surprise to revisit the 4 kids as kings and queens (I think it was the second or third from the last Narnia book he published).

As for Christian imagery in the novels, yes they are very present. I once read Lewis' take on that. He said something about how the books are not allegorical, but rather suppositional - in other words, what if God chose to make himself known in this other world? How would it play out?

I reread the entire series periodically and can never really decide which one I like best, but if pressed, I'll usually say The Silver Chair - I like how the two kids are realistic and a bit cynical.

Kristin Dodge said...

Knowing that is what Lewis was thinking makes me look at the books in a new light... thanks for sharing that.

I always considered Aslan more Christ-like than God-like; perhaps Lewis felt it was one and the same.

Nice picture, btw. :-)

Nathan said...

Concerning your son's question about the Tolkien-Lewis relationship, here is an article I found. The best quote is: "Lewis and Tolkien first met in 1926 at a Merton College English Faculty meeting. Initially Lewis noted some apprehension: In his diary, he wrote of the 'smooth, pale, fluent little chap' that there was 'no harm in him: only needs a smack or so.'"