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The Narnia Code

The man. The myth.

The Narnia Code

Postby postodave » 23 May 2009, 17:10

I think people might want to see this - but you only have until Monday and you have to be in the UK
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0 ... rnia_Code/
Here's a bit of background though I'm sure many visitors here will already be familiar with these ideas I wasn't.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2008/de ... dteenagers
So I drew my sword and got ready
But the lamb ran away with the crown
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Re: The Narnia Code

Postby Mornche Geddick » 24 May 2009, 15:46

I found Dr Ward's advertised on Amazon.

It strikes me as being spurious pattern-recognition. War breaks out in two of the other books and is threatened in a third (TSC). And what on earth have TMN and THAHB got to do with Venus and Mercury? The dominating images in TMN are the Magician and his rings (Mercury, because of his cunning), the wood between the worlds (Venus perhaps but also Luna owing to its mysterious nature and the subtle danger that besets it) the Dead World (Saturn) the Witch (probably Mars) the creation of the Young World (Venus and Sol). The Forbidden garden may be Venus because it is a garden, but the golden gates make it Sol and the curse gives it a Saturn character. So what is TMN really?

By the way, this is how you can tell a spurious pattern; the first couple of examples may fit like a glove but you soon find yourself having to shoehorn the others into place. I suspect myself that if anybody consciously set out to write a series of novels embodying the seven planets, or the four humours, it probably wouldn't work.

Besides, if Lewis had been allegorising the seven planets, wouldn't he have said so to his friends? I'm reminded of something Lewis said himself in Fernseed and Elephants, that every week some clever undergraduate suddenly discovers the "real" meaning of one of Shakespeare's plays, and it's generally rubbish.
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Re: The Narnia Code

Postby postodave » 24 May 2009, 17:41

Besides, if Lewis had been allegorising the seven planets, wouldn't he have said so to his friends? I'm reminded of something Lewis said himself in Fernseed and Elephants, that every week some clever undergraduate suddenly discovers the "real" meaning of one of Shakespeare's plays, and it's generally rubbish

Ward's answer to that one is that Lewis said this so often it must have been designed to throw people off the scent - it all fits! It all fits! :wink:
Oh I don't know, I'd have to read the book. Prima facae it looks unlikely and in the long run it sounds like the kind of thing that will sink like a stone. But it was a good documentary and Ward is such a nice man you want him to be right.
So I drew my sword and got ready
But the lamb ran away with the crown
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Re: The Narnia Code

Postby The Quangle Wangle » 01 Jun 2009, 11:58

The book does make it all sound quite convincing. I don't think you can argue for example that The Last Battle does draw heavily on CSLewis's ideas about Saturn - he even included him as a character alias 'Father Time' - or that the contrast between Aslan's mountain and the lower world in The Silver Chair is based on medieval ideas about the air below the moon and the ether above. But these things of course don't prove that the whole series was planned out this way. Personally I found The Magician's Nephew and The Horse and his Boy the least convincing. Then again I never noticed before the similarity between MN and Perelandra - but that could just be because both deal with the coming of evil into a young world, and so both draw on the account of the fall and the garden of Eden, which seems to be linked in Lewis's imagination to the Hesperides. The argument in any case is not so much that he was 'allegorising' the planets but rather attempting to capture the general feel and flavour of them, which is a rather hard thing to prove or disprove.
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