acpollack2 at yahoo.com
Tue Jan 31 13:13:34 MST 2006
A couple comments on Louis' post on the Narnia movie:
" If it is meant as Christian propaganda, one has to wonder if it is subverting its own goals through the inclusion of witches, fauns, centaurs and other creatures drawn from the ranks of mythology."
The bios of Lewis and of Tolkien quote the latter criticizing Lewis for creating a grab bag of mythologies and thus a literary product that didn't seem to hold together.
This is quite ironic, as the turning point of the conversation in which Tolkien (and their mutual friend Hugo Dyson) converted Lewis to accepting not only God but Jesus was precisely when Tolkien argued for the value of ALL myths, the
only difference being that Christ's resurrection was a "true" myth (see Tolkien's
poem "Mythopoeia" recounting his argument in poem form). Despite the
difference over their respective literary products, both Tolkien and Lewis shared
an attachment to Nordic myths -- which raises an interesting question for
we Marxists, i.e. how could such seemingly disparate types of myths,
Christian and pagan Nordic, be so attractive to the same person? Part of the
answer of course is their common roots in feudal and prefeudal civilizations [sic].
Finally: "I doubt that any child will be converted to Christianity as a result of watching such a film."
Probably true, as it's typical of Disney's ham-handed efforts and not its
more effective animated ones. BUT -- it will draw even more readers to the
immensely popular and readable books which do a good job of achieving
Lewis' intention: to present the Christian message in a more palatable
form for children. The books, as Tolkien again pointed out, are extremely
ham-handed in their own way (you feel Aslan is being shoved down your
throat), but nonetheless pull you in to the extent you're prepared to be
sucked into an adventure story in which the good father saves the helpless
child -- which we've all been prepared emotionally for by our upbringing
in our civilization [sic].
Once again, we should all be pushing Pullman as a counterweight.
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