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quote:
Originally posted by monkgrr:
Mr. Dweller Moderator Sir, I am sick at the moment and feeling even more stupid than normal, and I need your help. What is the proper board etiquette for quoting Mr. Gaiman's own works in a post (some pretty decently long sentences, not just words and bits of phrases)?

Many thanks,
grace

(Mal, depending on Dweller's answer, I will be getting to your post as soon as I can form coherent thoughts and quit coughing. Edit: Mal, did you read the entire Onion interview you linked to? That will answer some of your questions. I promise.)


Ah, I think I see what the business with the quote syntax was - I'm used to "quote=" from other boards. Teach me to look.

monkgrr, I hope you're feeling better soon. I've read the article and am not that much wiser, I mean, NG mentions what prompted him to write the story in the first place (which was also what prompted me: I'd had the idea buzzing around in my head since before I knew Gaiman had written one) but nothing much I can see about the questions I'm raising.

He does say
quote:
One woman described it as "blasphemous," which I loved, that a potshot at a fictional lion from a series of children's books could be seriously described as blasphemous.

which draws a "Come off it, Neil" from me, because although he may claim that he never realized whom Aslan was supposed to represent when he first read the books, by this time of day he knows darn well that the "fictional lion" personifies Christ in Narnia.

It struck me after I posted earlier that I have in fact some experience of what I'm asking of you, monkgrr: fielding questions from someone who knows the story he's asking about only by reputation. I'm quite a fan of the Gor books (tho' by no means blind to their faults), and there can hardly be an example of modern literature as widely criticized on minimal knowledge. I've happily answered questions about them before now. So while I'd by no means insist you ought to set your watch by mine, at least I'm asking nothing of you but what I could and would do myself at another time and place.

Best wishes and many thanks.
 
Posts: 14 | Registered: February 24, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Wild horses did drag her away, once - long story
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Hi Mal --
These answers will be short, but, one hopes, to the point.

NG is not so blind as to not know *who* Aslan is supposed to represent. But. And please try to follow me here. The Narnia stories are just that -- stories, that the wonderful, beloved, blessed CSL *made up*. They are not the Gospels, and Aslan is not Christ. In fact, if you try to impose a true corrolation between all the characters and the beliefs of Christianity, you'll get yourself into all kinds of theological trouble. They are stories. It is my belief, as someone who attempts to be a Christian and as someone who loves loves loves Lewis, that to say that Aslan *is* Christ is bordering on being blasphemous. At best he is a representation, which we can use to help direct our thoughts toward Christ if we wish, or we can ignore and enjoy only for the story. So on this, Mr. Gaiman is correct. He cannot be committing blasphemy because he is not writing anything about the real Jesus Christ -- he's writing something that reflects negatively upon a fictional character.

more later, I write in hope,
g


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and I don't normally advocate music I love, but go see www.myspace.com/umbrellatree and thank me later!
 
Posts: 1540 | Location: Tennessee | Registered: March 06, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Wild horses did drag her away, once - long story
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Hello again, Mal.
Perhaps here would be a good place to give a brief synopsis of the story as I see it. Unfortunately, I loaned my copy to a nice man who lives in Washington State, so I don't have the story with me and might forget something. I do, however, have some quotes saved from the paper I presented and will use them if necessary. However, there is so much imagery, all of which is important, that I know I will forget that I'm really not doing the story justice . . .

The story starts, in good Neil Gaiman fashion, with a dream.

"She has the dream again that night.
In the dream, she is standing, with her brothers and her sister, on the edge of the battlefield.... There are bodies on the grass. None of the bodies are human....
Flies buzz about the corpses.
The wildflowers tangle in the grass. They bloomed yesterday for the first time in, how long? A hundred years? A thousand? A hundred thousand? She does not know.
All this was snow, she thinks, as she looks at the battlefield.
Yesterday, all this was snow. Always winter, and never Christmas.
The lion is golden... [t]he witch is dressed all in white. Right now she is shouting at the lion, who is simply listening. The children cannot make out any of their words, not her cold anger or the lion's thrum-deep replies. The witch's hair is black and shiny; her lips are red.
In her dream she notices these things.
They will finish their conversation soon, the lion and the witch...." (TPOS 395)

The person having the dream is an older woman named Professor Hastings. She is retired now, alone, filled with memories -- of her long dead family, of men she once loved. She is fixing herself tea and getting the paper and thinking. She find a mouse's head and paw lying on her outside porch mat. She is preparing to be interviewed by a young journalist, Greta who wants to talk with her about the professor's interestingly titled book, "A Quest for Meanings in Children's Fiction." The two women sit down and Greta begins her questions about the professor's views on children's literature.

"Where," asks Greta, "do you feel your interest in children's fiction came from?"
The professor shakes her head. "Where do any of our interests come from? Where does your interest in children's books come from?"
Greta says, "They always seemed the books that were most important to me. The ones that mattered. When I was a kid, and when I grew." (TPOS, 398)
Then Greta asks about the professor's family and it is told "it was a long time ago that they died. Were killed. I should say" (TPOS, 398). The professor goes on to explain that her family had all died in a railway accident, and immediately Greta sees the parallel between the professor and Susan.
"Just like in Lewis's Narnia books...." Greta can feel herself blushing, and she says, "It's just that I remember that sequence so vividly. In The Last Battle. Where you learn there was a train crash on the way back to school, and everyone was killed. Except for Susan, of course.... You know, that used to make me so angry.... All the other kids go off to Paradise, and Susan can't go. She's no longer a friend of Narnia because she's too fond of lipsticks and nylons and invitations to parties. I even talked to my English teacher about it, about the problem of Susan, when I was twelve."
She'll leave the subject now, talk about the role of children's fiction in creating the belief systems we adopt as adults, but the professor says "And tell me, dear, what did your teacher say?"
"She said that even though Susan had refused Paradise then, she still had time while she lived to repent."
"Repent what?"
"Not believing, I suppose. And the sin of Eve.... There must have been something else wrong with Susan,... something they didn't tell us. Otherwise she wouldn't have been damned like that – denied the Heaven of further up and further in. I mean, all the people she had ever cared for had gone on to their reward, in a world of magic and waterfalls and joy. And she was left behind."
"I don't know about the girl in the books," says the professor, "but remaining behind would also have meant that she was available to identify her brothers' and her little sister's bodies.... I remember looking at them and thinking, What if I'm wrong, what if it's not him after all? My younger brother was decapitated, you know. A god who would punish me for liking nylons and parties by making me walk through that school dining room, with the flies, to identify Ed, well ... he's enjoying himself a bit too much, isn't he? Like a cat, getting the last ounce of enjoyment out of a mouse." (TPOS, 398-399)

The professor is too distressed to continue the interview, and Greta leaves. The professor ends up going up to the spare room and takes a box of pictures out of an old applewood wardrobe. As she looks through the old photos of her long lost family, she realizes that she is once again dreaming because next to her bed is a book, a book she does not keep in her house, the cover of which shows a lion and two girls playing with a daisy chain. Now there is a chunk in this dream that has to do with the Mary Poppins stories, but I haven't read those and so didn't quite grasp the importance of the imagery and don't have the story to quote, but I know it matters. Meanwhile, "And the professor stirs in her sleep, and dreams that she is reading her own obituary. It has been a good life, she thinks, as she reads it, discovering her life laid out in black-and-white. Everyone is there. Even the people she had forgotten" (TPOS, 401).

The story continues with more dreaming, but this time it seems (but it's not definitive) to be Greta dreaming. In the dream, the lion and the witch come down the hill together.
She is standing on the battlefield, holding her sister's hand. She looks up at the golden lion, and the burning amber of his eyes. "He's not a tame lion, is he?" she whispers to her sister, and they shiver.
The witch looks at them all; then she turns to the lion and says, coldly, "I am satisfied with the terms of our agreement. You take the girls: for myself, I shall have the boys."
She understands what must have happened, and she runs, but the beast is upon her before she has covered a dozen paces....
<<insert the "earth shaking oral sex" here, as you wish, but I don't have the exact quote; here is also an image of one of the boys' head and hand lying on the ground, much like the mouse's head and hand were lying on the mat -->>
It's true, Greta thinks, irrationally, in the darkness. She grew up. She carried on....
She imagines the professor, waking in the night, and listening to the noises coming from the old applewood wardrobe in the corner: to the rustlings of all these gliding ghosts, which might be mistaken for the scurries of mice or rats, and to the padding of enormous velvet paws, and the distant, dangerous music of a hunting lion.
She knows she is being ridiculous, although she will not be surprised when she reads of the professor's demise. Death comes in the night, she thinks, before she returns to sleep. Like a lion.
The white witch rides naked on the lion's golden back. Its muzzle is spotted with fresh, scarlet blood. Then the vast pinkness of its tongue wipes around its face, and once more it is perfectly clean. (TPOS, 401, 402)

This is the end of story. In truth, I can say, I've done the best I can.

BTW, Mal, have you read "A Grief Observed"?


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"this whole blonde doctor situation has me mortified"
---
and I don't normally advocate music I love, but go see www.myspace.com/umbrellatree and thank me later!
 
Posts: 1540 | Location: Tennessee | Registered: March 06, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Wild horses did drag her away, once - long story
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BTW, Mal, although you are asking me to do something you willing do yourself, you are doing something I would never do: argue about a story I haven't read.


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"this whole blonde doctor situation has me mortified"
---
and I don't normally advocate music I love, but go see www.myspace.com/umbrellatree and thank me later!
 
Posts: 1540 | Location: Tennessee | Registered: March 06, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I had promised myself I would stay out of this debate - but since my last post I came to see this thing a bit differently.

At some point Neil said (in a radio interview) that he understood that Susan had to be left behind for the sake of the story (not actual quotation). I believe it has something to do with the way the last battle happened, maybe that required 3 characters. Or that someone had to stay in this world to sort of maintain contact with Narnia because they believed in it, and to allow the next generations of kids to find it. Sort of a guide, like the professor was in the first place. That's why Susan turns into the profesor in Neil's story. And notice that she does serve as a sort of guide to Greta, since Greta inherits Susan's dream.

The thing is that the lion in this story is not how Neil sees Aslan. It's how Susan comes to see Aslan after all that happened to her. You can infer that their physical bodies were left in this world when they went to Narnia (see how they age in Narnia but come back to this world as kids), which leads to think that there were some bodies in the train for Susan to find. Then of course, she'd have to wonder if the power that took them is indeed as benefic as they thought, after what happens. She can also blame herself for not having been with them, and renounce her sexuality because she thinks was the problem. And so on.

I understand now too that these kind of stories have a need for someone to stay behind and be the link to the next generation. But the way Lewis did it was a bit clumsy and probably reflecting his own prejudices. That's only human. He could have redeemed Susan's case by making her have a dream of her family and see how they are well and happy, and in the same dream have a conversation with Aslan where he tells her why she has to stay here. That would have allowed her to have a normal life. I also think that if Lewis said that Susan would find her way to Narnia eventually, that was just wishful thinking and some guilt on his part. Of course she'd find her way to Narnia, but most likely at her death.
 
Posts: 341 | Location: Indiana, US | Registered: January 12, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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To answer your last point first, monkgrr, it'd probably be enough to say: I'm an oddball. Smile When t'whole world goes one way, I go t'other, as they say in Yorkshire (not that I'm from there). But it's also because the rumours that I'd heard pointed to an extremely bleak view of things by Gaiman, and I was curious to find out more. I don't think I need, for instance, to actually see a piece of "art" that consists of a crucifix immersed in urine, to have a point of view on it. While by no means equating TpoS with Piss Christ, I hope I've established the validity of the principle. Nevertheless I felt I should get as much information as I could before I started shooting my mouth off.

So, back to our muttons. Firstly, thanks very much for the precis; it's extremely informative. Dealing with a minor point first, I see that the ESOS scene is in the fevered imagination either of Greta (probably) or "Miss Hastings" (huh), and not presented as something that actually happened. Naturally I find that something of a load off my mind. It doesn't seem to be explained how Susan – stated as "not very good at schoolwork" in VotDT – miraculously transforms into a professor, but I suppose we can let that pass, although it strikes me as revisionistic.

But the dwelling on the blood and corpses on the battlefield, and on the horror of having to identify Edmund's headless body... that reminds me very much of one of the Screwtape letters, in which the writer is advising Wormwood on the advisability of having it both ways when he's playing upon his patient's emotions. All positive experiences must be rationalised down to mere sights and sounds: if the patient finds a service in a cathedral spiritually uplifting, that must be explained away as hearing some impressive words and music in an architecturally-inspiring surrounding with good acoustics. Meanwhile all negative experiences must be moved as far away as possible from the merely rational – a broken human body that is, however, no longer inhabited by anything capable of suffering – to the instinctively horrifying; the blood and guts and stink and flies. True, Susan and the rest of the children would have witnessed the horror of a battlefield at a very tender age. But they would also have seen the nearly-dead restored to life and health by Lucy's cordial, the petrified revived by Aslan's breath, and in the case of Susan herself, the slain Aslan himself resurrected in triumph. It's a little... editorial, if that's the word... of Gaiman to focus solely on the horrible.

Then there's Greta's insistence on finding some other explanation apart from the obvious for Susan's exclusion from the "further up and further in" Narnia. This is a little reminiscent of Fern-seed and Elephants, really. Lewis stated it very clearly in LB; not only that Susan was preoccupied with lipstick, nylons and invitations, but that she denied Narnia as though it were a children's fantasy – with flippant laughter, not argument that carried conviction but empty mockery that regarded the point as not only proven but too childish to be worth discussion, in defiance of the facts; and there's Screwtape for you again – and that she had been preoccupied with LN&I for some years previously and was showing no inclination to move on. There's no need to start dragging in "the sin of Eve" or anything else over which poor Susan had no control. When the words are written plain on the page, it's foolish to ignore them and instead look for the meaning between the lines.

And indeed Susan wasn't "damned like that" at all – it was only that, at that particular time, it was not yet for her to go to Heaven. Greta could and should have easily deduced that, since the Friends met not only each other but everyone of significance from Narnia's history to its very beginnings, and also saw the Pevensie parents afar off in the True England, with distance no bar to their eventual meeting, all that was in the way of Susan's happiness was her own decision to exclude Aslan (or Christ, whichever way you want to figure it). The mere fact that the others got there first would not have prevented her from joining them and sharing in their joy for eternity. Gaiman makes Greta very wooden-headed at this point, or else betrays a thorough lack of insight on his own account. (In my own all-wise opinion, of course Smile .)

I found this:
quote:
What if I'm wrong, what if it's not him after all? My younger brother was decapitated, you know. A god who would punish me for liking nylons and parties by making me walk through that school dining room, with the flies, to identify Ed, well ... he's enjoying himself a bit too much, isn't he? Like a cat, getting the last ounce of enjoyment out of a mouse
ambiguous. Is Susan (let's call a spade a spade) saying that she is not sure that Aslan is God, because God would not enjoy himself like that (or that a God whowould is a God she is going to punish by not believing in), or that she is not sure that the train crash was the work of Aslan (or God) because it would be unlike Him to do such a thing? I'd like to believe she was wise enough to plump for the second interpretation, but I very much fear it's the first. (The echo of the dead mouse in the opening of the story was obvious, but probably too good to waste.)

Then we wend our way to the end of the story with Greta's dream which shows, if you please, that Aslan and the White Witch are really in cahoots. The resolution to the Problem of Susan seems to be that we must paint Susan in the most hard-done-by light by tossing out the most basic premise concerning Aslan. That seems fair. Roll Eyes (I'd've rather used a "dubious" smiley here if the board had one.) Of course this again is merely a product of Greta's fevered imagination, which may be the author's indication that this is only symbolic of Greta's total failure to assess the situation, or may be an indication that Gaiman hasn't the huevos to come out and say what he means without equivocating. And the final slurp of the Witch-ridden lion's bloody jaws suggests to me that poor Susan has indeed been denied Paradise by authorial fiat; but the author at fault isn't Lewis.

Enough for one post, I think (and if you think "not before time", I can hardly complain...)
 
Posts: 14 | Registered: February 24, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
At some point Neil said (in a radio interview) that he understood that Susan had to be left behind for the sake of the story (not actual quotation). I believe it has something to do with the way the last battle happened, maybe that required 3 characters. Or that someone had to stay in this world to sort of maintain contact with Narnia because they believed in it, and to allow the next generations of kids to find it. Sort of a guide, like the professor was in the first place. That's why Susan turns into the profesor in Neil's story. And notice that she does serve as a sort of guide to Greta, since Greta inherits Susan's dream.


chimeer, I know this is tiresome of me, but I'm going to end up disagreeing with most of this post. For a start, nothing to do with the way the Last Battle panned out required Susan's absence or, for the most part, the presence of any of the Friends except Eustace and Jill. Of the Pevensies, only Peter played any active part at all, and that from inside the Stable when Aslan instructed the High King of Narnia to close the door on the now-extinct "Shadowlands" Narnia. Susan moreover would have been useless as a guide to Narnia owing to her own rejection of it; and her only guidance to Greta is an extremely negative view that, seemingly, sees Greta interpret Aslan and the Witch as two continuing halves of a struggle that neither of them wants to win, sharing in the souls of the Pevensies, and on such good terms that the Witch ends up riding the bloody-mouthed Aslan. (That there is no longer any Narnia save the "real" one is an important note, but a side-issue as long as Susan was not believing in any version of Narnia.)

quote:
The thing is that the lion in this story is not how Neil sees Aslan. It's how Susan comes to see Aslan after all that happened to her.


Are you sure? Has he said anything to this effect? The second sentence can be true without prejudice to the first... and Neil could have written a much more pro-Aslan (and optimistic for Susan) story had he wanted.

quote:
You can infer that their physical bodies were left in this world when they went to Narnia (see how they age in Narnia but come back to this world as kids), which leads to think that there were some bodies in the train for Susan to find. Then of course, she'd have to wonder if the power that took them is indeed as benefic as they thought, after what happens. She can also blame herself for not having been with them, and renounce her sexuality because she thinks was the problem. And so on.


I agree with this on the presence of bodies to find, since Polly and Digory seem to have come by some new, prime-of-life adult bodies. But on the issue of whether Susan ought to have thought that the Friends of Narnia were "taken", or question the good intent of the power that took them, that at least argues for some woolly thinking on the part of either Susan or the author. People die all the time. A lot of them died in England during the preceding few years, and unless Susan was happy to thank Aslan for seeing them through WW2 it's a little unfair to cry out on him for taking them in the train crash. Of course there is scope for Susan to make every mistake possible in assessing the situation and in living her subsequent life; but again, that's no fault of Aslan's. So far from being picked on, she was privileged to share in an almost unique experience, and no worse off than most of her neighbours.

quote:
I understand now too that these kind of stories have a need for someone to stay behind and be the link to the next generation. But the way Lewis did it was a bit clumsy and probably reflecting his own prejudices. That's only human. He could have redeemed Susan's case by making her have a dream of her family and see how they are well and happy, and in the same dream have a conversation with Aslan where he tells her why she has to stay here. That would have allowed her to have a normal life. I also think that if Lewis said that Susan would find her way to Narnia eventually, that was just wishful thinking and some guilt on his part. Of course she'd find her way to Narnia, but most likely at her death.


I don't see any of Lewis's prejudices in this, any more than I see prejudice in his making a pre-adolescent boy willing to betray his brother and sisters for a box of sweets in LWW. I don't see why Susan, having chosen of her own free will to reject Narnia and Aslan, need be given any cut-and-dried assurances as to the welfare of the family she has lost merely in order that we shall not convict the author of any unfairness. Possibly losing her family was the kick up the patootie that she needed to draw her attention to the way her life was shaping up. Or possibly it was only fair that Susan should face the same trial of faith that the rest of us must address without an all-expenses-paid holiday in a magic land of talking animals and personal relationships with Aslan. As to finding her way back to Narnia, if it was only at her own death, what of that? That only puts her in the same boat as 99.9999999% of the rest of us (yes, I believe I counted out the decimal correctly); and the great thing about eternity is that she still has as much time to enjoy it as the rest of the Friends of Narnia.
 
Posts: 14 | Registered: February 24, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'll try to keep this short and I'll let you have the last word after this, which I'm sure you will.

Since the last battle didn't have any technical detail that required only 3 of the kids to be there, I stick with the reason why Susan is left behind being to maintain the link between the worlds and to guide the next generation. I think the kids would not have found the wardrobe so easily in the first place had it not belonged to the professor who knew what was in it.

It's one of those things where the story has a life of its own, and Lewis probably had an intuition about that part of the story, that it had to end this way one way or another. And if you don't think that he showed any prejudice in the way Susan evolved towards the end, it's because you share his beliefs and philosophy and this discussion has no point. I personally would like to believe that if I go to hell, it will be for something less superficial than having worn makeup from time to time. Comeon. It's the 21st century.

I think Greta understood exactly how Susan felt and was swept into Susan's dream and that's her initiation to Narnia. About those being Susan's vision as opposed to Neil's, of course Neil had to identify with Susan while writing the story and put himself in her shoes and imagine what she would feel like after many years of being alone in this world. But the point of the story is Susan and not Aslan, and the story doesn't claim her vision to be the truth.

And of course Neil could have written a different story that would show Aslan in a much more positive light. But hundreds of Narnia fans could do the same thing. It's called fanfiction. Only Neil could write such a wonderfully twisted story. And that's the word for tonight :P
 
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Wild horses did drag her away, once - long story
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Okay, Mal, I'm going to do the best I can to answer this, but that doesn't mean you'll be happy with it. (And I haven't learned the proper way to quote either, after all this time. Sigh.)I disagree with your analogy of not reading a story and yet arguing about the imagery and points of it to not seeing a piece of art yet being able to have an opinion of it based on description. It doesn't hold to me, and a number of your comments below prove my point, at least to me. You have not established the validity of your principle. It has nothing to do with "oddballness" -- it has everything to do with neglect combined the desire to post your own opinion. It is possible to obtain access to the story. I refuse to believe that your country hasn't access to internet books stores -- and used bookstores at that. You can get this story for real, real cheap. So instead of having a real exchange of ideas, we are arguing points of fact that all could have been avoided if you had bothered to read the story.

quote:
Originally posted by Malacandra:
<snip> So, back to our muttons. Firstly, thanks very much for the precis; it's extremely informative. Dealing with a minor point first, I see that the ESOS scene is in the fevered imagination either of Greta (probably) or "Miss Hastings" (huh), and not presented as something that actually happened. Naturally I find that something of a load off my mind.
quote:


Why "fevered imagination" (and "Miss Hastings" is incorrect -- it's Professor Hastings, like it or not)? Have you never had an uncomfortable, odd, otherworldly dream? Does it require a fevered imagination to dream? I think not.

quote:
It doesn't seem to be explained how Susan – stated as "not very good at schoolwork" in VotDT – miraculously transforms into a professor, but I suppose we can let that pass, although it strikes me as revisionistic.
quote:


Maybe because Professor Hastings is definitively not identified as Susan. You want to insist on that, but that's incorrect. The Professor and Greta discuss the Narnia stories and nowhere is it stated by either character that the Narnia stories are literal biographies.

quote:
Then there's Greta's insistence on finding some other explanation apart from the obvious for Susan's exclusion from the "further up and further in" Narnia.
quote:


Just a side point, if it's so obvious, why write about it? Why would others have differing opinions -- even those of us who love the Narnia stories?

quote:
This is a little reminiscent of Fern-seed and Elephants, really. Lewis stated it very clearly in LB; not only that Susan was preoccupied with lipstick, nylons and invitations, but that she denied Narnia as though it were a children's fantasy – with flippant laughter, not argument that carried conviction but empty mockery that regarded the point as not only proven but too childish to be worth discussion, in defiance of the facts; and there's Screwtape for you again – and that she had been preoccupied with LN&I for some years previously and was showing no inclination to move on. There's no need to start dragging in "the sin of Eve" or anything else over which poor Susan had no control. When the words are written plain on the page, it's foolish to ignore them and instead look for the meaning between the lines.
quote:


Well, at least Neil Gaiman reads a story before he decides to criticize it. And he is certainly not the only one who has issues with what happened to Susan. It's not as self-evident as you would like to believe.

quote:
And indeed Susan wasn't "damned like that" at all – it was only that, at that particular time, it was not yet for her to go to Heaven. Greta could and should have easily deduced that, since the Friends met not only each other but everyone of significance from Narnia's history to its very beginnings, and also saw the Pevensie parents afar off in the True England, with distance no bar to their eventual meeting, all that was in the way of Susan's happiness was her own decision to exclude Aslan (or Christ, whichever way you want to figure it). The mere fact that the others got there first would not have prevented her from joining them and sharing in their joy for eternity. Gaiman makes Greta very wooden-headed at this point, or else betrays a thorough lack of insight on his own account. (In my own all-wise opinion, of course Smile .)
quote:


Again, Mal, I can't emphasize this strongly enough. You cannot with any intellectual integrity make such a judgment about either the story or Neil Gaiman's insights until you have read the story. Why can't you see this? He is articulating a point that others make and following it to a logical end. He is canvassing the issue at least as well as CSL did in the letter already mentioned. He is not in any way making Greta into his own viewpoint. Again. This is answered at least in part in his interview -- he is expressing a might have been through this story.

quote:
I found this:
quote:
What if I'm wrong, what if it's not him after all? My younger brother was decapitated, you know. A god who would punish me for liking nylons and parties by making me walk through that school dining room, with the flies, to identify Ed, well ... he's enjoying himself a bit too much, isn't he? Like a cat, getting the last ounce of enjoyment out of a mouse
ambiguous. Is Susan (let's call a spade a spade)
quote:


You can't do this, Mal. The story doesn't let you make this determiniation.

quote:
saying that she is not sure that Aslan is God, because God would not enjoy himself like that (or that a God whowould is a God she is going to punish by not believing in), or that she is not sure that the train crash was the work of Aslan (or God) because it would be unlike Him to do such a thing? I'd like to believe she was wise enough to plump for the second interpretation, but I very much fear it's the first. (The echo of the dead mouse in the opening of the story was obvious, but probably too good to waste.)
quote:


Have you read "A Grief Observed"? I think this part of Neil Gaiman's story is an excellent restating of quite a few points from that wonderful book.

quote:
Then we wend our way to the end of the story with Greta's dream which shows, if you please, that Aslan and the White Witch are really in cahoots. The resolution to the Problem of Susan seems to be that we must paint Susan in the most hard-done-by light by tossing out the most basic premise concerning Aslan. That seems fair. Roll Eyes (I'd've rather used a "dubious" smiley here if the board had one.) Of course this again is merely a product of Greta's fevered imagination, which may be the author's indication that this is only symbolic of Greta's total failure to assess the situation, or may be an indication that Gaiman hasn't the huevos to come out and say what he means without equivocating. And the final slurp of the Witch-ridden lion's bloody jaws suggests to me that poor Susan has indeed been denied Paradise by authorial fiat; but the author at fault isn't Lewis.
quote:


So so much is wrong in this final paragraph that I hardly know where to start, and having read through your post, honestly, I'm not sure you're going to understand anything I write anyway. You're showing a lack of perception, which isn't surprising since you haven't YET READ THE STORY. Do I think you'll change your mind if and when you do read Neil Gaiman's story for yourself? No, I don't. You've already stated that you've made up your mind about it and that you have the perfect right to do so. Do I think TPoS is the correct reading of what happens to Susan? Not all of it, no. But it raises some worthwhile issues that you, for reasons I haven't yet fathomed, want to say don't exist.

One, I dispute your continued use of the term "fevered imagination." Also, if you read the story, you would see that Greta actually confirms what most of us realize -- Susan's willful forgetting of her relationship with Aslan. The picture of the lion and the witch being "in cahoots" is, of course, a harkening back to the scene in LWW. And it examines the continued mantra from the Narnia stories that Aslan is "not a tame lion." In the dream, the lion really isn't tame. This story is not symptomatic of equivocation. It's answering a problem with more problems. Now, maybe that kind or style of writing isn't to your taste, and that's fine. But it doesn't mean the writer doesn't have any balls, or that he doesn't have an opinion, or that he doesn't know how to write a definitive, non-problematic story.

I'm sure I've left stuff out. Not on purpose though. And I've screwed up the quoting and I don't know how to fix it and I swear I've tried. Sorry. If it's unclear, I apologize.


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and I don't normally advocate music I love, but go see www.myspace.com/umbrellatree and thank me later!
 
Posts: 1540 | Location: Tennessee | Registered: March 06, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by chimeer: I'll try to keep this short and I'll let you have the last word after this, which I'm sure you will.


You shouldn't poison the well like that, it's dishonest debating and a well-known logical fallacy. If you want to duck out of the thread then go ahead, but don't try to put me in the wrong for replying. [mode=Digory Kirke]What do they teach them in these schools?[/mode]

quote:
Since the last battle didn't have any technical detail that required only 3 of the kids to be there, I stick with the reason why Susan is left behind being to maintain the link between the worlds and to guide the next generation. I think the kids would not have found the wardrobe so easily in the first place had it not belonged to the professor who knew what was in it.


Which unfortunately runs up against the inconvenient fact that at the time Lewis wrote "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" he had no particular intention of writing any more Narnia stories and hadn't much idea of where the wardrobe came from, let alone that Professor Kirke had been to Narnia as a boy... along with the point I made about Susan being a most unsuitable guide even if Narnia was still reachable, which you've completely ignored.

quote:
It's one of those things where the story has a life of its own, and Lewis probably had an intuition about that part of the story, that it had to end this way one way or another


Did he indeed? And your evidence would be...? *waits with ill-justified optimism*

quote:
And if you don't think that he showed any prejudice in the way Susan evolved towards the end, it's because you share his beliefs and philosophy and this discussion has no point.


*laughs* So my giving a counter-example of what I don't believe to be prejudice against males doesn't deserve consideration? Lewis had a word for the kind of argument you're advancing: he wrote an essay called "Bulverism", explaining what a useful tactic it is to be able to avoid your adversary's inconvenient facts by merely explaining that he holds those views because of the kind of person he is – which "of course" means that his views are fallacious without further explanation. He revisits it (or may have used it first; I'm unsure of the chronology) in "The Pilgrim's Regress", in which an argument founded on the fact that two and two make four is to be refuted by retorting "Ah, you just say that because you are a mathematician".

quote:
. I personally would like to believe that if I go to hell, it will be for something less superficial than having worn makeup from time to time. Comeon. It's the 21st century.


Other than everything after the first full stop being a complete non sequitur, you're ignoring the possibility that the whole lipstick thing was not what sank Susan – it was a symptom of what was the matter with her. Goodness me. You argue as though nothing else was said about Susan than that she liked makeup. What about the neglecting every other aspect of her life in her race to get on the party scene, her reluctance to move on from it, and her denial of Aslan? Come on yourself, whatever century it is.

quote:
I think Greta understood exactly how Susan felt and was swept into Susan's dream and that's her initiation to Narnia. About those being Susan's vision as opposed to Neil's, of course Neil had to identify with Susan while writing the story and put himself in her shoes and imagine what she would feel like after many years of being alone in this world. But the point of the story is Susan and not Aslan, and the story doesn't claim her vision to be the truth.


Now we're getting somewhere. But if Greta has been swept into Susan's dream and that is now her vision of Narnia, it only illustrates what a poor guide to Narnia Susan is. (Btw I'm pleased that at least we two don't need to pussyfoot around coyly pretending that Prof. Hastings is not Susan.) Greta's vision of Aslan is of a sadistic anthropophage who is hand in glove with the White Witch – some way beyond merely "not a tame lion" and more in "dreadful monster to be shunned, as you value your life and soul, even though it's too late for Susan". I'm afraid that rather undermines the whole passing-the-baton idea. Plus, you know, Narnia no longer existing and all that.

quote:
And of course Neil could have written a different story that would show Aslan in a much more positive light. But hundreds of Narnia fans could do the same thing. It's called fanfiction. Only Neil could write such a wonderfully twisted story. And that's the word for tonight :P

Hey, if a wonderfully twisted story that shows Aslan up in a bad light is what dings your bell, de gustibus non est disputandem, as long as we're calling things by their right names. Not having an antireligious agenda to peddle, I admit I'd struggle to do the same. And that's the word for this morning.
 
Posts: 14 | Registered: February 24, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Okay, Mal, I'm going to do the best I can to answer this, but that doesn't mean you'll be happy with it. (And I haven't learned the proper way to quote either, after all this time. Sigh.)


Oh, I wasn't necessarily shooting for happy, as long as I get some honest answers. I fully expect your views to differ from mine and you to be able to make out a strong case. As for quoting, if you enter {quote}I want this quoted{/quote} but use [square brackets] in place of the {braces}, you'll get:
quote:
I want this quoted
. It's just that other places would let me use {quote=Malcandra}A load of inane waffle{/quote} and I'd get
quote:
Originally posted by Malacandra:
A load of inane waffle
. That's what I was having trouble with.

Now where were we...?

quote:
I disagree with your analogy of not reading a story and yet arguing about the imagery and points of it to not seeing a piece of art yet being able to have an opinion of it based on description. It doesn't hold to me, and a number of your comments below prove my point, at least to me. You have not established the validity of your principle. It has nothing to do with "oddballness" -- it has everything to do with neglect combined the desire to post your own opinion. It is possible to obtain access to the story. I refuse to believe that your country hasn't access to internet books stores -- and used bookstores at that. You can get this story for real, real cheap. So instead of having a real exchange of ideas, we are arguing points of fact that all could have been avoided if you had bothered to read the story.


I'm afraid you need to do a little more than merely say that the analogy doesn't hold to you; and I'd have thought that someone who presented papers to conventions at universities would understand about intellectual rigour (actually, I do believe that you do). What more would I need to do to demonstrate the validity of the principle? For "neglect" read "impatience"; and not having managed to gain access to the story itself, I've done the best I can – find someone who knows a lot about both the author and the story, who is considered an authority on it, and who was positively asking for people to discuss it (what's that line about "beware of what you ask for"? Smile ). I'm doing all I can to rein in any putative ire I may feel over the story until I've had any points of fact corrected. It's not like I'm burning embassies down on the mere hearsay of a cartoon in a foreign newspaper.

quote:
Why "fevered imagination" (and "Miss Hastings" is incorrect -- it's Professor Hastings, like it or not)? Have you never had an uncomfortable, odd, otherworldly dream? Does it require a fevered imagination to dream? I think not.


"Fevered imagination" is a mere hackneyed cliché, as is "hackneyed cliché", but not a wholly inappropriate one to apply to dreams as far off the wall as two such deadly enemies as Aslan and the White Witch making the beast with two backs and a seriously furry middle. As to neglecting Hasting's proper title, that was a mistake, not obtuseness. It happens that I do not like it, but I didn't drop it deliberately on that account.

quote:
Maybe because Professor Hastings is definitively not identified as Susan. You want to insist on that, but that's incorrect. The Professor and Greta discuss the Narnia stories and nowhere is it stated by either character that the Narnia stories are literal biographies.


Oy. Roll Eyes I'm sure there are numerous examples of literature where the informed reader is expected to decode symbols a darn sight less bleedin' obvious than that. Yes, it could just be any old professor who happens to have lost all her family in a train accident, including more than one brother and a single sister, who dreams about a battlefield with lots of non-human corpses that was a snowfield until the previous day (after a winter of indeterminate length, too), who owns an apple-wood wardrobe and specifically does not keep a copy of a book with the jacket design of "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe" on it. We know the reason why the Professor is not definitively identified as Susan. Gaiman said so. Let's not be precious.

quote:
(Malacandra said):
Then there's Greta's insistence on finding some other explanation apart from the obvious for Susan's exclusion from the "further up and further in" Narnia.

(and Monkgrr replied):
Just a side point, if it's so obvious, why write about it? Why would others have differing opinions -- even those of us who love the Narnia stories?

I'm slightly surprised that you don't advance a counter-argument that explains why merely denying that Aslan ever existed would be a reason to keep someone out of Narnia – even temporarily – and instead ask me to delve into the murky waters of speculation about other people's motivations. I always struggle with that. But if I have to, I should say that there would be a fairly marked divide between those who are comfortable with the Christian symbolism in Narnia, and those who would just have them as plain straightforward fantasy. I've seen evidence that suggests that Gaiman, for a start, falls into the latter camp; I'd have to Google for the cite again, as I didn't bookmark it, but he's quoted as saying he first read them (LWW at least) in all innocence, and only found out later about the religious subtext Lewis had smuggled in. He felt quite peeved about it. (But it's all right. While not spotting the correspondence between Aslan and Christ, Gaiman noticed Bacchus in "Prince Caspian", and that inspired him to find out more about the classical gods and gave him much more of a leg-up into paganism than Christianity. Sub-parenthetically, I find this surprising, as before I for one was out of short trousers I'd heard of any number of Greek, Roman and Norse gods as well as having had at least a little exposure to the Ramayana and knowing the story of Sohrab and Rustum; and I'd've expected an accomplished author like NG to be far more widely read than me, even as a child.) Eh, stop digressing, Malacandra. Roll Eyes I prefer not to argue like this, but it looks to me as though there are people who would prefer to find any reason at all not to believe that Susan's choices should determine Susan's fate. They'd rather argue that Aslan was a meanie or Lewis was a misogynist with an arrested sexual development or Christianity itself is a crock. Hence the harping on about going to hell because of liking makeup that I'm seeing in this very thread. That or, I dunno, poor comprehension skills?

Mostly, though, I meant "obvious, as in present in black and white on the page" rather than "obvious, as in everyone agrees on this". But as long as we're engaging in proof by assigning motive – care to hazard a guess on why we hear so much about lipstick, and so comparatively little on dismissing Narnia as a children's fantasy?

quote:
Well, at least Neil Gaiman reads a story before he decides to criticize it.

Yes, stop harping on it would you? We established that point already.

quote:
And he is certainly not the only one who has issues with what happened to Susan. It's not as self-evident as you would like to believe.

Never mind what I would like to believe or argumentum ad populem. Let's get on to the meat and potatoes.

quote:
Again, Mal, I can't emphasize this strongly enough. You cannot with any intellectual integrity make such a judgment about either the story or Neil Gaiman's insights until you have read the story. Why can't you see this?

Really, once was enough. I'm being quite specific in my criticisms and I've no objection to facts being advanced against them, so have the intellectual integrity to advance the facts and stop beating us all over the head with why I'm not allowed to have an opinion. I felt your precis was quite clear and I'm not assuming any facts not in evidence.

quote:
Malacandra said:
Is Susan (let's call a spade a spade)
and monkgrr answered:
You can't do this, Mal. The story doesn't let you make this determiniation.

Asked and answered above. Suppose we stop fencing. And I'm sorry you didn't feel able to answer my point about the ambiguity and had to focus upon whether Professor Hastings is meant to be Susan.
quote:
Have you read "A Grief Observed"? I think this part of Neil Gaiman's story is an excellent restating of quite a few points from that wonderful book.

Has he read it? I haven't – yet. Consider it as being firmly on my reading list.

quote:
So so much is wrong in this final paragraph that I hardly know where to start,

Aaaaand so you don't bother, taking convenient refuge in the "I'm not going to argue if you're not going to listen" cop-out.

quote:
and having read through your post, honestly, I'm not sure you're going to understand anything I write anyway. You're showing a lack of perception, which isn't surprising since you haven't YET READ THE STORY.


Capitals, yet. The reiteration was already redundant without any additional insult to my reading comprehension. Forgive me, I mistook you for someone with an extremely informed viewpoint and a willingness to discuss. In exculpation I cite the earlier part of this thread.

quote:
Do I think you'll change your mind if and when you do read Neil Gaiman's story for yourself? No, I don't. You've already stated that you've made up your mind about it and that you have the perfect right to do so. Do I think TPoS is the correct reading of what happens to Susan? Not all of it, no. But it raises some worthwhile issues that you, for reasons I haven't yet fathomed, want to say don't exist.

One, I dispute your continued use of the term "fevered imagination"

A stylistic flaw that more careful editing on my part would have picked up, I admit, but then, we're talking about a dream of Aslan having sex with the Witch, dividing the souls of the children, devouring Susan (presumably) and licking his bloody chops as the Witch rides off on him. "Fevered" can be used figuratively, yanno. It doesn't necessarily imply a body temperature in three degrees Fahrenheit.

quote:
Also, if you read the story, you would see that Greta actually confirms what most of us realize -- Susan's willful forgetting of her relationship with Aslan. The picture of the lion and the witch being "in cahoots" is, of course, a harkening back to the scene in LWW. And it examines the continued mantra from the Narnia stories that Aslan is "not a tame lion." In the dream, the lion really isn't tame. This story is not symptomatic of equivocation. It's answering a problem with more problems. Now, maybe that kind or style of writing isn't to your taste, and that's fine. But it doesn't mean the writer doesn't have any balls, or that he doesn't have an opinion, or that he doesn't know how to write a definitive, non-problematic story.

So it is in fact the case that the weird view of Aslan in the dream is attributable to Susan's faulty relationship with him, and not that the reader is being invited to view Aslan as horrid as the dream paints him? And that in fact the problem wasn't lipstick after all, but that despite all her learning Susan has never grasped this? See, this is the kind of thing I've been trying to find out. (Yes, I know: "Read the story". Consider it said Wink ) Answering a problem with more problems is fine by me. Even a story that does not promise a happy ending for Susan is fine by me, for though I do believe that there is "more joy over one sinner that repenteth", I also believe that the choices we make matter. I'm just curious to know about any blame assignment that goes on.

quote:
I'm sure I've left stuff out. Not on purpose though. And I've screwed up the quoting and I don't know how to fix it and I swear I've tried. Sorry. If it's unclear, I apologize.

You did great (except for the quoting, but we all have our blind spots Smile ), and I'm very grateful.
 
Posts: 14 | Registered: February 24, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Mal, a real honest to God question here: do you have any desire to read my presentation from the Lewis Con at Belmont Univ last November? (I'm not an academic so it is a truly amatuer paper.) I don't want to post it all here, obviously, and I'm not stating it will address all of your points or any of your points . . . but it might. I would be happy to email it to you if you wish. And I won't mind a bit if you don't. (One person who read it took me to task for not supporting Neil Gaiman's pov enough; two others fussed at me for supporting it *too* much!)

Got to go to work right now, hoping to get back on board later this afternoon . . .


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"this whole blonde doctor situation has me mortified"
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and I don't normally advocate music I love, but go see www.myspace.com/umbrellatree and thank me later!
 
Posts: 1540 | Location: Tennessee | Registered: March 06, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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monkgrr, that's a very generous offer. Yes please. I presume I made my email addy accessible when I signed up - if not, please post again and I'll fix it.

Urendi Maleldil
 
Posts: 14 | Registered: February 24, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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PS - and if you got slammed by both sides, chances are your viewpoint was fairly balanced! Big Grin
 
Posts: 14 | Registered: February 24, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Malacandra:
monkgrr, that's a very generous offer. Yes please. I presume I made my email addy accessible when I signed up - if not, please post again and I'll fix it.

Urendi Maleldil

Hi Mal,

I don't see your email on your profile info. You can PM me if you want and send me your email that way. Whatever works best for you is cool.

I'm going to dispense with screwing up the whole quote thing, and try to answer some of your other questions in small bites, and not one big post anymore. That's too much at one time for me.


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"this whole blonde doctor situation has me mortified"
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and I don't normally advocate music I love, but go see www.myspace.com/umbrellatree and thank me later!
 
Posts: 1540 | Location: Tennessee | Registered: March 06, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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This post will try to answer one specific issue: 1) has Neil Gaiman read "A Grief Observed"?

1) I don't know, but I know that he has read much of Lewis's works (he is also fond of "The Screwtape Letters" as you, Mal, seem to be -- even did an intro for it some years back to an edition but I don't remember which one). If NG hasn't, then he is doing an excellent job of channeling some parts of that work! Smile Seriously, though, there are some significant parts of AGO where Lewis is angry with God for taking his beloved wife, and those parts are honest and brutal and ask the difficult question: why? Why was this necessary? I think AGO answers some of those questions in a particular and personal (And beautiful) way, that perhaps isn't applicable to everyone who has grieved deeply. But the idea that God is cruel is not a new idea, obviously. And so I think that NG is echoing a truly felt, if not completely justified and accurate, opinion through Prof. Hastings words of "A god who would punish me for liking nylons and parties by making me walk through that school dining room, with the flies, to identify Ed, well ... he's enjoying himself a bit too much, isn't he?" I don't personally feel that he is using Prof. Hastings to be his *own* mouthpiece, btw, as much as he is using her to articulate and sum up some of the many criticisms of Lewis's works. But that is my personal opinion and not necessarily born out in the text. In regard to the Last Battle, I don't think Susan is being punished. But I can still see the idea that it is possible that to Susan, Aslan is not someone who loves her but someone who killed her family and left her alone. Of course, we don't *know* that from the LB text. That is why TPoS is filled with problematic conjecture that isn't easily answered in a few sentences. Like AGO, it is asking hard questions. Unlike AGO, it doesn't provide many answers.

And for my own personal enjoyment and not to start a new tangent, I am going to quote some of AGO: "Not that I am (I think) in much danger of ceasing to believe in God. The real danger is coming to belive such dreadful things about Him. The conclusion I dread is not, 'So there's no God after all,' but, 'So this is what God's really like. Deceive yourself no longer."


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and I don't normally advocate music I love, but go see www.myspace.com/umbrellatree and thank me later!
 
Posts: 1540 | Location: Tennessee | Registered: March 06, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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And now a second issue: in Neil Gaiman's story, is Professor Hastings supposed to be Susan, just with a different name to keep from being sued by the Lewis estate?

I honestly believe the answer here is, no. NG is not merely writing fanfic. I have read some Susan fanfic: it is straight up Susan, giving her point of view, what happenes, what the author hopes happens, etc. The goal of much of these stories seems to be the desire to resolve her ultimate ending. This is not what's going on here in NG's story. The first clue is that the woman in the story is a Professor whose training is in children's literature and how it affects us, the readers, for our whole adult lives. The Narnia books are front and center in the discussion between the Prof and Greta -- which would be bizarre if the Prof is really Susan, because then the stories are biographical tales and we know that's not the case. It is almost like Prof H is a parallel universe Susan -- close enough to be able to look at and then apply what she went through to what might have happened with Susan, but not close enough to say, "See, this is absolutely Susan." Another big part of this is the Professor's dream about Mary Poppins, which I mentioned earlier but cannot quote. I haven't read any of the Mary Poppins stories and I know I'm missing an important image that obviously has nothing to do with Lewis's Susan but everything to do with (again) the effects of what we read as children. And if you've read Mary Poppins, btw, please let me know what's going on here when you get the chance. I've bought the MP books, but it's going to be some time before I get to them! Anyway. I sincerely don't think -- and I'm made this judgment based on the readings of interviews and upon NG's talk at the MythCon 2 years ago -- that dodging a lawsuit is the only reason why the character isn't called Susan. By not making her into the Susan of the Narnia books, NG is allowing himself some space to ask questions about her fate specifically and about the effect and importance of children's literature in general. I don't get the wink wink feeling from TPoS at all; I do get a feeling of "Look, look at this. Now, what does this remind you of? What does this make you think about? Why?"


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and I don't normally advocate music I love, but go see www.myspace.com/umbrellatree and thank me later!
 
Posts: 1540 | Location: Tennessee | Registered: March 06, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:

You shouldn't poison the well like that


You could prove me wrong by not replying. Heh. But I knew the temptation was too big. It seems you're the one poisoning the well with this aggressive wish to debate everyone to death and not concede to any of their points.

quote:
at the time Lewis wrote "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" he had no particular intention of writing any more Narnia stories


Completely missed my point. I was talking about the logic of the story and not Lewis's intention. Do you know that he had no idea where the wardrobe came from? All we know for sure is that the professor had been to Narnia himself through the wardrobe.

quote:
the point I made about Susan being a most unsuitable guide even if Narnia was still reachable, which you've completely ignored.


That's beyond the point. She's not supposed to be an active guide, just someone in this world who knows Narnia exists. I was talking about how Susan turns out hypothetically in Lewis world and not in TPoS.

quote:
And your evidence would be...?


That's where the word "probably" which I used means it's a supposition and not a claim! You should check up your logic sensor. Plus, someone who debates a story he hasn't read forfeits all right to ask for evidence from other people.

quote:
I'm afraid that rather undermines the whole passing-the-baton idea.


Of course it undermines it. You didn't get what I was saying. I was talking about passing the batton -in the Narnia books- as the best reason -for me- that Susan was left behind. An understanding that allows me *not* to see Lewis as a bigot! Apparently you insist on me having that opinion of Lewis.

Of course in Neil's story the passing of the batton happens in a twisted way, kind of making me believe he sees (the real) Susan's role the same way as I do (independently of TPoS). Since the story explores the possible steering of Susan's mind into the doubting/self-blaming/nightmare direction, the passage of the knowledge of Narnia is also distorted. I see I have to spell out everything and I'm not even sure you'll try to understand any of this.

quote:
Not having an antireligious agenda to peddle, I admit I'd struggle to do the same.


I don't have an anti-religious agenda, nor do I think that this was Neil's intention. I plead guilty for enjoying original views of religious themes once in a while. If that doesn't suit you, you're in the wrong place trying to read anything that Neil wrote. There's plenty of other non-conform ideas in his stories.

One last thing - about this being the result of Susan's choice - don't forget that Lewis is the one who chose for Susan to evolve that way! Susan is a character and she does excactly what Lewis made her do. These are not her choices, they are his.
 
Posts: 341 | Location: Indiana, US | Registered: January 12, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I don't think I'm tough enough to argue in this topic anymore, but monkgrr, you said you wrote a paper? I'd be interested in reading it too, if you don't mind. If not, that's okay as well. Smile


--------
Years ago my mother used to say to me, she'd say, "In this world, Elwood, you must be" - she always called me Elwood - "In this world, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant." Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. And you may quote me.
 
Posts: 44 | Registered: February 16, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by iphigenia:
I don't think I'm tough enough to argue in this topic anymore, but monkgrr, you said you wrote a paper? I'd be interested in reading it too, if you don't mind. If not, that's okay as well. Smile


--------
Years ago my mother used to say to me, she'd say, "In this world, Elwood, you must be" - she always called me Elwood - "In this world, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant." Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. And you may quote me.


Sure. Do you have a preferred email addy? And again, I cannot emphasize strongly enough that I am not a professional academic. So the paper is just me with all my untrained viewpoints, trying to figure something out. Smile


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and I don't normally advocate music I love, but go see www.myspace.com/umbrellatree and thank me later!
 
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