The simplicity and directness of Lewis's fairy tales astounds me. Without the heavy, Freudian self-involvement of the Pevensie children from the movies, without the incredulity and existential pantheism of modern novel writing, without any ado or preamble or explanation or coddling, the language of children draws such praise for my grouchy and embittered soul. Therein lies the truth! It's sitting there, an eternally ancient Old Man of the Fire playing smilelessly with Platonic forms like bobbles! The fairy tale is truly subversive! No wonder that MacDonald was kicked out of his preaching role. I can only pray and hope that I never loose my resonance with this literature. I judging by the reading of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe this time, I'm not likely to any time soon.
With the waning of November has come the chill of winter to the northern climes. Erik took Numi and I up the the Selkirk Mountains where we forged our own trail Boromir style through the knee high banks of snow. Weather like this makes all the more tangible the descriptions of the White Witch's domain and the lesson to darkness which winter so continually brings us.
Lewis continues to introduce us to such amazing Londonisms as "Sharp's the word!" or "Of all the horrid little beasts!". It's worth noting that all these amazing phrases come from Peter, the Magnificent Phraseologist.
Jessica noticed in the end how the denouement leaves her with a sense of strange sadness. These children live their whole lives into adult hood only to stumble back into childhood. The modern movies in particular pick up on what terrible things must happen to one's psyche if this were to happen. It's a bit like a modern novel about time traveling or one of those bad dreams where you go back in time and have to try to fall in love all over again with your beloved, weighed down with the responsibility of prior knowledge. I can see that. Yet I think that goes against the tenets of fairy land to stick to those logical conclusions. Fairy land is that moment of hazy dusk, the ambiguity of instrumental musical language, the lovely disorientation between waking and sleep. Once Kings and Queens, always Kings and Queens. That's the point. They must find Aslan in their own country. To hold on too tightly to the mists of fairy land is to hold too tightly to the sounds of the ocean. (I really hope Nathan reads this, cuz he's going to love my concrete language!) Tolkien and MacDonald's Anados point out that at this time the point of fairy tales are to come back to our own world, to shut the book and look around and perhaps notice something you hadn't before, hear a voice you wouldn't have noticed before, perhaps have learned something you could not have other wise. That's why I love it.