06 December 2008

The Narnia Code--is this really necessary?!

Talk about taking all the fun out of a series: the Guardian reports about an upcoming BBC documentary about the third layer of hidden meanings within the Chronicles of Narnia. Evidently, each of the books can be linked to a planet in our solar system. To quote the article:

"There are three layers of meaning - it's like three-dimensional chess. Instead of wishy-washy fairy tales, in fact this proves they are quite the opposite - he was writing happily on three levels," said Stone, who has interviewed academics and friends of Lewis for the documentary.

So, not happy with just two levels--the "wishy-washy fairy tale" level and the Christian allegory level--evidently Clever Clogs Lewis was slipping in Medieval Cosmology as well.

Sigh.

I have cherished memories of reading these books as a child. At the time I was more than happy with the wishy-washy fairy tales. As I got older and was able to recognize the Christian allegory, well that was okay too. And kind of cool, because I felt learned for connecting the dots. But this third level is a conspiracy theory too far! It seems as if the Narnia books have been fiddled with quite a bit in recent years; first there was the reordering of the books by publishers so that they could be read chronologically. Now this. Narnia, we hardly knew you.

2 comments:

Louis said...

Karen - the Narnia Code is an exciting & interesting documentary. i think it's good to think about deeper meanings & i am glad that you have become aware of the Christian backdrop to the Narnia series.

i viewed a preview DVD last week. why not have a gander on the short YOUTUBE clip here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHW-SVCbYjc

it's not as bad as you thought!

(disclosure: i am a small-time, almost-angel investor in this film)

Tom Morton said...

I thought The Narnia Code was a confused, disturbing defence of the spurious intellectualism at the root of evangelical Lewismania. I felt patronised and sneered at by Mr Ward - always loved the Narnia books, and Lewis's other works.

It felt like an attempt to turn Lewis into the Thinking Christian's Dan Brown. But maybe that's already happened...

Give us back The Old Narnia!

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