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Lewis’ lecture on fairy stories we’ll deal with later.
I wasn’t surprised to find that he was one of the select band who helped to translate the psalms into modern English.
His Christianity provides the themes, though not the plots for each of his books.
He read everything; Greek and Roman literature, the Norse sagas, Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, Aesop’s fables…all provided characters or precursors for Narnia…think of the centaurs, the quests, the talking animals, the ship’s odyssey.
Lewis was also influenced by previous generations of Christian story-tellers such as William Morris, while George Mac Donald – who wrote The Princess & Curdie, etc – and Quiz – who wrote Giantland – would have been his childhood reading.
It is said that of the seven or eight basic plots, Tolkien included six or seven in Lord of the Rings, which is allegedly one reason why it is eternally popular.
Both Tolkien and Lewis achieve their ends by concentrating on quests, though they include other themes along the way.In particular, the flawed boy character Edmund in The Lion, The Witch, reappears later with a different name, also giving in to temptation. Lewis was established as a great Christian writer for adults at the time.It is said that he was the most widely read man of his generation.These were great Christian writers who appealed to children although they didn’t always write directly for them.Lewis admired E Nesbitt enormously and learned something from her – though not perhaps quite enough to please me in some ways – and he also knew and valued the work of Andrew Lang who collected fairy stories and folk tales from around the world, and who wrote in beautifully simple prose.‘In the author’s mind there bubbles up every now and then the material for a story. You then have to marry this with a suitable ‘form’, verse or prose, short story, novel, play or whatever.When these two things click you have the author’s impulse complete.how could a middle-aged bachelor professor write good books for children (later of course he married an American divorcee who brought her two boys into his family)…what were his influences…and why do children still like them? I saw the trailer earlier and was put off because it seemed to major in battle scenes and they turn me right off! I thought the scenery and action sequences stunning – even the battle ones.The special effects were marvellous, and so was Lucy, the youngest of the children. But, the casting let the whole thing down, which is a major tragedy, considering how much better it could have been.I understand that in the United States and in Britain, The Lion, The Witch has already taken more money at the box office than King Kong! Did you know that there is a CSLewis tour that you can take in Oxford, going round the places he lived and taught at, and of course the pub where he first read The Lion, The Witch to the Inklings?I re-read the book a month ago, and found that distance had leant enchantment in some ways, though in others I found the invention fresh and charming, though the language was a little dated, even condescending in some parts.