Cs Lewis Essays Online

It is the second injustice which I am most anxious to remedy.Perhaps the pleasure of Story comes as low in the scale as modern criticism puts it.

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He substituted a subterranean volcanic eruption, and then went one better by adding an earthquake. Perhaps the scene in the original was not 'cinematic' and the man was right, by the canons of his own art, in altering it.

But it would have been better not to have chosen in the first place a story which could be adapted to the screen only by being ruined. No doubt if sheer excitement is all you want from a story, and if increase of dangers increases excitement, then a rapidly changing series of two risks (that of being burned alive and that of being crushed to bits) would be better than the single prolonged danger of starving to death in a cave. There must be a pleasure in such stories distinct from mere excitement or I should not feel that I had been cheated in being given the earthquake instead of Haggard's actual scene.

And in our own time Jung and his followers have produced their doctrine of Archtypes.

Apart from these three attempts the subject has been left almost untouched, and this has had a curious result.

What I lose is the whole sense of the deathly (quite a different thing from simple danger of death)--the cold, the silence, and the surrounding faces of the ancient, the crowned and sceptred, dead. The one lays a hushing spell on the imagination; the other excites a rapid flutter of the nerves.

You may, if you please, say that Rider Haggard's effect is quite as 'crude' or 'vulgar' or 'sensational' as that which the film substituted for it. In reading that chapter of the book curiosity or suspense about the escape of the heroes from their death-trap makes a very minor part of one's experience.

And I knew that what I wanted from them was not simply 'excitement'.

Dangers, of course, there must be: how else can you keep a story going?

We were talking about the books which had delighted our boyhood.

His favourite had been Fenimore Cooper whom (as it happens) I have never read.


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