Sunday, March 16, 2008

A Chronicle of a Regret

A literary regret of mine is not having read C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia as a child. I remember picking it up. I started with The Voyage of the Dawn Treader at the school library. Maybe because I knew it did not come first in the series, perhaps the language proved too thick for me at the time or I just didn’t click with it. I’m not sure. But it’s moot anyway, as I have read them many times since. I’m not going to gush about how much I enjoy them. But I will say that part of my regret is not having come across the philosophy of life, if you will, contained within The Last Battle. One that can only be fully grokked by experiencing the whole series. If I had been presented with these ideas as a child, I think I would be much better adjusted than I am now. I’m not suggesting that I’m maladjusted. I just know that its wisdom struck a chord with me and it would have been nice to have been hearing that music all this time. Before anyone attaches the Christian influence associated with the books let me say yes, allusions to spiritual icons and themes exist in the chronicles. Notice I did not specify. The philosophies I speak of are actually much more influenced by Eastern faiths. No matter what, the fact is it’s a grand adventure with much to say.

I must say that I am put off by the reordering of the books into a straight timeline. I prefer the published order. Here’s why: It’s my understanding that when Lewis wrote The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe he did not realize more stories would arise. He discovered as he wrote. My feeling is that reading them “in order” decreases the enjoyment of that discovery process. For me it’s more fun to let stories unfold the way they did for the author. But, you probably could have guessed.

No comments: