In the darkness the trees are full of starlight (henwy) wrote,
In the darkness the trees are full of starlight

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It almost makes me wish I had a wardrobe

I was channel flipping last night and ended up catching the last 2/3rds to 3/4ths of the movie adaptation of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. I had avoided watching the film before now for a variety of reasons but mostly because I feared it would stink on ice. The Golden Compass was a wretched piece of disjointed shit, but at least I never liked the books to begin with. I had, however, really enjoyed TLTWaTW when I was a kid and wasn't looking forward to having the memories stained with a badly produced adaptation.

So it was with some hesitation that I didn't immediately flip the channel, but the results were pretty impressive. The film looked fantastic with the visuals and the children acting the parts...well, they were at least pretty par. It wasn't like The Phantom Menace debacle or anything. I ended up really enjoying the movie, and it made me think about the books that I had liked as a kid but hadn't read in decades. I'm not even sure if I read the entire series since the details of the plot now escapes me. All that I remember now are disjointed bits and pieces. As in any case where memory fails me, I went right to wikipedia and refreshed my memory. What I found really pissed me off.

I had never been aware at just how ridiculously anti-C.S. Lewis some modern authors were. I knew that Pullman wrote the Golden Compass as an anti-Narnia screed against religion, but I felt safe in dismissing his point of view since his books were crap and the movie made me want to puke my eyeballs out of my head. It was harder to come to grips with why Neil Gaiman would so blatantly pervert Lewis's words just to further some twisted lefty point of view. The whole situation revolves around the character of Susan in the books. She, along with her older brother, eventually grow old enough that they can no longer enter Narnia. However, during the Last Battle all of the family and friends who had defended Naria in the past were called by Aslan to the world so they could go on to Aslan's Land, a version of paradise. Well, all except Susan, which is where the conflict begins. The Anti-Lewis fanatics claim that the reason that Susan was denied 'Heaven' was because she had discovered her own sexuality and since Lewis was a raging misogynist, that automatically meant she was no longer pure and deserving of salvation. The entire idea is ridiculous and stems from a single quote by one of the characters when asked why Susan wasn't with them.

She's interested in nothing except nylons and lipstick and invitations.

I dunno what these spazzcases are smoking but I read that sentence and I immediately think of someone who is only interested in frivolous, materialistic crap. Who in their right mind reads that and comes to the conclusion that the person is simply someone exploring their sexuality? She's interested in _nothing BUT_ those items. At the very least it's describing narcissism.

Add the fact that characters later say that Susan thinks all of her childhood adventures were just make believe, and I don't see why she would be called. It has nothing to do with whether she was dating boys, having sex, or engaging in fucking S&M orgies. As written, it seems clear why she wasn't called with the others and it's either a lack of belief in Narnia, or that she had become a self-absorbed dingdong.

Supposedly, Lewis said in a quote that Susan's story was not at an end and that only seems to make sense. If she had become a frivolous narcissist, it's easy to believe that tragedy would shake her out of it. It's only too bad that Lewis never had the chance to finish that story since its absence only gives people with an axe to grind the ability to twist and denigrate his work.

Oh, and I found Lewis's quote:

"The books don't tell us what happened to Susan. She is left alive in this world at the end, having by then turned into a rather silly, conceited young woman. But there's plenty of time for her to mend and perhaps she will get to Aslan's country in the her own way."
Tags: book club: c.s. lewis, movie club: narnia, rant

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