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January 06, 2006


Pavlov's Cat

I look forward to hearing what you think of this movie. I somehow managed to have a Narnia-free childhood and to this day have not read the books -- though have read several of Lewis' "adult" books including the sci-fi trilogy which I loved for its weirdness, particularly the seal-like creatures from (I think) Malacandra, which seemed to me direct descendants of the Houhyhnhms. (Spelling from memory!)

I admire your defence of the now-suss Gnid and her ilk on the grounds that you remember them fondly as formative. Could not agree more. I remember having a shock of recognition when I read JK Rowling quoted as saying that her favourtie kids' book and greatest formative influence was Elizabeth Goudge's The Little White Horse, which I also loved when very young but had forgotten all about till that moment. It explains why I love Harry Potter even in the face of AS Byatt, my hero, and her disparaging remarks.


The Lion Witch and Wardrobe is the book which electrified me more than any I've read before or since. I got it for xmas when I was about nine and had read the entire series within a week.
I read it to my son when he was five and really enjoyed reading it again, then we read Prince Caspian, which was fun, but couldn't persevere with Dawn Treader, which seemed dull.
I've seen bits and pieces of the BBC series which we rent from the local library - it's okay but doesn't come anywhere near the book. How could it?
What we did see about two years ago was the musical on stage - it was an Australian production and I was bowled over by it - I really hadn't expected much and it was excellent.
I am bemused by the hype about the film and see it as typical American self-centredness. I'll be curious to hear what you think as I'm thinking going with my son next week.


Thanks for a terrific post, El. Philip Pullman has said that he's heartily sick of those same remarks--actually made years ago--being dragged out time and again, giving the appearance that he has a vendetta against the Inklings (Lewis & Tolkien), whereas in fact he's been refusing to make any comment on them for some time now. His own trilogy, _His Dark Materials_, isn't as secular as you may have been led to believe, but it does attack one version of Christianity with extraordinary gusto.


Very nice post indeed. It hadn't occurred to me that Susan's problem was wee-wee related. I'll have to think some more about that.

I guess you've seen the movie by now. I really hated it, personally. The family sitting in front of me were obviously bored stiff by it - rightly so, too.

I liked many things about King Kong, however.


Like you, I think losing myself in a book is one of the great things in life - my idea of bliss (well, one of). And I agree totally with your defence of Gnid and CSL - as young children, our treat each school holidays was to be allowed to choose a new Gnid book from a shop in town. I recall spending hours with a best friend, both of us just reading about Faraway Trees or Naughtiest Girls in the School. As with HP now, I think I just absorbed their dated things (boarding school traditions etc) as part of a "different world", and it didn't really matter to me whether it existed or not. I'll be interestd to see what you think of the films - I haven't read the books for yonks, so they're not as fresh in my mind as LOTR etc.

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