I’ve already shared my disappointment in the Disney Prince Caspian debacle. So, I’ll not bore you with more harrumphing. I’m going to watch the movie with the High Schoolers on Sunday, and we’re going to talk a little about it afterward.
The reason to talk about it is that a new book came out last year by Michael Ward called, Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the imagination of C.S. Lewis. In it, Ward convincingly identifies the imaginative key behind the the Chronicles of Narnia. This “imaginative key” stirs a deeper appreciation for Lewis and his abilities.
Lewis was a Medievalist. By that I mean that he was steeped in the literature of the Medieval and Renaissance periods–the Arthurian legends, the poetry of Spenser as well as the works upon which those authors were themselves steeped. Lewis was so shaped by the study of these works that he himself was a man of the Renaissance. Lewis was a pre–Coppernican, pre-Rationalistic, pre–Enlightened and pre-Modern. He loved everything about the period, and it was because of his affinity with that world-view that he was partially able to critique the recent idiosyncrasies so very well.
According to Ward, and in my mind the premise is merely accepted as true, The Chronicles of Narnia were written as a series of seven books because each book corresponded to a planetary sphere. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: Jupiter, Voyage of the Dawn Treader: Sun, The Silver Chair: Moon, The Horse and His Boy: Mercury, The Magician’s Nephew: Venus, The Last Battle: Saturn, and of course tomorrow nights topic, Prince Caspian: Mars.
Caspian has Mars all over it. For one thing, it’s about a war. More to come…