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C.S. Lewis Is Disliked By Uncool People. You Don't Want to Be Uncool...Do You?

Been some late nights, kids. I wouldn't blog, but who else would take this space and write whatever comes into their head? Probably someone really lame. I don't even want to think about it.

C.S. Lewis. If you're a teenager and on your Christian intellectual high horse, this is what you read. You also read him if you're an awesome person, but that's beside the point.

Some people don't like him. We call these people "super-uncool," but they usually say they just don't like 'hit you over the head' allegory. Poppycock is what I say to that. Ok, so this allegory is mainly in The Chronicles of Narnia. Here's my deal with Chronicles:

The BBC made some really low budget movies of books 1-4, and I watched them ALL. THE. TIME. as a child. But did I get any Christian parallels? No. No I did not. This culminated in a scene betwixt my brother and myself where Aslan says "You know me there by another name," referring to our world, and I turned to my brother and asked in an extremely frustrated tone (because I had watched this scene so many times) "WHAT other name?" And he just stared at me. "GOD, Alice."

So that's how hit-you-over-the-head the allegory is when you're seven. These books are not for adults.

But I loved the books from age eight onwards. My favorites are The Last Battle and Magician's Nephew, mainly because everything goes to shit in The Last Battle and it's exciting, and Magician's Nephew has a MASSIVE, evil, powerful lady who can vault over the walls of the Garden of Eden. So great.

After the Narnia phase was over and I became a fo' reals Christian, I read The Great Divorce (amazing), Screwtape Letters (double-amazing), Till We Have Faces (s'ok), The Four Loves (eh), Out of the Silent Planet (yessssss), and Perelandra (OMG so good).

The latter two are from The Space Trilogy, which is obvs sci-fi. I don't remember much about Silent Planet, but Perelandra involves a sci-fi Adam and Eve and it is SO GOOD. If you had to read two C.S. Lewis books, I would without a doubt recommend Screwtape Letters and Perelandra.

Screwtape is a demon writing letters to his nephew, advising him how to tempt man. My favorite quote from it, at age 19, was:

At the very least, they can be persuaded that the bodily position makes no difference to their prayers; for they constantly forget, what you must always remember, that they are animals and that whatever their bodies do affects their souls.

Oh, C.S. Lewis. You were so wise.

The Great Divorce, which is also excellent, is about Purgatory and the souls living there trying to make it to Heaven. It involves a bus trip. Also George MacDonald, whom Lewis was way into and who wrote The Princess and the Goblin (ALSO really good).

Basically, he was really smart and vaguely down to earth and EXTREMELY adept at pinpointing commonalities. Meaning I'd be reading and go "Oh OTHER people feel that way?" He's clear and interesting and should be read more. Also don't discount his work for adults just because you don't like Chronicles. Only suckahs do that.


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