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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sunday Trip: the Wood Between the Worlds

From: CS Lewis' The Magician's Nephew (The Chronicles of Narnia)

The quote: "I've just had a really wonderful idea," said Digory. "What are all the other pools?"
"How do you mean?"
"Why, if we can get back to our own world by jumping into this pool, mightn't we get somewhere else by jumping into one of the others? Supposing there was a world at the bottom of every pool."

The arrangement: In the one-volume version of the Chronicles, The Magician's Nephew is set at the beginning because it describes the creation of Narnia. But, from a more 'philosophical' point of view, this reading order is misguiding since Lewis wrote this book in the sixth place (out of seven), with an increasing depth in contents and style. For example, it is quite disappointing to read the almost 'Disneyan' The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe after the gorgeous, Miltonian The Magician's Nephew. So, it will prove more meaningful to follow the chronological order in which Lewis actually conceived the books. The Magician's Nephew, specifically, may be considered his swan song, The Last Battle being very interesting in many respects, but less successful as a narrative, imho.