Wednesday, 3 April 2013
The Chronicles of Narnia
The Chronicles of Narnia mean different things to different people. It is considered an allegorical retelling of the Christian story on one hand. It is also considered a vehicle for "soft-sell paganism and occultism," mainly due to its magical themes. But regardless of which side of the fence you've chosen to fall, there is little doubt that The Chronicles are seven of the most beloved children/fantasy books.
Published between 1950 and 1956, each book follows the adventures of several children in a magical world called Narnia. Over the course of the entire series, we get to learn more about that world and its inhabitants. It is a world that exists parallel to ours, where men and talking beasts coexist. And from the very first book, the reader is transported there, and made to care about its fate as their actions shape its future.
There is much debate concerning the order in which the books should be read i.e. in publication order or chronological order. I am one of those who prefer to read them in publication order, simply because The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is such a good place to start. It did a decent job of introducing Narnia and characters like the White Witch and the Christ-like lion, Aslan.
That said, my favorite book in the series is actually The Magician's Nephew (#1 in chronological order), primarily because my experience with it was influenced by the buildup from the five books before it. I can't even imagine how my favorite character, the White Witch (or Jadis as she is known here), would have come across, had her villainous ways not already been introduced in the first book.
But there is little doubt I would still consider her "a dem fine woman." I wonder what that says about me as a person.