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C.S. Lewis will save the world with Narnia and Aslan

Meet C.S. Lewis & Jacques Coulardeau , that’s so long ago but … (22)

We are living an extraordinary time and many people don’t seem to see it. When the Soviet bloc fell down the historical chute, Gadoosh!!!, the USA suddenly found themselves alone as a super power since Russia was in the hands of a drunk and China was just starting its emergence.

Today nearly thirty years later things are so different that we definitely feel angst and experience dizziness in the present fuzziness. And some politicians have taken advantage of this situation to conquer power though they do NOT know what to do with it, which is extremely dangerous: the populists are the worst war mongers you can imagine.

The USA should be the second economy in the world within one or two years and maybe the third one within ten years or less. China will be first soon (though it is already first in PPP, according to IMF). India will be second within a few years. Sorry, USA, you will be third before the 2024 elections.

Trump was elected on the myth that he could turn the clocks backward and make America great again, that is to say #1 forever. And to do that he drops all multilateral cooperation in the world and menaces all those he cannot drop, isolating himself in the world and dragging the second populist hell, Great Britain, down with him. Even Canada or Mexico cultivate their relation with the European Community and China.

That’s when C.S. Lewis becomes interesting since he imagines a world of cooperation and unity instead of a world of competition and war. It is high time Trump and Theresa May hear the call of the Lion Aslan, otherwise they will be the playthings of the Witch in the wardrobe of in-between transmutation, sucking on their Turkish delight, or Luqum since they prefer Sunni Arabs.

C.S. Lewis is more present, alive and pregnant today than even in 1950 when he brought Narnia out of his mind into the reality of the dream of a world without dictators and wars, of a world out of the Cold War.






Colloque C.S. LEWIS — 2–3 juin 2011




And other films


All Amazon reviews of CS Lewis’s Narnia Chronicles

and various adaptations for TV and the cinema



I would like to say from the very start that I will only consider The Chronicles of Narnia in their seven volumes (1950–1956), and the four BBC adaptations. So I will not consider the various cinema adaptations and the other works by C.S. Lewis (1898–1963). The second thing I want to be very clear about is that I am not going to psychoanalyze neither the author nor The Chronicles. It would be interesting to do so from a certain point of view. This is not mine here.

I will concentrate on the political and ideological model that can be found in The Chronicles. But I want to be clear about one thing before starting. For me children’s literature is just as mature as any other form and type of literature and it deserves to be analyzed exactly the same way as any other fiction. We do not have to suspend our disbelief but as C.S. Lewis says himself: “You cannot know. You can only believe or not.”

And I have chosen to believe what C.S. Lewis tells us, no matter how creative and imaginative it may be. I will start with the background I have chosen, i.e. T.S. Eliot (1888–1965) and H.G. Wells (1866–1946). T.S. Eliot, particularly in his play Murder in the Cathedral (1935) deals with the question of martyrdom when a church official is confronted to an attempt at limiting the church’s freedom from the state or any other institution.

This vision of martyrdom became a real backdrop for C.S. Lewis because of the play at the end of the 1930s in the Canterbury Festival, then the film at the beginning of the 1950s and finally the opera by Pizzetti in Italian and in German (for Karajan) at the beginning of the 1960s, too late for The Chronicles.

H.G. Wells defends a eugenic vision of the world and he is a backdrop for C.S. Lewis because of the vast and lasting success of his early novels like The Time Machine (1895) or The Invisible Man (1897) at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century and because of his commitment to eugenics all his life in many writings, in film with his 1936 Things to Come by Alexander Korda and William Cameron Menzies in which he envisaged the end of the world we know by a universal war in 1940 and the rebuilding of a truly human society.

The Time Machine was adapted a first time by George Pal in 1960, an adaptation that may have come across to C.S. Lewis though too late for The Chronicles. Of course the second adaptation by Simon Wells in 2002 does not have to be considered, though the great-grandson of the author corrects part of the eugenics of his great-grandfather.

Written by

Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, PhD in Germanic Linguistics (University Lille III) and ESP Teaching (University Bordeaux II) has been teaching all types of ESP

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