Hope is in the soul and the mind when the bully is in the corridor

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There is no better hope than te hope you dream at night

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

A CONTRADICTORY BACKDROP FOR C.S. LEWIS

MARTYRDOM VERSUS EUGENISM

Dr Jacques COULARDEAU

UNIVERSITÉ CATHOLIQUE DE LILLE

FACULTÉ DES LETTRES ET DES SCIENCES HUMAINES

Colloque C.S. LEWIS — 2–3 juin 2011

https://www.academia.edu/1338943/A_CONTRADICTORY_BACKDROP_FOR_C.S._LEWIS_MARTYRDOM_VERSUS_EUGENISM

C.S. LEWIS & THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA

BBC REWRITING AND ADAPTATIONS

RADIO AND TV

And other films

Dr Jacques COULARDEAU

All Amazon reviews of CS Lewis’s Narnia Chronicles

and various adaptations for TV and the cinema

https://www.academia.edu/1445063/C.S._LEWIS_and_THE_CHRONICLES_OF_NARNIA_BBC_REWRITING_AND_ADAPTATIONS_RADIO_AND_TV

A CONTRADICTORY BACKDROP FOR C.S. LEWIS

MARTYRDOM VERSUS EUGENISM

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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