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Does Aslan have a soul?

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  • Octo Seven
    replied
    I really need to read the Cosmic Trilogy. Tolkien's prose is definitely nice but the problem lies with his structure, I think LOTR could have benefited from a better editor.

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  • The English Assassin
    replied
    Originally posted by Octo Seven View Post
    I really love Pullman's work but as a person he comes across quite annoying sometimes.
    I couldn't agree more - he's a terrible bore. His Dark Materials is good, very good even - but not as good as the hype suggests. Frankly, it's very unlikely that I'd ever read them again.

    Well, I must qualify my Narnia knowledge, I've only read the first three. But certainly TLTWATW is a turgid mess and has zero imaginative scope in terms of the fantastic. I'm not sure who is meant to find a lamppost in a wood mysterious - presumably someone who has never walked through any one of London's or Britain's many parks where such sights are common. The rest just feels like a pick'n'mix of different mythological tropes all plonked together with little intelligence (hardly intelligent design!). Bits of it work, but there's so many bits that bits of it are bound to work... But maybe the later books get better. I'll read them one day, maybe... Of the children, I only liked Lucy. The others were so dull that I hoped Aslan might take a bite out of them.

    As for Tolkien v Lewis: for me Tolkien's prose is massively underrated. I've no idea where the idea comes from that he can't write, but for me his prose has much charm and a real mythic quality that is very in keeping with the genre and very readable and I pretty much disagree with every word of Epic Pooh re Tolkien. To my mind the Narnia books (that I've read) remain books for children (maybe good books for children = I liked TLTWATW as a child), but LotRs has a greater appeal. I think it is also supremely clever to simultaneously remove annoying child characters from a children's book while also keeping the child protagonists in the book in the form of hobbits, which is in my opinion the secret of the book's success. But as I said, I've not read them all, so I will bow to the greater knowledge of others. But either way, the Cosmic Trilogy is great, so any criticism of Lewis has to take this into account and for my money it kicks the crap out of Pullman and his endless dull autistic enthusiasm for 14th century literature.

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  • Octo Seven
    replied
    Originally posted by Pietro_Mercurios View Post
    Originally posted by Octo Seven View Post
    I really like the Narnia Books which is strange I guess because I'm an atheist, plus I generally dislike fantasy novels. I really enjoyed the Last Battle, it's genuinely creepy stuff.
    It was the Narnia books that got me on to Hobbits and etc. (imho) When Lewis is good, his writing is much more spontaneous and effective than Tolkien's. There's a strong streak of joyous pagan spontaneity running through the Narnia books, as well as the SF trilogy. Tolkien's work seems mannered and overly structured in comparison. However, when it comes to heavy handed allegorising, moralising and misogyny, Lewis is hard to beat. Strangely, Pullman comes close, though.
    I really love Pullman's work but as a person he comes across quite annoying sometimes. He goes out of his way to try and be the antithesis of Lewis but he really isn't, he is writing with an Agenda, just like Lewis, their agendas just happen to be at odds.

    I feel Lewis has been demonized out of proportion by other authors, Neil Gaiman, Pullman and Rowling kind of pissed me off when they attacked him a couple of years ago on this ironic 'crusade' about Susan. It all felt very smug and condescending and dare-I-say quite sexist. There is no implication that Susan goes to hell in the Last Battle. She loses interest in Narnia, she's older too, and throughout the series the older children stop visiting Narnia, because it's implied that the 'real' world is more important. Susan survives at the end, I say she got a good deal, she got to live in the real world too, like a sensible person.
    I found it almost vulgar of Neil Gaiman and co to unite and attack a long dead man because their own warped interpretation of the story disturbs them.

    In regards to Tolkien. I have read The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings more times than I care to recall, but not so much in the last 7 years or so. I found that as I got older, the characters seemed more shallow, maybe shallow isn't the right word, they're just not in any way relative to real life, it all just feels like escapism, extremely detailed and incredibly meticulous work, but lacking any real challenge or intellectual value. I think discovering Dunsany spoiled Tolkien a bit for me too, because his work was much better and clearly a big influence on Tolkien. I think Tolkien was a linguistic genius with an incredible mind and imagination, but a fairly clunky writer.

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  • Pietro_Mercurios
    replied
    Originally posted by Octo Seven View Post
    I really like the Narnia Books which is strange I guess because I'm an atheist, plus I generally dislike fantasy novels. I really enjoyed the Last Battle, it's genuinely creepy stuff.
    It was the Narnia books that got me on to Hobbits and etc. (imho) When Lewis is good, his writing is much more spontaneous and effective than Tolkien's. There's a strong streak of joyous pagan spontaneity running through the Narnia books, as well as the SF trilogy. Tolkien's work seems mannered and overly structured in comparison. However, when it comes to heavy handed allegorising, moralising and misogyny, Lewis is hard to beat. Strangely, Pullman comes close, though.

    Leave a comment:


  • Octo Seven
    replied
    Originally posted by Pietro_Mercurios View Post
    Originally posted by Octo Seven View Post
    ...

    And with Aslan, well he is Jesus, he says in The Last Battle' "in your world you know me by a different name" and the whole shape-shifting into a lamb in Voyage of the Dawn Threader. ...
    I might add, that Mervyn Peake wrote a very effective and disturbing little horror tale all about a meeting with a lamb, called, Boy in Darkness.

    The antithesis of Lewis's vision.
    I will definitely add that to my 'to read' list!

    Leave a comment:


  • Pietro_Mercurios
    replied
    Originally posted by Octo Seven View Post
    ...

    And with Aslan, well he is Jesus, he says in The Last Battle' "in your world you know me by a different name" and the whole shape-shifting into a lamb in Voyage of the Dawn Threader. ...
    I might add, that Mervyn Peake wrote a very effective and disturbing little horror tale all about a meeting with a lamb, called, Boy in Darkness.

    The antithesis of Lewis's vision.

    Leave a comment:


  • Octo Seven
    replied
    I really like the Narnia Books which is strange I guess because I'm an atheist, plus I generally dislike fantasy novels. I really enjoyed the Last Battle, it's genuinely creepy stuff.

    Leave a comment:


  • The English Assassin
    replied
    He's Jesus... I suppose he's got to have a soul? I guess Aslan is a magical animal, so normal rules don't apply? Saying that, I don't know how orthodox Lewis was: maybe he might have thought animal might have had souls?

    But this is all part of the inherent flaw of the Narnia books, it's just a big mishmash of Christian allegory and bits and bobs borrowed from various myths. I didn't mind them when I was a kid, but the Narnia books never had the same impact upon me that the Hobbit did and now I just think they're poorly conceived fantasies that just don't work. They fall in messy no man's land between a coherent fantasy world, a la LotRs, and a voyage into the weird, a la Alice, with no sense of otherness or immersion whatsoever. They feel like he's just making it up as he goes along, but nothing he makes up is very interesting.

    I far prefer his Cosmic Trilogy - some of my favourite books of all time. There's scenes of pure evil and deep horror in all three that have stuck with me ever since.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pietro_Mercurios
    replied
    You'll have to read, The Last Battle, if you want to find out who does and does not, get into the Narnian equivalent of Heaven. Suffice it to say, Aslan, is already there, in His official capacity as Host and Master of Ceremonies.

    Leave a comment:


  • Octo Seven
    replied
    OMG Because my browser is on a large screen, I sometimes mix up I's and L's, and I was thinking "wow this is so racist and uncharacteristic" because I thought you were saying Asian! lol

    And with Aslan, well he is Jesus, he says in The Last Battle' "in your world you know me by a different name" and the whole shape-shifting into a lamb in Voyage of the Dawn Threader. So I imagine in Lewis's mind he had the soul of Jesus himself, and was some kind of parallel avatar existing on a different plane.

    Leave a comment:


  • flutegirlrockz
    started a topic Does Aslan have a soul?

    Does Aslan have a soul?

    Animals arn't suposed to have souls but what about Aslan? I mean he has to have a soul right he's Aslan for crying out loud and if he has a soul then mabye other animals do too.
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