Monday, November 28, 2005

Pullman vs Lewis #2

Another thing... Philip Pullman accuses Lewis of sado-masochism because of the scene at the end of The Silver Chair where Caspian, Eustace and Jill go into the school grounds and give the school bullies a good seeing-to with the flat of their swords.

Obviously Mr Pullman wasn't bullied at school, otherwise he might have enjoyed this scene more. Anyone who was bullied at school would appreciate this scene. It's not so much that one would actually want to carry it out, it's just a cathartic thing to read.

Also, the Narnia books are fairy tales - i.e. a fantasy version of life, where people get their come-uppance in a fairly graphic way. As in the Brothers Grimm fairy tales (Märchen), such as the original version of Cinderella, where the Ugly Sisters cut bits off their feet in order to fit into the fur slipper (not a glass slipper) which Aschenpüttel (Cinderella) wore to the dance, and the reason they are discovered is because blood oozes out over the side of the slipper. (The Grimm version was bowdlerised by Perrault, the French author who popularised the story. These are psychological symbols, not actual events (see Bruno Bettelheim's excellent The Uses of Enchantment for more examples).

As it happens, I think CS Lewis did confess in one of his more candid moments to SM leanings, but I think he would have been reasonably careful to keep them out of his writings for children.

5 comments:

The Cubicle Reverend said...

This pullman needs to find a hobby. What difference does it make to him? I know he's a succesful writer (addmitedly I've never read his work mostly for lack of time) and I venture to guess perhaps not of the same talent as Lewis? Or at the very least feels under his shadow?

Joe said...

You think that's bad for S&M, the rumour is the next Harry Potter book sees Hermione become a full-fledged Dominatrix, trading in her wand for a leather whip and giving Ron and harry a damned good thrashing.

Yvonne said...

LOL Joe :)

Hello Cubicle Reverend - actually Philip Pullman is an extremely talented writer, I just wish he would stop slagging off CS Lewis. I think he's just one of those atheists who is not entirely secure in their world-view... But I still recommend reading his books, they are very well-written and full of fascinating concepts and insights.

The Cubicle Reverend said...

I definately plan on reading them. But if you saw my office at home you'd understand. I actually downsized from books being in every room of my house. Usually people who yell and fight the loudest are really insecure in what they believe. That's why I think deep down Rush Limbaugh is scared witless that people will find out what he really thinks.

Dave

The Cubicle Reverend said...

http://thecubiclereverend.blogspot.com/2005/11/contest-help-cubicle-reverend-come-up.html

check out my contest.