moonspinner (moonspinner) wrote,

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Rediscovering Narnia through The Magician’s Nephew

I re-read The Magician’s Nephew two weeks ago during a four-hour flight. I first read this book, my very first C. S. Lewis book, in 1993. I lost my only copy to a friend of mine who borrowed it and never returned it sometime in 1998. It’s the only Narnia book I’ve not been able to read obsessively over and over again during that 8-month stretch between para-military service and my current job.

So when I read it two weeks ago – a new copy, an omnibus that contained ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ (which, strangely, is the one Narnia book I have never owned and I have only read once), and ‘The Horse and His Boy’ – it was like reading it for the first time. At a point half-way through the Magician’s Nephew, to be precise the moment in the story where Aslan’s voice calls up the sun in Narnia for the very first time, I had to close the book and dry my eyes.

Thinking about it makes me teary-eyed even now. There’s nothing quite like… I can’t even put it into words. Do you know what it feels like to have loved certain things as a child, and returned to those things only to find that they were not quite as beautiful or wonderful or funny or intelligent as you remembered? Then you will know what it feels like to find something that is not only as all those things as you remembered, but is even more.

Reading The Magician’s Nephew, the book that literature-ally took me into Narnia, was like stepping into that old faded memory and finding out that the colors were even more vivid, the air even sweeter, and the world was just as beautiful as I remembered. Sort of the young Narnia that Diggory and Polly watched being born.

On a less profound note, did anyone else ship Diggory/Polly as vigorously as I did? It’s a good thing that I was still in high school, with music club, calisthenics and fighting to hold on to my Phy/Chem tiara to get involved in too much fan fiction writing. (I remember I wrote a few for Enid Blyton’s ‘The Naughtiest Girl’. I’m still a firm believer of my fanon than Elizabeth and Julian got into lots of fights but always made up and got married so as to go on doing so more conveniently. :P And went on to become the Curies of their fictional generation. There was also a love triangle with Richard the musical genius and Roger the equestrian somewhere there). I remember being crushingly disappointed that Polly lived to be an old lady and didn’t become Mrs. Kirke. I always hoped she died young of smallpox or something and Diggory remained a bachelor because he couldn’t love another. Of course, life-long platonic friendship is a great thing (yawn!) but in my personal fanon, Polly had a great tragedy – she needed to take care of her dying mother/father/later-born sibling for many years and had to give up her own life and love for them.

Ah Silly Me.

I’m thinking of doing chapter-by-chapter reviews of the books in the series. Would anyone be interesting in reading or would I just be spamming by f-list? :p
Tags: books: by cs lewis, meta

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