Dr Jeremy Solnick
Narnia: Reshaping Myth for Children and Adults
Myth Reading Group
Wednesday 11 December 2019
1.15 – 2.45 pm
C. S. Lewis and his close friend, J. R. R. Tolkien, were instrumental in the development of the genre of modern fantasy writing and they were also innovative in reshaping classical and religious myth for the purpose of the stories they sought to tell. But as Tolkien said, “history often resembles ‘Myth’ because they are both ultimately of the same stuff. […] They have been put into the Cauldron (of story) where so many potent things lie simmering agelong on the fire.”
This week we shall discuss how C. S. Lewis set about using elements of myth to create his own stories for children and adults in his Narnia Chronicles, why he did this and whether he was successful. We shall make reference to chapters from “The Magician’s Nephew” and “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” and also to C. S. Lewis’ essay “On Stories” and Tolkien’s essay “On Fairy-Stories.”
References: J. R. R. Tolkien, “On Fairy-Stories,” in Tree and Leaf (London: Allen & Unwin, 1964), 31.
You are welcome to bring your lunch to the session.