The Narnian: The Life and Imagination of C. S. Lewis

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The White Witch, Aslan, fauns and talking beasts, centaurs and epic battles between good and evil -- all these have become a part of our collective imagination through the classic volumes of The Chronicles of Narnia. Over the past half century, children everywhere have escaped into this world and delighted in its wonders and enchantments. Yet what we do know of the man who created Narnia? This biography sheds new light on the making of the original Narnian, C. S. Lewis himself.

Lewis was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably the most influential religious writer of his day. An Oxford don and scholar of medieval literature, he loved to debate philosophy at his local pub, and his wartime broadcasts on the basics of Christian belief made him a celebrity in his native Britain. Yet one of the most intriguing aspects of Clive Staples Lewis remains a mystery. How did this middle-aged Irish bachelor turn to the writing of stories for children -- stories that would become among the most popular and beloved ever written?

Alan Jacobs masterfully tells the story of the original Narnian. From Lewis's childhood days in Ireland playing with his brother, Warnie, to his horrific experiences in the trenches during World War I, to his friendship with J. R. R. Tolkien (and other members of the "Inklings"), and his remarkable late-life marriage to Joy Davidman, Jacobs traces the events and people that shaped Lewis's philosophy, theology, and fiction. The result is much more than a conventional biography of Lewis: Jacobs tells the story of a profound and extraordinary imagination. For those who grew up with Narnia, or for those just discovering it, The Narnian tells a remarkable tale of a man who knew great loss and great delight, but who knew above all that the world holds far more richness and meaning than the average eye can see.

 

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LibraryThing Review

Crítica de los usuarios  - emilyesears - LibraryThing

An interesting biography of C. S. Lewis that focuses on his intellectual shifts throughout life and the intellectual issues that influenced his work. I found the beginning and ending engrossing, but the middle 4 or 5 chapters dragged significantly for me. Leer comentario completo

LibraryThing Review

Crítica de los usuarios  - Chris_El - LibraryThing

If you are looking for a book that will merely be a biography of C.S. Lewis this may not be the book for you. This book gives a brief biography of his life but is probably at least half an analysis of ... Leer comentario completo

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Contenido

ONE Happy but for so happy ill secured I
1
TWO Coarse brainless English schoolboys
19
THREE Red beef and strong beer
44
FOUR I never sank so low as to pray
65
SEVEN Definitely believing in Christ
136
EIGHT Do you think I am trying to weave a spell?
163
NINE What I owe to them all is incalculable
194
ELEVEN We soon learn to love what
248
TWELVE Joy is the serious business of heaven
280
AFTERWORD The Future of Narnia
305
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Página 8 - And all the rule, one empire; only add Deeds to thy knowledge answerable, add faith, Add virtue, patience, temperance, add love, By name to come called charity, the soul Of all the rest: then wilt thou not be loth To leave this Paradise, but shalt possess A paradise within thee, happier far.
Página xxvi - Ah ! gentle pair, ye little think how nigh Your change approaches, when all these delights Will vanish, and deliver ye to woe ; More woe, the more your taste is now of joy...
Página 26 - Just then a scout came flying, All wild with haste and fear: "To arms! to arms! Sir Consul, — Lars Porsena is here." On the low hills to westward The Consul fixed his eye, And saw the swarthy storm of dust Rise fast along the sky.
Página 13 - ... falls on castle walls And snowy summits old in story; The long light shakes across the lakes And the wild cataract leaps in glory. Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying: Blow, bugle; answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying. O hark, O hear ! how thin and clear, And thinner, clearer, farther going! O sweet and far, from cliff and scar, The horns of Elfland faintly blowing!
Página 45 - Therefore since the world has still Much good, but much less good than ill, And while the sun and moon endure, Luck's a chance, but trouble's sure, I'd face it as a wise man would, And train for ill and not for good.
Página 127 - Magdalen, night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me. In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England.
Página 229 - There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations - these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit - immortal horrors or everlasting splendours.
Página 239 - God, Thou that art the God of my health : and my tongue shall sing of Thy righteousness.
Página 147 - Now the story of Christ is simply a true myth: a myth working on us in the same way as the others, but with this tremendous difference that it really happened: and one must be content to accept it in the same way, remembering that it is God's myth where the others are men's myths: ie the Pagan stories are God expressing Himself through the minds of poets, using such images as He found there, while Christianity is God expressing Himself through what we call 'real things'.
Página 49 - I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: 'I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God.' That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this...

Acerca del autor (2005)

Alan Jacobs is professor of English at Wheaton College in Illinois. He is the author of several books, including most recently The Narnian, a biography of C. S. Lewis. His literary and cultural criticism has appeared in a wide range of periodicals, including the Boston Globe, The American Scholar, First Things, Books & Culture, and The Oxford American.

Alan Jacobs is professor of English at Wheaton College in Illinois. He is the author of several books, including most recently The Narnian, a biography of C. S. Lewis. His literary and cultural criticism has appeared in a wide range of periodicals, including the Boston Globe, The American Scholar, First Things, Books & Culture, and The Oxford American.

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