I've been meaning for ages to link to ursulav
's brilliant Narnia response Elegant and Fine
. It's about Susan, but it's not exactly the traditional Problem of Susan from The Last Battle
. The definitive response to that issue is probably Neil Gaiman's 2004 short story, which takes a fairly standard third-wave feminist line that it's possible to be interested in makeup and adornment and sex without being a completely frivolous, worthless person. Rather, it's about the weird gap that happens between The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
and Prince Caspian
. I've also read a story I can't remember in enough detail to be able to find again, where the Pevensies' readjustment to the real world after they return from Narnia is used as an allegory for mental illness and the experience of perceiving reality in a way that the rest of the world doesn't accept. jack
has also been posting interesting Narnia discussions
. In particular, S. has some good thoughts about reading Narnia as fairy-story rather than realistic novel
. Note that S. is notorious for being very belligerent in internet discussions, so that's something to bear in mind if you want to disagree with his take.
I'm really interested in how much Narnia still gets talked about, both so many decades after the series was published, and among people of all ages, years after having imprinted on Narnia as kids. Lev Grossman's The Magicians
completely misreads the actual substance of the Narnia series, in a way that I've only ever seen from Americans with absolutely no knowledge of Christianity, but he's pretty good on the way that the books can become a touchstone within geek social circles. rachelmanija
is hosting a cool discussion, unfortunately split between LJ and DW, about the market and appetite for Narnia-style portal fantasy
, who comes from an entirely different background from the typical geeks-on-the-internet, didn't imprint on Narnia but rather on Lolita
. Her essay on what that book meant and means to her is absolutely stunning.