0665: "Prudence"

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Re: "Prudence" Discussion

Postby Joneleth » Fri Nov 20, 2009 9:14 pm UTC

neoliminal wrote:The entire Narnia series was ruined for me when it was revealed to me the obvious fact that...

Spoiler:
it's a Christ allegory


...and all my child like innocents was destroyed in that moment. If you do not already know this knowledge, please don't click the spoiler link. If it seems magical and wonderful to you, you are better off for it.

For me it will forever have a bitter taste.



Why does that ruin it for you?

Much of the backdrop and creatures for the story were taken from
Spoiler:
Greek, Roman, and Norse mythology
, didn't that ruin it for you as well? I can't think of too many stories that *don't* derive from other stories and myths. Even Tolkien, who invented his own world, history, and even language, still took a huge amount from the Anglo-Saxons and the Norse (elves, dwarves, etc.). Everyone builds upon the things that have come before, why should one element from one myth be so destructive for you?
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Re: "Prudence" Discussion

Postby Nicole88 » Fri Nov 20, 2009 11:16 pm UTC

The Narnia panel was so charmingly drawn, it's making me want to curl up in a blanket with every bit of C.S. Lewis material I own.
(OK, not "The Screwtape Letters"... which I only have because my mom forced it upon me!)
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Re: "Prudence" Discussion

Postby frey553 » Fri Nov 20, 2009 11:51 pm UTC

Did this comic remind anyone else of the pastry scene from Van Wilder?
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Re: "Prudence" Discussion

Postby Dibley » Sat Nov 21, 2009 12:02 am UTC

Michael of Lucan wrote:Actually, historians have established that the original Number of the Beast was 616. It looks as if later Christian versions are copying errors, judging by the earliest available versions of the book of Revelations. It goes to show how stupid it is to rely on detailed text in 2000 year old books, which were copied solely by hand for another 1500 years.

Not quite true. The Number of the Beast is a fairly transparent gematria, which is a kind of Hebrew numerology involving a system of assigning numbers to the Hebrew characters (Aramaic script in that time period, but it works the same). Interestingly enough, The name of the Roman emperor Nero, rendered as "Caesar Nero", or "נרו קסר", has a gematria value of 616, while the Greek spelling (the Revelation of John was written in Greek) is "Caesar Neron", or "נרון קסר", and the extra נ has a gematria value of 50, bringing it up to 666. It's not so much a scribal error as variations of spelling, which are both more or less correct (Nero is his name in Latin, and he's Roman, so it should be Latin, but the book is in Greek, so perhaps it should be in Greek).

-Summer Glau

p.s. The Screwtape Letters are fucking awesome.
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Re: "Prudence" Discussion

Postby Calvert » Sat Nov 21, 2009 12:46 am UTC

If I remember correctly the time dilation problem was already resolved... in (drumroll...) an episode of SG-1. Specifically the one where the gate connects to the planet in a decaying orbit around a black hole. I'm not an expert on general relativity, but the writers' notion that time dilation effects would "leak" through the gate stands to reason. Presumably this is also the case for the Wardrobe-- the alternative would be a discrete discontinuity in the spacetime tensor field, which would make traversing the Wardrobe somewhat uncomfortable. Or somewhat fatal. If the transition is continuous, it would imply that the passage of time in the vicinity of the wardrobe on both sides is at some value lower than, say, that of Tashbaan on the Narnia side, and faster than Berlin on the Earth side. If the gradient were sharp enough and if the Wardrobe were kept open, Alan Turing might have been able to move the effort to break the Enigma encryption there from Bletchley Park, possibly speeding the end of WWII.
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Re: "Prudence" Discussion

Postby Freiberg » Sat Nov 21, 2009 1:01 am UTC

FCN wrote:
glasnt wrote:I wonder how the response rate goes since time is slower in the wardrobe...

She'd get the rover to keep going forward, and as soon as she does that, it returns back to her with the entire story replaying back? Given sufficient time within the world before the rover itself decided to retreat (as it can't be controlled outside the wardrobe) then it better have a decent video buffer.


Hi Joee.

I suspect that the probe would return with 18 hours of static.


I see what you did there. :)
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Re: "Prudence" Discussion

Postby Frankie » Sat Nov 21, 2009 4:32 am UTC

neoliminal wrote:
Spoiler:
it's a Christ allegory

Your statement is entirely untrue. CS Lewis taught English at Oxford & Cambridge, and he literally wrote a book on allegory, so we can safely assume that he knew more about the topic than you do. He explicitly stated that the books (and Aslan in particular) are NOT allegory; they are parallel universe stories (Lewis called them "suppositional"). Aslan does not REPRESENT something in our world, instead he simply is that entity, as it would manifest in that other world.

Yes, this fact probably provides you little or no comfort. But at least you know the correct explanation.
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Re: "Prudence" Discussion

Postby Amarantha » Sat Nov 21, 2009 6:08 am UTC

Red Hal wrote:e) The entire brain is modeled, fully, and then run as a simulation inside the computer at approximately 10,000 times normal speed while the person is put into full suspended animation
f) Adventures occurring inside Narnia are actually ocurring to the simulated avatars until just before their exit from Narnia at which point
g) Any memories laid down inside the avatar are transferred back to the human brain
If you haven't already, you need to read Accelerando by Charles Stross. Except rather than being in suspended animation, people can send out agents from their brain to the network, where the agents will run simulations and report back almost immediately. So eg. you meet someone at a party and instantly get "memories" of a selection of possible relationship outcomes.

Not having seen Stargate, I thought the probe was a home-made Mars rover.
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Re: "Prudence" Discussion

Postby SocialSceneRepairman » Sat Nov 21, 2009 6:51 am UTC

So your Prudence is in the closet?

Pfft. Been done.

By SMBC.
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Re: "Prudence" Discussion

Postby cptjeff » Sat Nov 21, 2009 8:50 am UTC

J the Ninja wrote:Comic 666 is on Monday...

Also, I really should the Narnia books at some point.



When you do, do it in the ******** right ******* ******* order. They're not supposed to be ****** chronological, Lewis refused to let the ******s change the ******* order for his entire ***** life, they only got reordered chronologically when his ****** nephew gave in.

The correct ****** order:

1. Lion, Witch and Wardrobe.
2. Prince Caspian
3. Voyage of the Dawn Treader
4. The silver chair
5. The horse and his boy
6. The Magician's Nephew
7. The final battle.


This post has been edited by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on 11/21 at 3:52:07 AM
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Re: "Prudence" Discussion

Postby squareroot1 » Sat Nov 21, 2009 1:04 pm UTC

I haven't even read LWnW and I got the reference in a few seconds. Those few seconds were of course occupied by "MALPs aren't that big! And they don't have a cord!"

But I did indeed chuckle. Well done, sir, your work is like magic.
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Re: "Prudence" Discussion

Postby Aris Katsaris » Sat Nov 21, 2009 1:19 pm UTC

stok3r wrote:Hmm oh yeah, you had to believe it was there, or find it by accident or something. Edmund couldn't get in cause he didn't think it was real, and the other time when they all went in they were hiding and forgot about it or didn't notice or something. Again, its been a while. Probably could work.


It's simpler than that really. The general guideline for the different universes is *quarantine*: The various gateways between the worlds are under the complete control of Aslan's will -- He doesn't allow anyone any *predictable* way of moving between the universes. He instead allows particular people to move between the universes, when He wants/needs them to. Never to solely satisfy their own desires, but also to further His own purposes.

In "Magician's nephew" one absolutely repeatable method of moving beyond universes is discovered by a magician (certain sets of magic rings) -- and Aslan at the end explicitly forbids their usage.
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Re: "Prudence" Discussion

Postby Awesomeness » Sat Nov 21, 2009 2:30 pm UTC

parity wrote:that is a pretty impressive stick-faun.

at first i thought that the door went to hell or something because of the faun, but then it hit me, hide and seek, wardrobe, oldschool lamppost, & faun with umbrella; it could only be Narnia.
And it is an amazing stick-faun
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Re: "Prudence" Discussion

Postby pakman » Sat Nov 21, 2009 3:51 pm UTC

Get out of my head!

I just watched this movie as part of my philosophy class this morning. And the whole time I was thinking about UAVs in Narnia.

So this is pretty close to what I was thinking, posted around the time I was thinking it.
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Re: "Prudence" Discussion

Postby StClair » Sat Nov 21, 2009 4:57 pm UTC

Pretty sure we all went there, yeah.
(The Contact refs in this thread are a nice bonus, though. :) )
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Re: "Prudence" Discussion

Postby hujackus » Sat Nov 21, 2009 11:54 pm UTC

Math_Mage wrote:Erm, because of the decoupled time streams, I don't know if the data would travel properly through the wire. Safer just to take a handheld.


I was thinking the same thing. Maybe the Wardrobe could compensate by creating a data buffer.
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Re: "Prudence" Discussion

Postby Mo-velocipede » Sun Nov 22, 2009 12:10 am UTC

Frankie wrote:
neoliminal wrote:
Spoiler:
it's a Christ allegory

Your statement is entirely untrue. CS Lewis taught English at Oxford & Cambridge, and he literally wrote a book on allegory, so we can safely assume that he knew more about the topic than you do. He explicitly stated that the books (and Aslan in particular) are NOT allegory; they are parallel universe stories (Lewis called them "suppositional"). Aslan does not REPRESENT something in our world, instead he simply is that entity, as it would manifest in that other world.

Yes, this fact probably provides you little or no comfort. But at least you know the correct explanation.


You're just wrong, here, Frankie. What you're bringing up is an excuse, nothing more. As an Athiest-Jewish third grader I figured it out-and hated CS Lewis ever after. If someone who knows a lot about a certain subject says he's not writing about this aforementioned "certain subject" (or not intentionally writing about this subject), is that reason to believe him? Of course not. It's just like Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds/LSD-Did it have to do with drugs? Probably. Was John Lennon an expert on his son's painting or drugs? Yes, he was an expert on both. The controversy (in both cases) probably helped the writers to sell more albums/books, and lying about it would help give everyone a thing to believe.

From another angle, you could say that because CS Lewis was an expert on allegory, he certainly was aware that he was writing an allegory. And writing an allegory purposefully and knowledgeably. Denying it was simply a good selling strategy.

In that sense, this comic didn't do anything for me. Of course, it also got me thinking about John Lennon, Dear Prudence, and LSD (the first two of which are positive).

EDIT: I didn't quite understand the post I was rebutting. You need to read my post from behind the veil of ignorance and assume I'm just dissing CS Lewis for destroying my childhood.
Last edited by Mo-velocipede on Sun Nov 22, 2009 5:50 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Prudence" Discussion

Postby Awesomeness » Sun Nov 22, 2009 2:44 am UTC

neoliminal wrote:The entire Narnia series was ruined for me when it was revealed to me the obvious fact that...
Spoiler:
it's a Christ allegory

...and all my child like innocents was destroyed in that moment. If you do not already know this knowledge, please don't click the spoiler link. If it seems magical and wonderful to you, you are better off for it.

For me it will forever have a bitter taste.


The idea that is was a Christ allegory was made after the books. this is the same with doctor who, the green mile and a bunch of other incidental stuff.
I don't see how the fact that it's slightly relevant to Christianity can ruin a book or series. using your logic I don't like the story behind Angels and Demons because it's Pro-Christianity rather that the other messages in Dan Brown's other books.
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Re: "Prudence" Discussion

Postby kidkolt » Sun Nov 22, 2009 2:46 am UTC

The last two panels need to be a shirt. Also a poster. I would buy them.
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Re: "Prudence" Discussion

Postby SocialSceneRepairman » Sun Nov 22, 2009 4:31 am UTC

Mo-velocipede wrote:You're just wrong, here, Frankie. What you're bringing up is an excuse, nothing more. As an Athiest-Jewish third grader I figured it out-and hated CS Lewis ever after. If someone who knows a lot about a certain subject says he's not writing about this aforementioned "certain subject" (or not intentionally writing about this subject), is that reason to believe him? Of course not. It's just like Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds/LSD-Did it have to do with drugs? Probably. Was John Lennon an expert on his son's painting or drugs? Yes, he was an expert on both. The controversy (in both cases) probably helped the writers to sell more albums/books, and lying about it would help give everyone a thing to believe.

From another angle, you could say that because CS Lewis was an expert on allegory, he certainly was aware that he was writing an allegory. And writing an allegory purposefully and knowledgeably. Denying it was simply a good selling strategy.

In that sense, this comic didn't do anything for me. Of course, it also got me thinking about John Lennon, Dear Prudence, and LSD (the first two of which are positive).


Next time try reading a post all the way through before you write a rebuttal.
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Re: "Prudence" Discussion

Postby Mo-velocipede » Sun Nov 22, 2009 4:37 am UTC

I did read it all the way through. Explain to me what I missed, please.

As for the Christianity ruining a book--It's one thing if you're a concientious adult reading a Dan Brown novel that is overtly based on christian ideas and mythology--It's another thing if you're a young child enjoying a book and later realizing that it was about a religion that you don't believe in.

It still angers me. The worst part was that it was such a widespread, acclaimed children's book. It was even in our school library's second-grade-level section.

EDIT: Oh, S***, you're right. I didn't get it. Ok, so CS Lewis was destroying our innocence in an even worse way. It's not allegory! It's Jesus in a parallel universe! Hooray for twisted childrens books converting second graders to Christianity!
Last edited by Mo-velocipede on Sun Nov 22, 2009 5:48 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: "Prudence" Discussion

Postby jeszjesz » Sun Nov 22, 2009 5:12 am UTC

hujackus wrote:
Math_Mage wrote:Erm, because of the decoupled time streams, I don't know if the data would travel properly through the wire. Safer just to take a handheld.


I was thinking the same thing. Maybe the Wardrobe could compensate by creating a data buffer.


Indeed. Please read my paper "Flow control and data buffering in time-discontinuous wardrobes during wartime" - I think you'll find what you're looking for.

Meanwhile I'm working on my critique of Lewis Carroll's lesser-known work "Through the Looking-Glass, and What the Unmanned Robotic Roving Vehicle Found There", although I'm hampered in my work by my flatmate Charlie Dodgson who keeps trying to sell me pictures of litle girls so he can buy drugs. Really.
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Re: "Prudence" Discussion

Postby frey553 » Sun Nov 22, 2009 8:13 am UTC

Mo-velocipede wrote:As for the Christianity ruining a book--It's one thing if you're a concientious adult reading a Dan Brown novel that is overtly based on christian ideas and mythology--It's another thing if you're a young child enjoying a book and later realizing that it was about a religion that you don't believe in.

It still angers me. The worst part was that it was such a widespread, acclaimed children's book. It was even in our school library's second-grade-level section.

EDIT: Oh, S***, you're right. I didn't get it. Ok, so CS Lewis was destroying our innocence in an even worse way. It's not allegory! It's Jesus in a parallel universe! Hooray for twisted childrens books converting second graders to Christianity!


Your totally right. I mean, when I read through the series as a youngster, the second I finished I started going to church and believing some guy got himself killed and made the world OK forever and ever as long as I believe in him. And I know you did the exact same, right? And so that's why it must be so traumatizing and enraging because this book must have been the sole reason christianity became an integral part of your life and to find out that it was this book that secretly brainwashed you into doing that, well, it's quite understandable. Right? I feel ya man.
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Re: "Prudence" Discussion

Postby Elipongo » Sun Nov 22, 2009 8:32 am UTC

Silly people! Discussing issues of data transmission between alternate universes with disparate temporal rates yet totally overlooking the anachronism of Lucy possessing a laptop and electronic robot during World War II!

I also thought the bot was a Mars Rover.
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Re: "Prudence" Discussion

Postby Elipongo » Sun Nov 22, 2009 10:11 am UTC

Mo-velocipede wrote:I did read it all the way through. Explain to me what I missed, please.

As for the Christianity ruining a book--It's one thing if you're a concientious adult reading a Dan Brown novel that is overtly based on christian ideas and mythology--It's another thing if you're a young child enjoying a book and later realizing that it was about a religion that you don't believe in.

It still angers me. The worst part was that it was such a widespread, acclaimed children's book. It was even in our school library's second-grade-level section.

EDIT: Oh, S***, you're right. I didn't get it. Ok, so CS Lewis was destroying our innocence in an even worse way. It's not allegory! It's Jesus in a parallel universe! Hooray for twisted childrens books converting second graders to Christianity!


Destroyed your innocence? I think you're being overdramatic. I'm an Orthodox Jew and I loved the series. The Christian themes never bothered me because I never even noticed them - Christian theology has never been a subject I've been very interested in especially so when I was a youngster. I did note the polytheistic themes (Tash, river gods, etc.) but wasn't bothered by them because you see such in many fantasy novels.

I believe in religious tolerance - an author has a perfect right to incorporate themes based on his faith into his works. Lewis was hardly trying to be deceptive or hide the Christian themes in the novels, they're kind of heavy handed really. Maybe you're just angry at yourself for missing it? Get over it, if so - I missed it too but see it as no reason to dampen my enjoyment of excellent literature.
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Re: "Prudence" Discussion

Postby GlassesHalf » Sun Nov 22, 2009 10:30 am UTC

Would definitely buy a shirt with the last two panels. I think I read that book nigh on 30 years ago. :)
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Re: "Prudence" Discussion

Postby Mo-velocipede » Sun Nov 22, 2009 4:29 pm UTC

frey553 wrote:
Mo-velocipede wrote:As for the Christianity ruining a book--It's one thing if you're a concientious adult reading a Dan Brown novel that is overtly based on christian ideas and mythology--It's another thing if you're a young child enjoying a book and later realizing that it was about a religion that you don't believe in.

It still angers me. The worst part was that it was such a widespread, acclaimed children's book. It was even in our school library's second-grade-level section.

EDIT: Oh, S***, you're right. I didn't get it. Ok, so CS Lewis was destroying our innocence in an even worse way. It's not allegory! It's Jesus in a parallel universe! Hooray for twisted childrens books converting second graders to Christianity!


Your totally right. I mean, when I read through the series as a youngster, the second I finished I started going to church and believing some guy got himself killed and made the world OK forever and ever as long as I believe in him. And I know you did the exact same, right? And so that's why it must be so traumatizing and enraging because this book must have been the sole reason christianity became an integral part of your life and to find out that it was this book that secretly brainwashed you into doing that, well, it's quite understandable. Right? I feel ya man.


For me it wasn't quite that bad. I was raised Jewish, but started drifting toward Christianity after I read it in second grade as an impressionable seven year old. Then, in third grade as I learned about allegory and Christianity, I figured it out. I never forgave myself for it. Now I'm proud to say I've tossed off the shackles of both opiates and am a worshiper of the Church of the All Powerful Time Traveling Higgs-Boson Particle.
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Re: "Prudence" Discussion

Postby Eikinkloster » Sun Nov 22, 2009 6:00 pm UTC

Elipongo wrote:Destroyed your innocence? I think you're being overdramatic. I'm an Orthodox Jew and I loved the series. The Christian themes never bothered me because I never even noticed them - Christian theology has never been a subject I've been very interested in especially so when I was a youngster. I did note the polytheistic themes (Tash, river gods, etc.) but wasn't bothered by them because you see such in many fantasy novels.

I believe in religious tolerance - an author has a perfect right to incorporate themes based on his faith into his works. Lewis was hardly trying to be deceptive or hide the Christian themes in the novels, they're kind of heavy handed really. Maybe you're just angry at yourself for missing it? Get over it, if so - I missed it too but see it as no reason to dampen my enjoyment of excellent literature.


Of course he is being overdramatic. This is XKCD, not some scholarly forum. Anyhow, I believe I see how the two of you have such differing experiences with the allegory while being both Jews. You're Orthodox. That means you have a very well set fantasy world, and it is Judaism. Anything else will be of little to no consequence for you. He is Secular. That means his fantasy world is made up of bits and pieces, some Jewish, some pagan, but definitely, NONE Christian. Christianity, in this context, is the epitome of banality, in the sense that banality was used in Changeling The Dreaming by White Wolf. It kills his glamour. He can no longer let himself loose in the world of Narnia, because there is a big Jesus purring behind each tree there, threatening him wit eternal agony if he doesn't accept him as his personal savior.

Awesomeness wrote:I don't see how the fact that it's slightly relevant to Christianity can ruin a book or series. using your logic I don't like the story behind Angels and Demons because it's Pro-Christianity rather that the other messages in Dan Brown's other books.


Dan Brown is definitely not pro Christian. Not in the sense C S Lewis is. Dan Brown believes in an alternate Christianity, one that is not misogynist, one that doesn't inspire celibacy and priests drooling over boys. Dan Brown's Christianity is a pagan one. Perfectly compatible with the essential paganism of modern fantasy.

Woops... only now I realize I'm considering precisely Dan Brown's other book (Da Vinci Code).
Then perhaps I wouldn't like Angels and Demons either :-)
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Re: "Prudence" Discussion

Postby Kaijyuu » Sun Nov 22, 2009 10:02 pm UTC

I'll admit I was kinda put off when I figured out the lion = jesus thing, but I got over it. I don't see how it's any different than anything based on greek/norse/ect mythology.


C'mon, ruining the book series? Thinking it's bad to expose to second grade children? Grow up; christianity (or any other religion) isn't out to get you.
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Re: "Prudence" Discussion

Postby RogueCynic » Mon Nov 23, 2009 1:38 am UTC

Funny comic. I got the Narnia reference when I saw the lamppost. The christianity allegory was obvious when Aslan sacrificed himself on the table to save Edmund. I heard the 666 reference was numerology though. "6" was the number representing man, while "3" represented god. Three sixes meant "man playing god".
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Re: "Prudence" Discussion

Postby BlazeOrangeDeer » Mon Nov 23, 2009 5:00 am UTC

Oh, so Aslan IS actually Jesus? Whew. That means it wasn't blasphemy when I prayed to him instead of jesus for a while :lol: . It also means that since I answered a question about aslan in quiz bowl after less than a sentence of it being read, it means I'm a good catholic 8)

Also, I just figured out that I totally know Mo-velocipede IRL. But I'll keep it on the DL, if you know what I mean.
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Re: "Prudence" Discussion

Postby skitch78 » Mon Nov 23, 2009 5:08 am UTC

NorthLondon wrote:Anyone got any views on reading the books either in the order that they were written vs the ret-conned order Lewis came up with later in life?


cptjeff wrote:The correct ****** order:

1. Lion, Witch and Wardrobe.
2. Prince Caspian
3. Voyage of the Dawn Treader
4. The silver chair
5. The horse and his boy
6. The Magician's Nephew
7. The final battle.


Thank you thank you thank you. I expected a much more heated debate on the reading order, but I guess this crowd's IQ level is high enough to know that the published order is the ONLY way to read the books. The Magician's Nephew is a beautiful prequel, making smart references to things to come and having the reader recall memories from their readings of the earlier books. But if you read TMN first, then the magic of the wardrobe is already known and the joy of discovery that the reader shares with Lucy is completely inconsequential.

It'd be like sitting down with your grandchildren 25 years from now and watching the Star Wars movies in their "chronological" order, watching _Episode I: The Phantom Menace_ first. It would totally ruin the shocking revelation made in _Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back_ that...
Spoiler:
Darth Vader is Luke's father!
Just in case some of you haven't seen Stars Wars yet... make sure to watch it in the correct ****** order.
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Re: "Prudence" Discussion

Postby BlazeOrangeDeer » Mon Nov 23, 2009 6:31 am UTC

Mo-velocipede wrote:I did read it all the way through. Explain to me what I missed, please.

As for the Christianity ruining a book--It's one thing if you're a concientious adult reading a Dan Brown novel that is overtly based on christian ideas and mythology--It's another thing if you're a young child enjoying a book and later realizing that it was about a religion that you don't believe in.

It still angers me. The worst part was that it was such a widespread, acclaimed children's book. It was even in our school library's second-grade-level section.

EDIT: Oh, S***, you're right. I didn't get it. Ok, so CS Lewis was destroying our innocence in an even worse way. It's not allegory! It's Jesus in a parallel universe! Hooray for twisted childrens books converting second graders to Christianity!


I really don't get why you hate the books so much. I mean, I read the Golden Compass and sequels before I knew they were about atheism, and that didn't really change my opinion much (those books have some good parts, but are generally creepy and weird.) Although I kind of fell off the religion wagon some time ago, I assert that there is beauty in Christianity and that CS Lewis pretty much summarized ALL of it in Narnia. This was not "twisted", he was being genuine about expressing the truths of the Christian faith, and ended up nailing it, resulting in some kickass books. (notice this truth doesn't have a capital T). As for being on the 2nd Grade bookshelf, why is that bad? Is something bad just because it is Christian? I would say that's a horrible assumption.
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Re: "Prudence" Discussion

Postby Michael of Lucan » Mon Nov 23, 2009 10:33 am UTC

CS Lewis was a Christian, and wrote books on Christianity. So there are some Christian parallels in the Narnia books - if you choose to look closely. The most obvious is the theme of Aslan sacrificing himself for Edmund, then coming back to life.

However, every writer writes from his own background, and that has no impact on the standard of the Narnia books. I am not a Christian but I would eagerly give the Narnia books to any kid of mine. They are among the greatest kids' books available - for everyone.

Obviously the same applies to Pullman's books, which come from a different part of the belief spectrum. The fact that the author's imagination was fed by a non-religious background is irrelevant. It's the imagination that counts.
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Re: "Prudence" Discussion

Postby BioTube » Mon Nov 23, 2009 2:24 pm UTC

CS Lewis attributed his return to Christianity from atheism to a book called Phantasties; he would later remark that an atheist had to watch what he read if wished to stay one. I highly doubt he wrote Narnia without a touch of that effect in mind(I haven't read any of the books).
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Re: "Prudence" Discussion

Postby Makri » Mon Nov 23, 2009 5:25 pm UTC

Joneleth wrote:Why does that ruin it for you?

Much of the backdrop and creatures for the story were taken from
Spoiler:
Greek, Roman, and Norse mythology
, didn't that ruin it for you as well? I can't think of too many stories that *don't* derive from other stories and myths. Even Tolkien, who invented his own world, history, and even language, still took a huge amount from the Anglo-Saxons and the Norse (elves, dwarves, etc.). Everyone builds upon the things that have come before, why should one element from one myth be so destructive for you?


First of all, there's a difference between the costumes and the plot of a play. But second, and I think crucially, you can assume that there is a sense in which Lewis was serious about the things borrowed from Christianity. I think that is what ruined it for some people.

Also, I can relate to Tolkien's aesthetical problem with Narnia: The parallel is just to obvious, and I guess, speaking a bit harshly, one might call it unimaginative. (As a matter of fact, I also second Tolkien's complaint about mixing the real world with a fantasy world. But I suppose that's just a matter of personal taste. Possibly, the mixture helps some people relate to the characters.)

Obviously the same applies to Pullman's books, which come from a different part of the belief spectrum. The fact that the author's imagination was fed by a non-religious background is irrelevant. It's the imagination that counts.


I'm not sure it's irrelevant that Pullman deliberately wrote an anti-Narnia... And I could understand it if that ruined his works for a Christian believer.
However, talking about imagination, it seems intuitive to me that there was more for Pullman to imagine when he had to figure out how to express his atheism than there was for Lewis: the sacrifice theme is just so obvious, as it's so central to Christianity.
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Re: "Prudence" Discussion

Postby BlazeOrangeDeer » Tue Nov 24, 2009 2:26 am UTC

But the crucifixion theme is only a small part of the allegory. For example, I figured out that when Aslan was continually telling Peter to clean his sword before he puts it back in its sheath so it didn't get all messy, he was talking about confession. There are little things like that throughout the books, kind of interesting when you find them because they really are excellent ways of describing those aspects of christianity.
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Re: "Prudence" Discussion

Postby dennisw » Tue Nov 24, 2009 3:05 am UTC

BlazeOrangeDeer wrote:But the crucifixion theme is only a small part of the allegory. For example, I figured out that when Aslan was continually telling Peter to clean his sword before he puts it back in its sheath so it didn't get all messy, he was talking about confession. There are little things like that throughout the books, kind of interesting when you find them because they really are excellent ways of describing those aspects of christianity.

I thought he was talking about contraception.
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Re: "Prudence" Discussion

Postby BioTube » Fri Nov 27, 2009 4:31 pm UTC

Cleaning a sword isn't for aesthetics: those things rust if you don't take good care of them(which also includes polishing).
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Re: "Prudence" Discussion

Postby Elipongo » Fri Nov 27, 2009 4:39 pm UTC

BioTube wrote:Cleaning a sword isn't for aesthetics: those things rust if you don't take good care of them(which also includes polishing).


Yeah. That's pretty much what my thoughts were too. That and a general message to take care of your stuff.
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