A copernican revolution in C.S. Lewis scholarship!

by Anna Blanch on April 18, 2008

For academics one of the highest forms of praise is “doh! wish i’d thought of that”, or “wow, that’s so obvious, why didn’t i put that together”. This is not to say that the idea is necessarily simplistic or obvious but that it is usually (occam’s razor being applied) the simplest solution makes the most sense. Though numerous colleagues of mine were highly sceptical about what could truly be a copernican revolution in Lewis and Narnia scholarship I think Michael Ward’s work could be the real deal!

Michael Ward’s talk today was characterised by him as “everyone’s been drunk for 50 years, i am just the first one to sober up. Doesn’t mean we can’t go back to being drunk again.” would you have guessed that he is talking about the The Chronicles of Narnia, or as Ward terms it: the Narniad?

Ward proposes in a very persuasive manner that Lewis’s overarching principle – the big idea that draws such disparate elements and ideas together – in the Narniad is Lewis’s interest in the Planets, otherwise referred to as cosmology. Jupiter, or Jove, was Lewis’s favourite planet – Kingly, self-sacraficing, lion-like (sounding familiar to anyone?) was, Ward argues the big idea Lewis intended to be hidden in the very fabric of the “Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”. There’s more, much more. I encourage you to get a copy of this recently published (Oxford University Press, 2008) book titled “Planet Narnia” and read Ward’s argument for yourself!

You can also check out: http://www.planetnarnia.com/

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