(Merry Christmas #hashheads! And thank you for dropping by on Christmas! For your warmth and pleasure, I have added the very special yule log to glow on this Christmas day! What better way to commemorate the coming of Christ into our world than by looking at the coming of Christ into another world? #BestofHTFT number 4; #countdown!)
As I said last week, C.S. Lewis is my BFF despite his overwhelming handicap of being dead. I have known him for years, but we really got close my freshman year of college. We never experimented or had any drunken nights, but we did have some crazy nights in bed if you know what I mean. Recently, I decided that I would try to read any one fiction book and any one non-fiction book every month. So far, I have read non-fiction like Father Fiction by @donmilleris, Churched by @jesusneedsnewpr (a gift given to me by @sacedo83), and the ever infamous Love Wins by @realrobbell. It is the fiction, however that I am most proud of; among other books, I recently acquired The Chronicles of Narnia written by my BFF C. S., or as I call him, Jacks.
Here on #Hashtagfairytales, we have tackled a lot of controversial topics and issues, but this once may be the most controversial: The reading order for Chronicles of Narnia. Now I may lose a few #hashheads here, but maybe I can gain a few #hashswaggertaggers, but I think, nay, I know that the chronicles ought to be read in the order published and NOT in chronological order. The copy that I was given by my friend, @lpeezeeto was in chronological order as decided by the publishers at Barnes and Noble, but I must respectfully disagree. The order published is frankly the only way to read them, and if you got a problem with that, I got two words for ya: sorry man.
When you read The Chronicles of Narnia, you are to read them as follows:
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
The Silver Chair
The Horse and his boy
The Magicians Nephew
and The Last Battle
This is the only way to read the Chronicles, especially for first-time readers! Though I feel like I could write a two-episode blog about the reading order, I will not belabor that point, or beat a dead horse, because that is not a hill to die on, no, at this point, we’ve got bigger fish to fry! (#clichéking) The Chronicles of Narnia is a great series that every human being should read. That is a big statement, but start to finish The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe all the way to The Last Battle, seriously gave me chills and goose-bumps; not that I know much about goose epidermis or poultry dermatology in general, but again, please allow the cliché. Lewis does not invite you into Narnia in these books, he grabs the reader and pulls them into this “other world;” while reading the books, I had no desire to come back to our own. But let me share with you, let me tell you why #istayinNarnia!
#cmongethappy- Throughout the chronicles there is always reason to be terribly unhappy. If it isn’t a white witch (not a racist statement) or talking monkey (also not a racist statement), it’s a magic lady or a creepy uncle (not the kind of creepy uncle that your mom won’t let you get ice cream with, but one that practices dangerous deep magic). However also throughout is a reason to be happy, and usually that reason is Aslan, the titular Lion from the first book of the series (we’ll talk more about him later). Aslan always has an ace in the hole, and it usually involves a few children from our world who end up being the heroes. It doesn’t matter how bad things are, and for how many hundreds of years they’ve been this way, if you see a few kids in knickers, tights, and suspenders that look like they ran away from a tour of Oliver Twist, you know things are gonna be alright! (#pleasesirmayihavesomemore) I really love the slow reveal of Lewis in his stories, and as @SickboyMccoy has helped me realize about myself, I tend to focus on the rythm of a writer; I love the rhythm of Lewis’ writing, and the way he reveals the reasons that there are to be happy and hopeful among the chaos is absolutely brilliant. Seven books and seven reasons to be happy!
#epic- The only way to describe the Chronicles as a whole is #epic! From the overarching storyline to the crazy names, Narnia is where it’s at! For the storyline, SPOLIER ALERT: it’s really good! Lewis’ tendency to be meticulously descriptive lends itself in a great way to the “grass is greener” land of Narnia. In Narnia, I can see the rich colors, I can taste the thirst-quenching water, and I start to whisper when sneaking around the giants. While reading, you start to saying, “I have no idea what that means right now, but I know that’ll come up in another book!” What’s more, the names of the creatures are crazy enough to make Lady Gaga seem normal. There are the one legged dwarfs called Dufflepuds, horses named Bree and Hwin, a badger called Trufflehunter, a Marshwiggle called Puddleglum, and of course the faun named Tumnus. I mean in Narnia things are better named in general, they call their most famous dwarf Trumpkin, where in our world our most famous dwarf is called Snookie.
Plus there are philosophical implications for days. Another SPOILER ALERT: Narnia is a supposition (as versus allegorical). Lewis wrote in a letter to a woman named Mrs. Hook, “In reality…[Aslan] is an invention giving an imaginary answer to the question, ‘What might Christ become like if there really were a world like Narnia, and He chose to be incarnate and die and rise again in that world as He actually has done in ours?’ This is not allegory at all.” This is some #epic stuff! Not to mention Lewis’ allusions to some Rob Bell sounding stuff in The Last Battle; that’s #hashtalk for another day though. Also, don’t get me started on the “Problem of Edmund” which will one day be a topic on #Hashtagfairytales no doubt! Narnia is an epic place and here is the most epic thing about it!
#Aslanislegit- There is a reason that Liam Neeson was chosen to be the voice of Aslan for the most recent film series; only a man that is badass could voice such a character who is a supposition of a man with the testicular fortitude of Christ (see last #hashtag of last week’s episode). Aslan was the hope of all of true Narnians; hope in the unseen is key for a true Narnian. Puddleglum said the most memorable phrase in The Silver Chair, and for me the line that resounds louder than any other in The Chronicles of Narnia. When faced with the possibility of Aslan being a figment of his imagination and simply an idea in his own “play-world,” Puddleglum says, “I’m going to stand by the play-world. I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it. I’m going to live as like a Narnian as I can, even if there isn’t any Narnia.” It is this that I leave you with, Aslan is not a tame lion, and Narnia is not a normal place; but normal is no longer good enough. That my friends is why #istayinNarnia!
(I slipped a Gaga reference in? I suppose one Gaga in hand is worth two about Bush. Also, this has been the most cliché-rich episode ever by far, but when in Rome)
#Hashheads! Take a minute to share some love and learn to live like a true Narnian; check out: Live Like A Narnian