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On Tolkien and Lewis

From Clive James:

I still haven't forgiven CS Lewis for going on all those long walks with JRR Tolkien and failing to strangle him, thus to save us from hundreds of pages dripping with the wizardly wisdom of Gandalf and from the kind of movie in which Orlando Bloom defiantly flexes his delicate jaw at thousands of computer-generated orcs.

In fact it would have been even better if CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien could have strangled each other, so that we could also have been saved from the Chronicles of Narnia.


The article itself is about JK Rowling and, well, her money, and it's mainly James being witty, and is a bit light on actual content, but who can argue with that line? Me, I like some fantasy, and I've nothing against elves and whimsy, but I could have gone with the murder/suicide pact there.


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Jul. 30th, 2007 12:47 am (UTC)
The serious problem with the Chronicles of Narnia is that they made me way too excited about opening closets at home.
Jul. 30th, 2007 02:13 am (UTC)
and here i would've thought it was how you kept going up to lions and saying, 'are you jesus?'
Jul. 30th, 2007 01:49 am (UTC)
Haha...he mentioned Biggles! I remember those old things from school..nerds used to read them. :)

And yes, agree with him about the Lewis/Tolkien thing, but if we had to choose...Lewis please. At least Tolkien pushed his Christianity with a bit of subtlety.
Jul. 30th, 2007 02:14 am (UTC)
yeah, but tolkien has had the more freaky response in later years. also, he's more popular than the bible.
Jul. 30th, 2007 02:30 am (UTC)
That's just because the Bible doesn't star Viggo Mortensen or Orlando Bloom.

Get Orlando Bloom to stand in a nice wet loincloth in the Jordan River and I'll guarantee a rise in the Bible's ratings.
Jul. 30th, 2007 02:36 am (UTC)
i don't think the bible needs a rise in ratings.
Jul. 30th, 2007 02:54 am (UTC)
yeah, but only the old testament...the new testament is so boring, it doesnt have enough murder, rape, pillaging and genocide in it. and that yahweh? that is one angry mo fo!
Jul. 30th, 2007 04:32 am (UTC)
Generally, you had to hit the Silmarillion before you really started to get into the Christianity thing. Whereas with Lewis, it was all nauseatingly right out there. And you have the little girls weeping and being in distress while the men fight the battles.

I guess you can figure which side of the line I'd fall.
Jul. 30th, 2007 04:39 am (UTC)
it's the whole 'both of them in a suicide pact' side, isn't it?
Jul. 30th, 2007 03:04 pm (UTC)
Sure, except I actually like Tolkien. His was the first bit of speculative fiction I ever read (and there are lots of rumblings about how I've been "corrupted," I hear, as a result), and so I have some fondness for him.

Lewis, on the other hand...

He can take his Jesus-lions and jump off a cliff. Maybe he can take comfort in the fact that a better life awaits him and he'll be resurrected because he's all altruistic and all that.
Jul. 30th, 2007 03:39 am (UTC)
Clive James may be my soulmate.
Jul. 30th, 2007 04:27 am (UTC)
aw. it's nice that you make the connection here, on this blog.
Jul. 30th, 2007 04:27 am (UTC)
Now I just need to figure out how to break the news to my wife.
Jul. 30th, 2007 04:28 am (UTC)
may i suggest with a cup of tea?
Jul. 30th, 2007 07:39 am (UTC)
hmm...i see the logic there, with clive being all british now...but i would suggest appealing to his baser australian instincts, with, you guessed it; beer! :P
Jul. 30th, 2007 09:03 am (UTC)
I love my dead gay elves!
Jul. 30th, 2007 03:02 pm (UTC)
Heathers! With Elves!

Jul. 30th, 2007 01:20 pm (UTC)
I was far too old to read The Hobbit, when I finally read the Hobbit. But I made a good effort. My honey & I got a pretty edition and took turns reading it to each other, late at night.

And then one night, I sighed and said: "dwarves, dwarves, bracken, bracken, dwarves, bracken, dwarves." Which sums it all up, really.

We didn't finish it. :)

I do think it's a bit mean to blame CS Lewis for Orlando Bloom! However, he deserves to be resoundingly kicked for The Horse and His Boy. Really hope they don't make that one into a film.
Aug. 1st, 2007 12:04 am (UTC)
That is too funny. I really like Lewis' nonfiction stuff but at one point in time in Surprised by Joy he gives it to Yeats for being a pagan and a mystic (instead of a Christian) and I was all like, "Listen, bitch, you do not fuck with Yeats where my eyes can see or my ears can hear."

I've never read the Tolkien stuff except the Hobbit when I was like 12. I liked the movies a lot for not knowing anything about anything.
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