Monday, November 14, 2005

The Coming War Over Narnia

Amy Welborn has a good post about the media attacks on C.S. Lewis that are now underway in advance of the Narnia movies. If the The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe is a hit, I suspect the attacks will increase. But already, they're bizarre. Welborn points out this strange Times piece on Lewis, which claims:
Lewis was an old-fashioned Christian, and those who consider the church to be too interested in modernising see him as a hero of religious orthodoxy and conservative values. This would be harmless except for the fact that they have managed to morph the real Jack Lewis into “St Jack of Oxford”, a version of himself he would have had trouble recognising. The puritans of America (a breed Lewis always loathed) have even tried to eradicate all references to alcohol and tobacco in his writing.

Lewis loved a drink, he loved to smoke and he continued to enjoy his cigarettes when his doctors told him that they would hasten his death. For more than 40 years he smoked 60 a day between pipes. He actively disliked non-smokers and merrily mocked teetotallers.

And then there was sex. As a youth Lewis revelled in vivid and cruel fantasies. He also loved bawdy songs and ancient poetry bordering on the pornographic. As an adult he had sex with at least one woman. Nonetheless, the evangelists who collect his furniture and place it in glass cases — and the Lewis societies that work hard to project a fabricated image of the writer in England and elsewhere — have tried to remould him as a “perpetual virgin”. They believe that he died without ever having engaged in sexual intercourse and that therefore his late marriage to Joy Gresham was never consummated.

I'm not fully versed in the Christian culture, but I've never heard anyone claim Lewis as a proud prude.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Seen Steve Greydanus's funny Narnia joke?