Being true to form I chose this day, it being Chrimbo and all, to talk about something else. I’m sure you will find lots of proper Christmas posts on the true meaning of Christmas and do read those, a lot of them are great but I’m here to talk about something else after all this, my one reader, is my Journey in Cyprus. So Haway we go, not a typo.
|The cover that I saw. I hope to remember that feeling for years to come|
C S Lewis is my favourite author, almost of all time, I think the man is brilliant. An unparalleled genius. His books have a way of painting images that take you to a time and place, his ability to paint metaphors in both broad and delicate strokes is borderline brilliant. To say the least I am a fan. I discovered C S Lewis in January of 2008. We were on a vacation in Cape Town as a family and on one of the days my Dad decided to mix business with pleasure, he went to a bookshop to get books for his studies, he recently got his PHD so I think such missions are behind him. So we reach the bookshop and for the life of me I can’t figure out why at that time it was just me and him. No idea where everyone else was.
As he was speaking to the guy at the counter, it could have been a female but lets work with the generic word ‘guy’, I begun to snoop around the shop. The shop was a dream for any bookworm, and I am quite the book worm. Imagine one of them shops that has shelves stacked and tables intermingled with a sofa or two, a couple tables and some wooden chairs. The shelves had books, the tables had books and the wooden chairs had books and there was one book that just caught my eye. It was a thick black paperback with a Lion on the cover. Just the face of a Lion, mane and all. I remember thinking how good the cover was because the Lion was just magnificent, little did I know the Lion was Aslan, we’ll get to him soon enough.
I read the cover and it said ‘The Chronicles of Narnia by C S Lewis’. I had heard of the book but never read it so I asked my Dad if he could buy it for me. The book was cheap if memory serves me right, it was a real bargain. The moment he bought it I tore into that bad boy and I’ve never looked back. Before I get to the actual review of ‘The Magician’s Nephew’, which is the reason you my one reader are here, one more little memory. Before we set off for the trip Dad had come from one of his preaching trips and came back with MP3 players from one of the families at a church he preached at. We all got one and I remember putting Michael Card’s Joy in the Journey Album, which is an absolute gem. As I read the book I kept playing two songs over and over and over. They were ‘God’s Own Fool’ and ‘The Final Word’. To date those songs always take me back to that trip, when I would have the book in my lap, my brother and sister next to me in the car and my parents in front of the car driving around Cape Town.
Down to the book. The Magician’s Nephew is the first book in the series called ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’. It is the beginning of Narnia for all intents and Purposes. I will not break down the story because only C S can really do that but I will give you the parts that got me good. The book has an element of Creation and the Fall of man in it. The character that sprung this whole little piece is a boy called Digory. And Digory is me. The decisions that he makes the things he says, it reminds me so much of me. The book brought me to the painful realisation that if I were in the place of Adam on the fateful day that sin entered the world I too might have acted in the same way.
|If you were to buy the book on it's own this would be the cover or something like it|
Before I get to a couple quotes and standouts there is one more thing about Digory that makes me feel so much attachment to the character and this is Digory’s need to atone for his sin through his own actions. I get that so much because I try to do it over and over and over in my own life. I try to add to my redemption because of some vain sense of duty where I want to help out God because I know I have let him down so much. Aslan, who is the God character in the book also the Lion, clears that up with Digory in a way that is so clear and amazing I wont even try to bring it out myself, Just find the book and read it, it is an absolute gem!
Down to the quotes. I will do two and break them down slightly. The first happens when Uncle Andrew shows up in Narnia and hears the animals speak. He could not comprehend how or why the animals were capable of speech and kept denying it to himself. Here is the quote
“When the great moment came and the Beasts spoke, he missed the whole point; for a rather interesting reason. When the Lion had first begun singing, long ago when it was still quite dark, he had realized that the noise was a song. And he had disliked the song very much. It made him think and feel things he did not want to
think and feel. Then, when the sun rose and he saw that the singer was a lion ("only a lion," as he said to himself) he tried his hardest to make believe that it wasn't singing and never had been singing—only roaring as any lion might in a zoo in our own world. "Of course it can't really have been singing," he thought, "I must have imagined it. I've been letting my nerves get out of order. Who ever The Chronicles of Narnia 1 - The Magicians Nephew heard of a lion singing?" And the longer and more beautiful the Lion sang, the harder Uncle Andrew tried to make himself believe that he could hear nothing but roaring. Now the trouble about trying to make yourself stupider than you really are is that you very often succeed. Uncle Andrew did. He soon did hear nothing but roaring in Aslan's song. Soon he couldn't have heard anything else even if he had wanted to. And when at last the Lion spoke and said, "Narnia awake," he didn't hear any words: he heard only a snarl. And when the Beasts spoke in answer, he heard only barkings, growlings, bayings, and howlings. And when they laughed— well, you can imagine. That was worse for Uncle Andrew than anything that had happened yet. Such a horrid, bloodthirsty din of hungry and angry brutes he had never heard in his life. Then, to his utter rage and horror, he saw the other three humans actually walking out into the open to meet the animals.”
The idea that one can go so far in convincing himself of what he doesn’t believe that he soon forgets the process of convincing himself and just moves to full fledge disbelief. We see that so much in this day and age it’s RIDICULOUS. C S shows all of this in his little way. It’s great
The last quote comes towards the end of the book. This is a conversation between Aslan and the two main characters Polly and Digory. Without further ado
"Oh I see," said Polly. "And I suppose because she took it in the wrong way it won't work for her. I mean it won't make her always young and all that?" "Alas," said Aslan, shaking his head. "It will. Things always work according to their nature. She has won her heart's desire; she has unwearying strength and endless days like a goddess. But length of days with an evil heart is only length of misery and already she begins to know it. All get what they want; they do not always like it." "I—I nearly ate one myself, Aslan," said Digory. "Would I—" "You would, child," said Aslan. "For the fruit always works—it must work—but it does not work happily for any who pluck it at their own will. If any Narnian, unbidden, had stolen an apple and planted it here to protect Narnia, it would have protected Narnia. But it would have done so by making Narnia into another strong and cruel empire like Charn, not the kindly land I mean it to be.
Seriously! Wow!! A lot of people will try to tell you that the promises this world and the devil give will happen. Uh.. They might. Problem is even if they do the end product is not what you want it to be. It will never be the peace, joy and fulfilment that you so long have sought. I won’t waste anymore of your time my one reader, JUST GO READ THE BOOK!