Saturday, June 4, 2016

The Lion, The Witch and CS Lewis - 16


Meanwhile, back at the escarpment, there was a meeting of the top lieutenants - who were being given instructions. Once this broke out, there were only two people left in the room: namely Peter and Eddie. This is not the way CS Lewis would tell this story, he would have informed people indirectly, say has someone watching the battle, as opposed to being in the thick of things. But that is the way people would do things now.

“I have a suggestion,” declared Eddie “and I would like you to listen closely.” Looking out of the sides of his eyes, glancing through the pavilion windows.

“I'm listening.” Though there was still a distance between the two, as if Peter did not trust Eddie. Or maybe it was Eddie sensing.

Gathering himself close to his brother, and speaking in low soft tones: “There are spies here, and what has to follow his for your ears alone.”

Peter nodded.

“When I tried to escape, I was immediately picked up by a spy, and a fellow traveler, who while he did not know of the identity of the spy, was still in the game.”

“What does this have to do with us?” Demanded Peter.

“I have a plan.”

“Go on, I am listening.”

“When I was caught, I noticed that the wand, not the witch, had the power to turn people into stone.” Said Eddie. “And that makes me think that if we disable it, we might be able to turn the tide, at least until Aslan arrives.”

Peter the about this, and nodded. Though Peter was a great strategist, he had noticed that Eddie could engage in clever tactics.

“So what do you suggest?”

“I will take a few friends, whom you trust, and will work on getting close to the witch. Then and only then will I snatch the wand and break it. I think this will give us the best chance.”

“It's very risky, in fact far too risky.” Said Peter.

“It's our only chance.”

“Then I will distract the witch, and keep her eyes upon me, so that you can spring your trap.” that is Peter's strength.

Eddie nodded, and then took his gear.

“Remember a few people, that you trust.”

“I trust only Mr. Beaver, and a few of his friends.”

“Add in the bird. When found out that he was duped, he joined our side, even though I did not know what it was.”

Peter looked out the pavilion window, and said: “You should trust that bird.”

“You are right.”

“I know I am, but it's you that I trust most of all. And please don't forget that. I wouldn't want anyone by my side, now that you have been transformed, it is truly remarkable how you have changed in the last day.”

“I'm glad that you think so. I don't know if there is something about this land which is magical.”

“That is quite probably so, but the magic has to work into the person I think, and that is not the magic but the person.”

“Maybe it is trust, we could always do this. We just needed someone to trust us with a project that is important.”

“Maybe so.”

Peter went out the door, while Eddie stayed behind and thought of the best way to disarm the witch, because he was sure that this would be the one chance they would get. And he had to make it count. He frowned, because most of the bullies that he interacted with, first let him get roughed up, before he even got to them. And you assure that the witch would do the same thing. And that would be unpleasant. Very, very, unpleasant, as he rubbed his face in apprehension.

Here is one of those places where young adult literature and literature make a large separation, in that in YA literature things tend to simplify, where has in regular literature this is where the complexities are amped up to another degree. In the kind of story we are in there is a certain distance, which tells the reader that things are going to be completed. Where as in literature, true literature, this is only a transition which places the main character or characters in a bind. That is, there is a choice that will bind them, but it comes with a cost. There is, in YA, no such bind, and things flow smoothly.

Since, of course, this being young adult literature, there needs to be a climax to the entire tale. In other words, there was a redemption, the lion be killed, a resolution, the lion being reborn, and then a dénouement, that is the witch being overthrown. In more classical forms of literature, there are more stages, with a dénouement being built up to another, and then perhaps another. The cycle of changes is very small compared to literature.

So in this form of young adult literature, the main characters are resulting, in not complexity, the main problems. For the young, things are to be made simpler. That's why a young adult book runs 30,000 words rather than 80,000 and beyond. So instead of Eddie running into, for example, the beaver, who will turn out to have some additional problem that will be solved, instead he will rush to the story, and their will be confirmation that the story is truly going to end.

In other words, young adult fiction will confirm, while adult fiction will be more complex. This is why young adult fiction closes down more quickly, instead of drawing in, it pushes you out. On the other hand, young health fiction tells the story more simply, and in doing so gets to the point more quickly.

That means that Peter will mount upon a talking horse, and ride into the blackness, having faith that he will emerge victorious, with only a bump or two, on the way. You know this because at 30,000 words, you are reaching a climax, rather than the middle part of the story. In young adult fiction there is only one bump along the road, and then things will be victorious for the main characters.

Down the slope came Peter and Eddie, with Peter writing high to take the witches mind off of things, because Eddie has a plan, which is to break free and confront the witch and break the want. In CS Lewis's text it is in retrospect that he does this, as is often the case. In the Narnia series he does this because it is has if the story doesn't resolve around the mighty heroic events, but that follows from the real event, which is, for example, the lion being raised from the dead.

Now I must interject noting that the evil step father in book 2 is named “Mizar” which is Arabic for the star in the constellation of “Urae Majoris” - which is part and parcel of using words from the Middle East to give it flavor. I note this, because it is a pattern of CS Lewis to interject Persian or Arabic to his text, because of course “Caspian” is Greek, though it is spelled Kaspio. Though many writers attribute it to Prince Caspian, by CS Lewis,, though how they do this I do not know how the do so when the name goes back a long way. Some feel that the people identified as Caspian get there name from Iran, but there is no mention of it in old Iranic, though there is some question as to whether the name comes from Aramaic. Or if you are lazy you can look it up under Wikipedia, which is not something that CS Lewis had available to him, or his readers had available to him until very recently.

What I've done here is waste a good deal of verbiage, though it is interesting verbiage, for what I'm doing is keeping the mind off of Peter and Eddie, because really there is not much to say about them. I'm going to have Eddie pop up near the witch, and disarm the wand. Witch will then pull out a glass dagger, which while it is good for defense, is not have the range or the capability of of the wand. This is told in retrospect in CS Lewis, because much of the battle is glost over, because in CS Lewis the battle is an afterthought. The same is the combat in book 2, where High King Peter does not actually take charge, but instead is recounted from other characters.

So instead of recounting Eddies version, I would if CS Lewis picked some other character to recount the battle from her or his point of view. Then from this view he would have struck down upon the wand, and watched it shatter into 1000 pieces. Then Eddie is tossed aside, but having done work of removing the wand, and giving Peter a chance to take on which and her dagger. Remember witch is very powerful nonetheless, but if the lion arrives quickly, he will be the Savior of Eddie and Peter. Note I say Savior rather than savior, since obviously a lion is Christ.

She eyed him viciously, taking no mercy on blows that she reign down on him, striking to close for every one that Peter landed. But Peter was smart, and only landed blows that counted. He also knew that he didn't have to land the knockout blow, just enough to last until Aslan appeared. So he took his time, and landed enough blows to overwhelm her defenses. The witch was getting desperate, and she knew that the lion was somewhere out there, getting more troops. And she knew where they were, even if she didn't know how he would freeze. But she knew in her stone cold hard that he would have something prepared. And just at that moment, she realized that she was a pawn. Her heart was cold as stone, and a creature of Tash, and even if she won the battle, it would be Tash who would claim the prize. Because Tash was literally stone.

She flailed at the realization that she was a pawn, and only a pawn. Being used by Tash to gain Narnia from Aslan, with no independent will of her own. She felt a hand not from outside, but from within, grasping at her, and gradually reaching in to replace her will with its. The witch was gasping from within and from without.

Just at that point, Aslan with his troops appeared, beaming through as Christ in another form.

And what a Christ he was! Because just then he, the young women, and all of the creatures who had once been frozen came down off the hill. There were giants, and lions, and all sides from Greek mythology. There were beavers, and all sorts of little creatures who had joined to fight the battle. Up top there was Lucy and Thomas leading the parade.

    And it was quickly over after that, because which looked up and saw the lion coming down at her, and she froze, though metaphorically.