Saturday, November 29, 2008

Happy Birthday to Two!

Today would be the 110th birthday of CS Lewis and the 90th birthday of Madelein L'Engle, both among the ten best Christian writers of fiction in the 20th century.

In THE LAST BATTLE, after the true Narnians all enter the stable and find it bigger on the inside than it was on the outside, they move off to discover this new and surprising land. They meet up with Susan and Peter, who had not been with them when they entered but had come here directly from another world. Peter is perplexed to find himself in what looks like Narnia, for Aslan had told them that they would never be able to come back into Narnia again, for they were getting too old. Digory (who had seen Narnia created) explains to him:

"Listen, Peter. When Aslan said you could never go back to Narnia, he meant the Narnia you were thinking of. But that was not the real Narnia. That had a beginning and an end. It was only a shadow or a copy of the real Narnia which has always been here and always will be here: just as our own world, England and all, is only a shadow or copy of something in Aslan's real world. You need not mourn over Narnia, Lucy. All of the old Narnia that mattered, all the dear creatures, have been drawn into the real Narnia through the Door. And of course it is different; as different as a real thing is from a shadow or as waking life is from a dream." His voice stirred everyone like a trumpet as he spoke these words: but when he added under his breath "It's all in Plato, all in Plato: bless me, what do they teach them at these schools!" the older ones laughed.

Now Lewis (Jack as his friends call him) and L'Engle are walking, discovering and laughing their way further up and further in, in the new (though it has always been there) world of which this one is but a shadow.

Godspeed you, you two, who have taught us so much, and I'll kiss your four hands when I meet you!

4 comments:

Rosa said...

Wow, I never realized that such great authors as L'Engle and Lewis shared the same birthday! That is amazing. I love both writer's works; so much truth ans imagination!

Doug P. Baker said...

Yes, it is odd, isn't it! And their work has much in common too. They seem to me to have used their fiction partly to explain their understanding of theology; but I think they both used it even more to try to understand their own theology themselves. They were both exploring and discovering the God of this world through the process of inventing fictional new worlds.

Fascinating!

J. Andrew Lockhart said...

110 CS Lewis?! wow, time moves on. I love his work- one of my favorites. :)

Devika said...

CS Lewis is one writer i love, Madelein L'Engle -- just introduced a few days ago...

Nice to know their b'days coincided...i wish to read more of Madelein...

Thank you Doug, for the information you share...

wishes,
devika