Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Strange Made Familiar

All right, everyone.  It's okay to sign my guestbook.  Really.  It doesn't bite.

And feel free to leave comments.  No matter how old the post.

If you have a website or blog that could help Christian writers or readers, add a link to this site and I'll be glad to return the favor.

Back to the subject at hand:

I don't read mythology, so Narnia is my only connection with many of the strange creatures Lewis introduces.

Some are not so strange.  Father Christmas adds just the right blend of familiar legend and historical figure to keep Narnia real but magical.  And dwarves and giants exist, though Lewis develops them to an extreme not found in our world.

Somehow, Lewis gets all the strangeness and familiar to come together into a unified whole.  Dancing fauns, dryads and dragons fit in perfectly with living stars, turbaned Calormenes, and talking squirrels.  I believe this comes from Lewis allowing the creatures he wrote about to stay true to themselves - talking dogs are still quite doggy, unicorns are noble and graceful, dryads look and act like trees.

Although a feeling of strangeness is important in fantasy and science fiction (especially the latter), readers need words on a page to form pictures in their minds.  All a reader knows is what is this world.  To make them see another world, some connections need to be made.  The same is true with other fiction, though the connections can be more overt. 


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