Synopses & Reviews
How did C. S. Lewis, a middle-aged professor with no children, write books that have become classics of childrenbs literature? What is the best order for reading the Chronicles of Narnia? The Way Into Narnia is the introduction to the Chronicles that readers have been waiting for. It provides valuable guidance for first-time visitors to Narnia as well as fresh insights for those who have traveled there often.
Exploring ideas from bOn Fairy-Stories, b the influential essay by Lewisbs friend J. R. R. Tolkien, the book asserts that the best way to enter Narnia is to read the Chronicles as fairy-stories. Taking a chapter for each of the Chronicles, veteran Lewis scholar Peter Schakel walks readers through the works, concluding the tour with a unique and practical section of detailed notes on each of the Chronicles.
Clearly organized and readable, The Way Into Narnia is nevertheless packed with information and captivating ideas.
"Schakel, author of Reading with the Heart: The Way into Narnia and Imagination and the Arts in C.S. Lewis, combines material from those books with new insights in this perceptive and thorough reader's guide. The book is driven by Schakel's conviction that 'the best way to enter Narnia is to read the Chronicles as fairy tales,' and to that end, he offers an essay on how Lewis's notion of the fairy tale was profoundly shaped by his friend J.R.R. Tolkien's definitions of faeries and fantasy worlds. Schakel can be refreshingly opinionated, such as when he admonishes readers who try to read the Narnia series as a strict allegory: 'they are tempted to look for one-to-one parallels between characters, objects, and events in Narnia and corresponding ones in the Bible. However, that is not the way Lewis wanted the Chronicles to be read. Instead, he proposes 'broad patterns of Christian meaning' in the series, analyzing each novel and discussing how each employs elements of the fairy tale to construct those patterns. Schakel's guide is sometimes scholarly in approach (which is not surprising, as he is an English professor and a Lewis scholar), incorporating, for example, a detailed essay on the textual differences between various editions of the Chronicles and a thorough discussion of the vexing question of the order in which they should be read. He also offers an engaging biographical essay on Lewis and almost 80 pages of annotations at the end of the book, 'clarifying...archaic words, identifying allusions, indicating parallels to other works of Lewis, and offering interpretive comments for problematic passages.' " Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
In this introduction to "The Chronicles of Narnia," Schakel provides valuable guidance for first-time visitors to C.S. Lewis's Narnia as well as fresh insights for those who have traveled there often.
Directed to both new and longtime readers of the Chronicles, suggests reading the stories as fairy tales and offers analysis which relates the Chronicles to the life and interests of C.S. Lewis.
The practical companion you need for your journey through C. S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia How did a middle-aged professor with no children write books that have become beloved classics of children's literature? What is the best order for reading the Chronicles of Narnia? Whatever one's question, The Way into Narnia offers valuable guidance for first-time visitors to Narnia and fresh insights for those who have already traveled there often. Exploring ideas from Lewis's friend J. R. R. Tolkien, Peter Schakel shows that the best way to enter Narnia is to read the Chronicles as fairy tales. After walking readers through each of the books, he concludes the tour with a unique section of annotations that clarify unfamiliar words and unusual passages.
Table of Contents
The chronicles: the author and the books -- The story-maker and his stories -- Controversies over texts and reading order -- The chronicles as fairy tales -- The storytelling: fairy tale, fantasy, and myth -- Magic and meaning in The lion, the witch and the wardrobe -- Believing and seeing in Prince Caspian -- Longing and learning in The voyage of the "dawn treader" -- Freedom and obedience in The silver chair -- Place and personal identity in The horse and his boy -- Endings and beginnings in The magician's nephew -- Endings and transcendings in The last battle -- The stories told: fairy-land and its effects -- The chronicles: annotations.