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Old 02-07-2003, 09:51 PM   #1
Iarwain
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I have seen many people post about Lewis's Narnia being Middle-Earth several ages later "with the compass needle switched". Personally, I find this idea odd, and would like to hear from its advocates as to understand the reasoning behind it. Any response would be both helpful and interesting.

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Old 02-07-2003, 09:58 PM   #2
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I also would be most interested to read intelligent, well thought out arguments on this. I have never heard of it before, and - I'll be nice - it seems to me it would be hard to prove. It reminds me of the many who try to read allegories into LotR and the Bible and any other fiction instead of letting the thing stand on its own as what it is. Hmmm... and I said I was going to be nice. Oh well. [img]smilies/tongue.gif[/img]
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Old 02-08-2003, 03:25 AM   #3
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Never heard of this before. But people usually make these assumptions between Lewis's and Tolkien's works because they were friends. So they assume that they inspired eachother with the creating of their worlds. Hence the map idea maybe??
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Old 02-08-2003, 06:46 AM   #4
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Tolkien and C.S.Lewis where very similar people, so it follows that their minds would work in similar ways. The thinking behind it could be the same, but I really doubt that they are linked.
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Old 02-08-2003, 09:08 AM   #5
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I think Lewis and Tolkien were similar in that they shared a love for God and a love for literature. They were both writers and Oxford dons. As friends they read their writing to one another and give one another input before publication.

They were very different in temperament. Lewis was outgoing and had many friends and acquaintances. Tolkien was more introspective and was satisfied with his small circle of friends. I believe their friendship cooled when Lewis wanted to include Charles Williams into their circle and Tolkien didn't care for him.

As fiction writers, Tolkien was the more scholarly. He strove to create a world that was consistent and true to the character of myth. He created a language, a history, races to people it. Lewis wrote his fantasy as an intentional allegory, not only to entertain but deliberately to convey a picture of his theological beliefs. Tolkien did not set out to write an allegory and actually said he despised allegory. Although he did not set out to write a Christian work, he later revised some of his original work in the Silmarillion and other tales concerning the origins of Middle Earth and histories of the First Age to bring the theology more in line with his own. A reading of his own letters would best communicate all his motives for this, there is not room here to do so.

I think Tolkien was a more careful scholar and literary critic. When Tolkien criticised Lewis for putting Father Christmas in the same story with Fauns, Lewis replied that children do that sort of thing all the time in their own fantasies and that made it ok for his. I think Tolkien was something of a perfectionist. He reacted rather defensively when apparent inconsistencies were discovered in his own works. He would revise already published works in order to perfect them or interject some change he'd made in the order of his created universe.

Theologically they different in that Tolkien was Catholic while Lewis was Church of England. While conversations with Tolkien were instrumental in convincing an agnostic Lewis to embrace Christianity, Lewis became of apologist for the faith. Tolkien expressed disappointment that Lewis had not embraced Catholicism as well as Christianity. Tolkien was a committed Catholic and how these beliefs are expressed in his life and work are more integral in contrast to Lewis' direct approach.
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Old 02-08-2003, 11:37 AM   #6
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Most interesting. I actually knew most of what was said already. However, no one has actually responded to my statement. Perhaps the people that suggested Narnia to have a direct connection with Middle-Earth were merely joking... Anyone else like to comment?

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Old 02-08-2003, 12:58 PM   #7
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I haven't heard this theory before. It seems to me the two worlds are not very compatible with one another. Narnia is a deliberately separate world from our reality while Middle Earth is crafted in a way to suggest it has merely been forgotten. I, too, would be interested in hearing a convincing argument that they were linked in any way other than somewhat underlying philosophies of morality and sacrifice being the ultimate strength.

From the psychological standpoint, it seems likely that efforts to link the two worlds now stem from a need to link the authors more firmly or to avoid conflict over which "fantasy realm" is better. It could also be a defense of Narnia, since Middle Earth has influenced so many subsequent works and Narnia remains largely uncopied.

[ February 08, 2003: Message edited by: XPhial ]

[ February 08, 2003: Message edited by: XPhial ]
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Old 02-08-2003, 02:35 PM   #8
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Geographically they are completely different, whilst M-E is based on a 'pre-history' of our Earth, Narnia is a entirely diffrent universe alltogether.
A interesting point is that one of the pools of water in the enchanted forest, in the first Narnia book ,could've led to M-E.
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Old 02-08-2003, 07:32 PM   #9
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Cool thought! I used to imagine what kinds of places lay in the infinite pools beyond.
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Old 02-08-2003, 11:40 PM   #10
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I wonder if anyone has considered the significance of rings being used to transport people between the worlds in "The Magician's Nephew" and the obvious inclusion of a ring as the major plot device in LoTR. I found this to be strangely similar and didn't quite know what to make of it when I read the books. Anyone have any thoughts?
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