Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Narnian Gives Way to Moll Flanders

On an unrelated note I finished the CS Lewis biography and I was wrong with my assessment at the beginning. It was written by an academic, there was sufficient meat to bite into, to masticate, to swallow, to nourish. Of course after reading such a biography the normal response would be to rush out and get his books. But I wont. I still have all the unread books on my table (noticeable lessened since I have been hacking away at them and not allowing myself to read books I've already read).

I'm now quarterways through Defoe's Moll Flanders which is a lively tale indeed. Sex, sex and more sex, but told with modesty. I love the euphemisms employed. To do a kindness, to be someone's gallant, to have conversation with...but what I've come to see is that despite the extremely sexist introduction (which now I'm reading it again, appears to be more tongue in cheek than anything, rather like the introduction for Taming of the Shrew which sets that up as a farce) it seems to be a feminist text.

Which is good. Kind as CS Lewis was, he was anything but feminist.

So moving from Ursula Le Guin to him was a bit of a jolt.

I feel like reading Narnia. I did read a children's book, Moonfleet, which Helen gave me all those years ago, and which lay on my desk for just as long without being tackled. I especially want to read Narnia now armed with everything I've read about Lewis. Which is stupid because you take the book as the book, without an inquiry into the author's life to guide you. The text should stand by itself, no?

OK, going to do some actual work now.

Later for you.

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