December 11th, 2005

Halloween Cat


When I was in fourth grade, my grade school librarian handed me "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" because she thought I'd like it. I devoured it as I did many books then and spent a great deal of time thereafter trying to find the rest of the seven books to read. It sent me to the public library for the first time; it had me reading in the aisles of bookstores. And when I saw the small paperback collection of all seven at a tiny bookstore selling for the lordly sum of $6.95, I dutifully saved my allowance until I could afford to buy it for myself. I read those old paperbacks until the insides fell out of the covers and every page was creased and dogeared and "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" couldn't fit in the box really well anymore because some of the pages got wet when they fell out of the binding. I re-read them at least once a year for many, many years, going back to them like comfort food. I saw the British-made animated movie; the BBC mini-series (which sadly only went up to "The Silver Chair"); and anything else that had anything to do with it, including the full-size map (which hung on my wall all through college and beyond; I still have it). I finally was talked into getting rid of that old, old set of books when rahirah and I bought a brand-new set, and I also got the full-size, complete volume, with ALL of the Pauline Baynes illos (including sketches that hadn't been published before), in color. The only gripe I have with the new sets is the "chronological" re-ordering of the books; more on that in a moment.

Did the movie live up to expectations set that high?

Yes. Oh, yes. I cried happy tears of joy at the end. My only beef was making Susan quite a bit less sympathetic than she should have been (save that for "Prince Caspian," when she spends half the book disbelieving), and Peter not stepping up instantly to do his duty, as he always did. Still. I don't care. They made it, visually and spectacularly, perfect as such things can be.

The way they've been packaging the books lately, with "The Magician's Nephew" first and "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" second? STUPID!!!!! If anyone goes into those books for the very first time and reads TMN before TLTW&TW, all the magic and wonder of TLTW&TW is lost. If you know all the secrets which are revealed in TMN, it would lose so much. I'm so glad the movie producers realized that and started the story where it needed to be started -- with Lucy's step into that wardrobe. Leave it to wonder for a few books how the Professor knew about that wardrobe. Leave it to wonder for a while where the lantern at Lantern Wastes came from. Leave the mystery of why the witch was at the Dawn of Time with Aslan for a little while. Never, EVER start with "The Magician's Nephew." If giving any of these new editions to a child, start with "The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe."

I hope they continue, and do the rest of the books. Of course, I'm not sure where one would find a Puddleglum better than Tom Baker (who played it in the BBC mini series), but so far their casting is phenomenal. And they wouldn't have to worry about the kids growing up as with the Harry Potter kids, since... well, if you haven't read them, leave it to say we're introduced to more heroic children as the series moves forward, and I look forward to meeting poor Eustace Scrubb, as well as Jill Pole, one of the best of Lewis's female characters.

It's chilly today in Phoenix. I spent the weekend mostly doing little chores around the house. Tomorrow I start my new hours at work and I realized I'm glad I have some PT scheduled, because otherwise... whenever am I going to be able to get to the post office when I work until five?!?

I have to finish the CDs I'm making for Mom and Uncle Bob, package up their gifts, and mail them Thursday or Friday, I suppose, since that's when I have time off. I'm not really prepared for Christmas. I really wish I had more money. I don't think I bought that much this weekend and yet I'm already strained a bit. But it was a pretty enjoyable weekend, anyway. Went shopping, saw a great movie, got a few things done. Not bad, really.

I am down to 258,754 words. Okay, it is harder than I thought it would be. But that's down from 291,614, so...
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