Log in

No account? Create an account

in a web of glass, pinned to the edges of vision

I'm six yeauhs OWD!

I'd forgotten how often we saw Magritte

mucha mosaic

I'm six yeauhs OWD!

Previous Entry Share Next Entry
pop goes the kitty
No, really. I'm clearly a small child this day.

Went to see Willy Wonka? check.

Have new Harry Potter? check.

Budgeting the reading thereof to make it last? check.

city_of_dis posted about the stupidity of people going OMG THESE ARE CHILDREN'S BOOKS AND YOU ARE OVER TEN WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOUUUUUU. In the midst of this post he dredged up a quote I haven't been able to track down in years. I share it with you now, as it did away with the remaining '...I'm acting like WHAT?' evidenced above:

"No book is really worth reading at age of ten which is not equally (and often far more) worth reading at the age of fifty...Those of us who are blamed when old for reading childish books were blamed when children for reading books too old for us. No reader worth his salt trots along in obedience to a timetable."
-C.S. Lewis
  • (no subject) -
  • And what's that old bastard best known for? Writing religious propaganda for children that no otherwise-unbrainwashed adult would be sucked in by. Bah.
    • I wouldn't say that...

      Actually, it seems to me that more people are familiar with, or have heard excerpts of, The Screwtape Letters, especially after John Cleese performed Screwtape on audiobooks. I happen to think that the addendum, Screwtape Proposes a Toast, to be terrifyingly prophetic with regards to what education has become.

      The Chronicles of Narnia are not my favorite fiction books by Lewis, though they as a collective are in the top three. I adore Screwtape and The Great Divorce as well. However, none have had more impact on me than his non-fiction works. Despite some of the "product of his times" issues, his view of Christianity is one of the most believable I've seen. For the record, he was virulently against the idea of theocracy as exhibited by the Kristian Koalition Klan. He also encourages people to question what they've learned about religion from various sources, including him. He would be revolted by a brainwashed reader drooling and nodding just as much as you are.

      I am not by any means a gullible wide-eyed whatever-the-priests-say type, nor can I identify with any organized religion, even the touchy-feely "everyone is correct" inclusive types. Most people I run into seem to believe that I'm not, in fact, in any danger of becoming a card-carrying religious fanatic any time soon.

      I saw different things as I read the Chronicles as a child than I do reading the Chronicles as a grownup. I do not believe I am brainwashed, and I do not necessarily like how heavy-handed he is in some places, and yet I believe that the situation is not nearly as ironic as the wording in your comment suggests. Beneath, or perhaps above, the religious tones there are still some excellent stories. The Chronicles have aged far better than many books I adored as a child.

      I have read enough of Lewis' other works to know that his ridicule, even loathing, of "children's things" versus "adult things" is genuine, and not strictly limited to reading lists. If you've not read the Chronicles and are going by what others have said about them, or if you haven't read them recently, and if you've not read any of his other books, both fiction anf non, I highly recommend doing so. He was far from a one-dimensional person, and while many of his books are blatantly religious and others certainly have a religious slant, he wrote many things which can be enjoyed no matter your creed or lack thereof.
      • Re: I wouldn't say that...

        I picked up The Screwtape Letters recently, and had to put it down after about ten pages. I found it revolting.

        • Re: I wouldn't say that...

          Oh well, to each his/her own. Since this is colubra's journal and not the CS Lewis (un)appreciation club, I would just like to reiterate that not all people find Dr. Lewis' quote to be ironic.
          • Re: I wouldn't say that...

            Eh, well, it's not like we're using up his supply of precious electrons.
    • Re: I wouldn't say that...

    • Re: I wouldn't say that...

      Be that as it may, I would feel better moving any further discussion to your journal or mine. If you're game, please post and e-mail to let me know you have done so, or e-mail me telling me whether you would want this to e public or locked and I'll pick it up in my journal. Do be forewarned that some of my friends share my affinity for CS Lewis, so they might jump in if this ends up in my journal; only if they read this one as well would they comment in yours.
  • nice quote. :-)
  • Your icon made me go, "AWWW!" and coo. You bad, bad man.

    *whimper* I have the book. But I cannot read it, yet. *pets it lovingly* And I, too, saw Willy Wonka.
  • Yo, bitchaz, CS Lewis in the hizzouse, laying the smack down on hizzoes!
    • Indeed, if I'd quoted it in full, it would have ended thus:

      Those of us who are blamed when old for reading childish books were blamed when children for reading books too old for us. No reader worth his salt trots along in obedience to a timetable. Why you gots to be a hatah?

      But that seemed undignified to me.
  • I'm not sure if you wanted to know this, but...

    The quote, or more accurately quotes, come(s) from two different essays from the same book, Of Other Worlds. The only version I could find was edited by Walter Hooper, and included some stories as well as the essays. Any stories he claims Dr. Lewis never finished and/or never published are suspect, as are any of the essays he claims he found additions to. While the essays should be pretty much uniform, I'll give the page numbers in my copy. I'm using the softcover Harvest Book by Harcourt Brace & Company, First Harvest edition 1975.

    No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally (and often far more) worth reading at the age of fifty

    This is a partial quote from the essay On Stories. The quote itself appears in the second paragraph (first complete paragraph) of page 15 in my copy. The rest of the paragraph is also worth reading and quite possibly quoting, IMNSHO.

    Those of us who are blamed when old for reading childish books were blamed when children for reading books too old for us. No reader worth his salt trots along in obedience to a timetable.

    This is from On Three Ways of Writing for Children, in the first paragraph (a continuation) on page 28. While this quote certainly works with the earlier one and captures the essence of Lewis' overall feelings in the matter, the larger context of the paragraph in which the second quote appears is that the age groups/categories which publishers try to shove books into rarely reflect reality.

    I mention that because from what I've read elsewhere, Rowling never meant these to be childrens' books; the publishers themselves decided that all this magic and stuff was for children. In fact, it would only appeal to little boys, which is why they convinced her to use JK instead of her full name; little boys would not be interested in reading a book written by a (known) woman, I guess.

    While I'm glad this is making children want to read and even beg for books, I wonder if the adult interest in the book has taught the publishers anything. I looked at the so-called adult sets on spamazon.co.uk, but as far as I could tell the only difference was in the covers. The adult set were less stand-outish, I guess, for lack of better word. I guess adults' bookcases have to look different, too. And I guess I just answered my question about this teaching the publishers anything. Anyone have any spare anvils which I could ask Wakko to deliver?
Powered by LiveJournal.com