Monday, August 27, 2012

One more C.S. Lewis book to discuss this month...

The Last Battle.

Certainly has an epic title! There's a solemn ring to it, though - after all, "last" suggests finality, a conclusion to a series and thus a farewell to the characters and the land of Narnia.

For those who haven't read the book, there are a lot of references to the book of Revelation within the pages. We won't discuss the theology behind it, but let's grab onto that idea of a book being inspired by events past, present, or future - or by other important works, stories, etc.

C.S. Lewis "Chronicles of Narnia" series fits within the fantasy genre. In The Last Battle Lewis takes elements of Revelation - people/creatures and events - and looks at them through a fantastical perspective. Narnia is taken over by an ape and a gullible donkey, and the Narnians buy into the fake Aslan these two present because they're desperate for any sign of him. But those who truly know Aslan cannot be fooled by a costume...

And so it begins.

Obviously The Last Battle is not some new form of the book of Revelation. It is simply inspired (not divinely, just to clarify!) by Scripture and presents one man's wrestling with his understanding of it, as well as his attempts to help others think about things in a new way. (At least, that's what I'm assuming. But I'm not C.S. Lewis, so only God knows what he was thinking as he was writing!) And that can be a great impetus for other stories, as well.

Consider historical fiction. Those books are not attempting to replace true history. Rather, they are often representations of authors' passions for certain eras, their struggles with getting into the hearts and minds of people who lived during certain historical events, and their efforts to help readers understand timeless truths in a different light.

How do you feel about historical fiction? Biblical fiction? Fantasy?

How about your own writing? Is there a certain historical event you want to look at from an entirely different perspective? Is there a famous story that you think could be told in a new, thought-provoking way? (Consider the popularity of fairy-tale retellings!)

P.S. If you missed them, here are my posts on Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.


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