By way of extending our Narniathon for those who felt bereft after The Last Battle I suggested readers seek out Katherine Langrish‘s excellent study From Spare Oom to War Drobe, subtitled ‘Travels in Narnia with my Nine Year-Old Self.’
As you might guess, this then is “a personal reading of the Seven Chronicles, blending literary criticism with memories of childhood passion for the world of Narnia.” It discusses each of the instalments in chronological order and compares responses in childhood with those we might have as an adult.
As before I give readers the option – should they so choose, Mission: Impossible style – of answering three questions in the comments below, but feel free to add your thoughts on aspects you’d rather talk about.
- Katherine was already writing her fan fiction during her pre-teen years in response to the Narniad. Have you ever been tempted to write your own fanfic to this or any other title that made an impression on you? Or indeed prompted any creative response?
- The author has studied myths, legends and folklore for many years and had her own fiction published, and so is able to show how Lewis drank deep from the Cauldron of Story. Have her many examples and parallels of Lewis’s literary borrowings detracted from or enriched your admiration of his achievement?
- “C. S. Lewis changed my life,” she acknowledges in the Afterword. Has involvement in this readathon – and reading Spare Oom of course – changed your life in any way, however small?
And that, sadly, is it! There’ve been around 450 interactions on posts here, from answers and commentaries to links and more, which has been brilliant. I’ve already thanked the many who’ve encouraged me, joined in conversations, reviewed and commented elsewhere regarding this Narniathon so I won’t repeat myself, but I will say I’m hugely grateful for all those who’ve stayed the course and ensured this has been one of more enjoyable projects I’ve been involved in. Onwards and upwards!
My own review of Spare Oom is here, for those who may have missed it. Now, I understand Annabel at Annabookbel is planning to read Susan Cooper’s fantasy sequence of five novels The Dark is Rising over the coming months: if she announces anything I’ll add a note here if you think you might like to join her. (See her comment below with the announcement.)
I will have a couple of thoughts to add to those I’ve posted during the #Narniathon21 so this mayn’t be the last time this image appears. And if you too have things to add on social media don’t forget to use the (hash)tag!
Coincidentally, today (29th July 2022) the Guardian reviewed a new stage version of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe at the Gillian Lynne Theatre, London: https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2022/jul/29/the-lion-the-witch-and-the-wardrobe-review-gillian-lynne-theatre-london