C.S. Lewis: A Letter

Volume 1
Where We Begin
Eye and Ear
From Town and City
Travellers Tales
What Celia Sees
Daniel Defoe 1660-1731
William Camden 1551-1623
The Mysteries Of London
The Life of a Coster Girl
Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard
Further Notes From The Midlands
Lichfield Miscellanies
Seven Strong Spires
Before Us Stands Yesterday
Albion Band 1998 - 1999
London Calling
Stuart Hibberd 1893 - 1983
John Logie Baird 1888 - 1946
Are You Sitting Comfortably?
Ghosts and Marvels
Casting the Runes
An Episode Of Cathedral History
The Tractate Middoth
More Ghosts and Marvels
Negotium Perambulans
Dulce Et Decorum Est
War Requiem
Poems by Wilfred Owen
"They called it Passchendaele"
Other Poets 1914 - 1918
C.S. Lewis: A Letter
C. S. Lewis 1898 - 1963
Joyce Grenfell 1919 - 1979
An Interview With Richard Thompson
BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2006
Horkstow Grange
The Radio Ballads
Two Songs Of England
A Band For England
Waterloo Sunset
Vashti Bunyan
Just Another Diamond Day
David Gilmour
On An Island
Live From An Island
Where We Start

"the inside is larger than the outside."
 - C. S. Lewis. The Last Battle

Author CS Lewis opposed screen version of "Narnia"
Tuesday November 29 4:31 AM ET

C.S. Lewis, author of the classic children's "Narnia" books which are about to make their big screen debut, was "absolutely opposed" to a live action version of his stories, a newly published letter shows.

Walt Disney's "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe" is expected to be a big box office hit this Christmas season, thanks to its blend of magical fantasy themes and a strong Christian slant.

But a letter from Lewis, posted on the literary Web site Nthposition.com, revealed that he had strong feelings about how his book should be used.

" I am absolutely opposed -- adamant isn't in it! -- to a TV version," he wrote to BBC producer Lance Sieveking, who had created a radio version of his book which had met Lewis' approval.

The story tells of four children who travel through a magic wardrobe into the land of Narnia, home to talking animals, a wicked witch and the god-like lion, Aslan.

Disney hopes that the movie, which has its world premiere in London on December 7, will be as big a hit with children as the "Harry Potter" series, thanks in part to the support of Christian church leaders.

Although Lewis, who died in 1963, said he would have considered a cartoon version, his letter suggests he is unlikely to have approved of Disney's interpretation, particularly its computer-generated Aslan.

"Anthropomorphic animals, when taken out of narrative into actual visibility, always turn into buffoonery or nightmare -- at least with photography," he wrote.

"Cartoons (if only Disney did not combine so much vulgarity with his genius!) would be another matter. A human, pantomime, Aslan would be, to me, blasphemy."

The Letter

The Kilns,
Headington Quarry,
18 Dec. 1959

Dear Sieveking

(Why do you ‘Dr’ me? Had we not dropped the honorifics?) As things worked out, I wasn’t free to hear a single instalment of our serial [The Magician’s Nephew] except the first. What I did hear, I approved. I shd. be glad for the series to be given abroad. But I am absolutely opposed – adamant isn’t in it! – to a TV version. Anthropomorphic animals, when taken out of narrative into actual visibility, always turn into buffoonery or nightmare. At least, with photography. Cartoons (if only Disney did not combine so much vulgarity with his genius!) wld. be another matter. A human, pantomime, Aslan wld. be to me blasphemy.

All the best,
C. S. Lewis

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