C.S. Lewis: A Letter

Volume 1
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Eye and Ear
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Daniel Defoe 1660-1731
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Negotium Perambulans
Venus
Musicks
Dulce Et Decorum Est
War Requiem
Poems by Wilfred Owen
"They called it Passchendaele"
1914
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,
Oxford
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,
yours
C. S. Lewis

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