Session #26 (May 26th) report. Sessions 27 and 28

Yesterday’s session (#26) was the last one on C.S. Lewis’ “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”. At the end of the session, I proposed our next book: C.S. Lewis’ science fiction story for adults, “Out of the Silent Planet”. This is not a long book, but it is more challenging.

At the end of yesterday’s session, we received a visit from a number of interested people. Perhaps some of them will join us for the next session.

If you did not attend recent sessions of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”, you are warmly welcome to re-join us for the new book (if this book does not interest you, why not send me an email with your requests). It is quite ok to “drop out” when we are reading a book you are not interested in, and to “drop back in” later.

There is no homework for the next session. We will begin reading the book in the next session. After that, I will follow the same pattern as before: homework will be reading a few chapters, and in the sessions we will discuss the meaning, ask questions, and talk about what interests us about the book.

The next sessions in June will be:

June 9th,

June 23rd.

We had an interesting discussion about fairy-stories compared with myths and traditional tales. Thank you very much to all of you who attended.

I mentioned a seminal essay by Lewis’ close friend and fellow-Oxford don, J.R.R. Tolkien, titled On Fairy Stories. Yoko Okuda told me the Japanese title, and using Google I found this Japanese article about it. If you are interested and have time to read it, please give me your opinion. I’m looking for online resources related to C.S. Lewis and fairy-tales to suggest to my students as secondary reading materials. Is this suitable/interesting/useful for university students (English majors), do you think?

(It includes several links for further reading, all in Japanese)

Here is Lewis talking about the fairy-tale. He is writing about some fairy-tales that he had read (written by George MacDonald), but I think he is also describing an effect he wished to create in the readers of his own stories:

“It goes beyond the expression of things we have already felt. It arouses in us sensations we have never had before, never anticipated having, as though we had broken out of our normal mode of consciousness and “possessed joys not promised to our birth.”  It gets under our skin, hits us at a level deeper than our thoughts or even our passions, troubles oldest certainties till all questions are reopened, and in general shocks us more fully awake that we are for most of our lives.”

Now that you have finished the book, how about taking an online quiz, to test your knowledge!

Here is a quiz I found:

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Session 26: May 26th, 2010 – Chps 14-17 of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

The next session will be on Wednesday, May 26th. We will discuss the last few chapters of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”, and also discuss the book as a whole. What whall we read next?

To prepare for this session, please answer the following questions:

  1. Why do you read?
  2. Which parts (episodes, phrases, words, etc) of this book did you like or remember best? Were there any particular words or phrases that you found memorable?
  3. Why did Lewis write this story?
  4. Lewis said that LWW was a fairy-tale.  However, there are no fairies in this story! Is it a fairy-tale? What is a fairy-tale? How is a fairy-tale different from a myth, legend, folk-tale or science fiction?