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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

For Narnia !

I've always had a soft spot for Prince Caspian... and NOT because he's tall, dark, handsome, talks with an accent and carries a pointy sword.

It's because Prince Caspian was the first book that I ever read from The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. I think I was around 8 or 9 years old when I went to the bookstore and reached out for a book on the shelf titled "Prince Caspian". It was really the word "prince" that caught my attention. At that age, any book in a 5-foot radius that had the word "prince" or "princess" in the title would invariably show up on my radar.

So anyway, after flipping to the back and reading the summary, I just didn't have the heart to put it back in the shelf. The story was just what I always loved - adventure, fantasy, time/dimension travel, talking animals and an honest-to-goodness prince to boot! My dad bought it for me and when I got home, I happily began my travels to Narnia.... and I still do - I occasionally take my Narnia books out to read on lazy weekend afternoons. ^^

Prince Caspian is the second book in The Chronicles of Narnia series, though in the overall chronological sequence it comes 4th. Read: Plot-wise it is the 4th story, but publication-wise it is the 2nd. This is C.S. Lewis' reply to a letter from an American fan in 1957 who was having an argument with his mother about the order:

“I think I agree with your order [i.e. chronological] for reading the books more than with your mother’s. The series was not planned beforehand as she thinks. When I wrote The Lion I did not know I was going to write any more. Then I wrote P. Caspian as a sequel and still didn't think there would be any more, and when I had done The Voyage I felt quite sure it would be the last, but I found I was wrong. So perhaps it does not matter very much in which order anyone read them. I’m not even sure that all the others were written in the same order in which they were published.” (Dorsett & Mead 1996)

Apart from Prince Caspian, I must say that The Last Battle is my other favourite of all the Narnia books. It brings Chronicles to a very satisfying and happy ending yet hints at the sadness and devastation caused by the war. Not to mention I had this really weird fascination with Tash, the evil patron god of the Calormen.


See why? It didn't exactly give me nightmares; I was just so fascinated with this terrible entity that was the Calormenes' patron god. Here's a description: "He appears as a terrible demon with a skeletal, humanoid body, a vulture-like head and four taloned arms... [They talk of] smelling a foul smell and of the air growing cold when he passes near... Basically, Tash is opposed to Aslan; by implication, he is Satan to Aslan's Christ-like representation."

Oh well. I'd be lying if I told you I'm not excited about the upcoming Prince Caspian movie. It's just that the first thing that came to my mind when I saw him in the trailer was "Hey! I thought Prince Caspian was supposed to be blonde and much younger!" But then, Hollywood wouldn't be Hollywood if the main character wasn't tall/dark and handsome - accent and pointy sword optional.


Anonymous said...

Hi Xap! I was looking for narnia's images when i saw your blog! I think that you really put a lot of you in this space! i like to read you!

Pd. Sorry if my spelling is not good

A mexican friend(:

Laura said...

Awww.. Thank you very much! ^^

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