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Saturday, February 25, 2006

C. S. Lewis and biology, scooped

Back in November, I posted some criticisms of the biology in the Narnia books, by C. S. Lewis. To put it concisely, where did Tumnus shop?

I recently read Alan Jacobs' The Narnian: The Life and Imagination of C. S. Lewis, an illuminating treatment of Lewis's life and work. (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2005) Ruth Pitter, a good friend of Lewis, recorded a conversation between the two of them on this subject (Warren Lewis, the brother of C. S., was also present). According to this account, she pointed out that Narnia was in perpetual winter, with no foreign trade allowed by the Witch, and asked Lewis: "Then how could the Beavers have put on the splendid lunch?" Lewis attempted to explain, but Pitter pressed on. Warren said "Nonsense, Jack; you're stumped and you know it." (pp. 268-9) Jacobs cites Walter Hooper's C. S. Lewis: Companion and Guide by Walter Hooper (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1996, p. 721, as his source.

So obviously I'm not the first to think of this. Hardly a shock.


Julana said...

Viva le "willing suspension of disbelief"!

Martin LaBar said...

Something like that, although my guess is that Lewis (like all of us) just took some things for granted.