'Narnia represents everything that is most hateful about religion'
A very dear blogreader sent Polly Toynbee's rather sneering review of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe to me, and just in time, because I have been so out of the loop on anti-Narnia buzz. I thinks its hysterical, almost as much so as those of the Very Very camp who are Shooting the Cause in the Foot with their critique of Lewis as "Anti-Christian!" because he loves centaurs- pooh. Anyhoo, my own thoughts on Toynbee's unattractive critique are as follows:
1. First of all. Oh brother.
2. Second of all. Its just so COLONIALIST and elitist and patronizing In The Worst Way to look down on the Narnians for their belief in redemptive sacrifice and power and kingship. Its so violently hegemonic and supremacist. Its CULTURALLY INSENSITIVE. I suppose we ought to colonize them properly, educate them, indenture them till they have been acculturated with what the industrialized West has to say about pacifism, social justice, democracy and identification with the lowly Other? (Please, Toynbee. Don't dialogically oppress and exclude the Narnians as barbarians just because they have King Aslan rather than Martin Luther King Jr. The latter would be so disappointed. Youre sounding a little Apartheid, and you need to Hear the Other.)
3. Thirdly. This poor woman is begging for therapy or a bedtime story. She just didnt read the series as a child, which is entirely the problem. She's so mad about this. If she had... well...what's there to say? ...We DID feel that thing about Aslan. We DID.
Mooch off of the prior conversation at Whitehall here-
(please forgive uncharitable image, the devil made me do it)...