"Planet Narnia" by Michael Ward

| 📖 # 41 |


Title: Planet Narnia
Author: Michael Ward
Start Date: 8/12/2016
End Date: 11/21/2016
# of Pages: 348
Edition: Oxford University Press paperback (2010)

Favorite Quotes: (1) “In the pre-Copernican model of the cosmos the planets were silent and sounding at the same time: their music was not heard on earth because it was always heard. And it is this sort of silence, a pregnant silence, resonant with significance, that I believe Lewis was attempting to encapsulate in the Narnia Chronicles.” (2) “The purpose of knowing the divine nature is to ‘quiver with fire’s same substantial form.’ The idea of sunlight shining inside ‘sweet water’ would become a memorable dramatic episode in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.” (3) “[Saturn / Father Time’s] destruction of the stars shows that he is, as The Discarded Image has it, the cause of ‘disastrous events’, for Lewis knew his etymologies and here in the last Chronicle allows Father Time free rein to wreak literal ‘dis-aster’: his depredations give rise to a ‘dreary and disastrous dawn.’” (4) “Lewis sometimes remarked that the worst has not come while we can still say, ‘This is the worst,’” (5) “Aslan does not ‘come and help’ in the way Tirian wants, but ultimately the King is stronger for calling on him.” (6) “When a Russian cosmonaut claimed not to have found evidence of God in outer space, Lewis’s response was, ‘Much depends on the seeing eye.’”

Why I Chose It: I had heard that someone came up with a central theme and explanation tying the apparently disparate elements of the Chronicles of Narnia, and as I re-read the books over the past few weeks I wanted to also read about the theory Ward puts out that the books represent the 7 planets of the medieval cosmos, and that Aslan takes on the core characteristics of each planet one book at a time.

Other Notes: I found the argument about 85% convincing. Regardless, it is an interesting read for anyone who enjoys Lewis’ writings. If you don’t want to commit to a dissertation-like book, I believe an abridged version is titled “The Narnia Code”.

BooksKarl Magnuson