Slug: once-more-through-the-wardrobe Date: 2005-06-07 Title: Once More Through The Wardrobe layout: post

Jodi and I are re-reading the Chronicles of Narnia for the nth time. In preparation, of course, for Dec 9th.

We're reading an old copy of the series, that is missing one book (Voyage of the Dawn Treader), becuase we have not found a new set we like. One problem for me is that all the new sets put the books in something like "chronological" order based on events in the series, rather than the order in which they were written by C. S. Lewis.

And yes, I know that Lewis himself preferred the chronological order. Perhaps it's just that I so loved the books when I read them (and re-read them and re-read them and re-read them) as a child, that I want my child to experience the story unfolding as I did. I'm with Wikipedia on this:

>Nevertheless, the reordering has brought ire from many fans of the series, who appreciate the original order which introduces important parts of the Narnia universe in the early part of the series and then provides explanation for them later in the prequels, in particular the creation story in The Magician's Nephew.

Reading the series now, when it's been over 15 years since I read it last, I'm left a bit melancholy. The stories have not lost their magic, but the books are shorter and more child-friendly than I remember them. Since I graduated from The Chronicles to Tolkien's trilogy, my problem is likely one of comparison – Tolkien's writing is deeper, richer and more academic than that of Lewis. I love them both dearly, though, and will try to be sure that our children get to experience both series, both in print ("as God intended") and on film (as rendered masterfully by Messrs. Jackson and Adamson)