Finding the MetaphorThe Magician's Book: A Skeptic's Adventures in Narnia was written by Laura Miller, a journalist and editor who grew up believing her parents' Catholic faith because she was told to, but found it unsatisfying. When a teacher gave her The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, her life was changed: she became a Reader, a bookish little girl who preferred reading and being alone with books to anything else. Narnia always held a special place in the heart of this child who never had enough privacy - until she was told of the symbolism in the book.
She felt like an idiot for not seeing it for the previous four years, between ages 9 and 13.
Here is where her book gets infuriating and annoying for me: i found Narnia a natural extension of my faith, when introduced to it as a recent college graduate. If Miller found the faith she grew up with unsatisfying, she knew enough of Lewis to realize that he also had been dissatisfied with the faith he owned in his adolescence, yet came against his will to his Christianity. Yet she seems to have never considered this a possibility, rejecting outright any possibility of truth in Christianity because of her own experience.
As she asserts, there is much in the Narnia books besides Lewis' faith, and Miller writes engagingly. But, at least as far as i've read, she hasn't offered any suggestion of why she never considered a review of faith to embrace Lewis' idea. And if she does that, it should be early in the book, by the quarter in point, where i am.
Metaphor of the DoorIn Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Lucy Pevensie has been asked to find a spell in the magician's book. Before she finds that spell, she encounters others, including one with the most fantastic, beautiful story she ever read, the story that was always, for her, the benchmark for beautiful stories.
The magician's book with that story became the title of Miller's book, referring to her own feelings when first introduced to the world of Narnia.
And how did the Pevensies enter Narnia?
Through a door.
A door is like the cover of a book,hinged, and it opens.
"Most of us persuaded our parents to buys us boxed sets of all seven Chronicles, but I also saved up my allowance and occasional small cash gifts from relatives to buy a hardcover copy of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, one of the few times in my life I've ever succumbed to the collector's impulse. . . . .This was not about obtaining a possession, but about securing a portal."(p. 23)
Why i Hoard BooksSo there you have it.
A book is a door, a portal if you will, to a magical kingdom, whether fantastical or not.
Do you think i want to leave such a thing in a store, where they might decide the remainder (def.4) has been there too long? Or a library, where they regularly lock the doors?