Minette Marrin defends Narniates from the wicked forces arraigned against them:
There has for several days been a tremendous fluttering in the dovecotes of the liberal intelligentsia; this twittering and squawking has been caused by the dramatic appearance of Aslan, the Christ-like lion in CS Lewis’s children’s story The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; the multi-million-dollar Disney film of the book was released here last week to huge publicity. Several prominent members of the commentariat have felt moved to express their contempt and indignation at something that will give huge pleasure to millions of children. If it were not so repressive and censorious, this would be comic.
The problem for liberal intellectuals is that The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, like the whole Narnia series, is overtly Christian, for those that have ears to hear, and therefore religious propaganda and therefore a bad thing. Young minds might be perverted by this insidious stuff. The flames of this indignation have been fanned by the fact that the film has been eagerly taken up by the American Christian right.
But don’t confuse her with a “True Believer” in all things Narnia. CS Lewis crafted stories that she now thinks are “crude, cobbled together in a clumsy pastiche and sometimes distasteful or sententious.” She cites herself as being in agreement on this with JRR Tolkien. (How nice for her.) And of the writings that inspired Lewis, well they are “self-contradictory” aren’t they?
Ahh, to be as brilliant as Ms. Marrin, charitable to those poor literalist souls, the evangelical Christians – whilst beating her “secular liberal” friends about the head for acting like them. Unlike said evangelicals, “they have no cultural excuse”.
And if you’re wondering what “sententious” means; it’s an adjective meaning “given to moralizing in a pompous or affected manner.” Rather like Ms. Marrin’s writing, perchance?