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Book Title: El sobrino del mago|
The author of the book: C.S. Lewis
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 9.38 MB
Edition: Destino Infantil & Juvenil
Date of issue: August 3rd 2010
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Read full description of the books El sobrino del mago:Suffers from the same problems as Lewis' other books, both his children's fantasy and his pokes at theology: Lewis' worldview is not sophisticated, and his sense of psychology has a large blind spot. However, it's not his faith that is the problem--it certainly wasn't a problem for Donne or Milton.
Lewis is simply unable to put himself in another's shoes, which is very problematic for a writer or a theologian. He cannot understand the reasons or motivations for why someone would do something he considers 'evil'. Unlike Milton, he cannot create a tempting devil, a sympathetic devil, and so Lewis' devils are not dangerous, because no one would ever fall for them.
His villains are like Snidely Whiplash: they are comically evil, evil not due to some internal motivation, but because the narrative requires it. Yet Lewis is not reveling in the comedic promise of overblown evil, he's trying to be instructive. So he dooms his own instruction: it is only capable of warning us about dangers which are so ridiculous that they never could have tempted us in the first place.
Likewise, his heroes are comically heroic: they are not people who struggle to be good, who have motivations and an internal life, they are just habitually, inexplicably good. There is nothing respectable in their characters, nothing in their philosophies for us to aspire to, they are just suffused with an indistinct 'goodness' which, like evil, is taken for granted.
But then, Lewis' world is mostly a faultless one. People never act or decide, they are lead along by empty symbols of pure good or pure evil, following one or the other because they are naive. As usual, Lewis' view of humanity is predictably dire: always too naive, too foolish to know what good and evil are, even when they are right in front of us, and yet we are apparently still to be reviled and cursed when they make the wrong decision, even if we couldn't have known what we were about.
Like many of Lewis' works, this could have made a profound satire, but it's all too precariously serious for Lewis to be mocking. There is something unusual in the fact that, whenever the amassed evidence of his plot, characters, and arguments point to a world of confusion in which man is utterly lost, Lewis always arrives at the conclusion that we are fundamentally culpable, despite the fact that he always depicts us as acting without recognition.
The really frightening thing about Lewis' worldview is that we can never seem to know whether we are naively following good or naively following evil, but that the difference between the two is vital and eternal. Like Calvin, he dooms us to one or another fate, and we shall never know which, yet unlike Calvin, Lewis never really accepts the ultimate conclusion this worldview suggests.
There seems to be, at the heart of Lewis' works, a desperate pride, a desperate sense that we do know, even when we think we don't, even when Lewis shows us a hundred examples where we couldn't possibly know. But that is the crux of the fundamental paradox around which Lewis inevitably frames his stories, the paradox which defines his life, his philosophies, and the impetus for his conversion.
Like most of us, Lewis seems to feel a deep need know what is right--to be right. Yet his experiences have shown him, again and again, that we are fundamentally ignorant, despite our most devoted attempts to be knowledgeable. It's an impassable contradiction.
Lewis saw a world filled with pain, ignorance, selfishness, cruelty, senseless violence, and refused to accept that this was part of human nature; so he made it an outside thing, a thing which was, for him, always clearly defined. He spent most of his writing career trying to show how the effect of this thing could be the excuse for why man commits such terrible acts, but without making man himself evil--but many men are desperate to avoid the idea that their own mistakes, their own forays into 'evil', are ultimately their own fault.
He is never able to define the point at which mere naivete becomes guilt. The two opposing forces of ignorant evil and willful evil are always nebulous for Lewis, and he never succeeds in defining where one ends and the other begins, where foolishness becomes damnation.
He never defines it philosophically, theologically, or psychologically. Usually, he just draws a line arbitrarily between 'good people' (people like him) and 'bad people' (everyone else). Like Tolkien, he takes the comfortable and familiar and fences it off--a little peaceful island home, safe against an incomprehensible world.
It's a comforting worldview, one many of us feel drawn to, that sense of isolation, 'us against the world', the need to be right at all costs, to be different from those we habitually condemn, to know what is good and what is not--but it is not a coherent philosophy, it is not conducive to self-awareness, and it's certainly not the sort of thing we need to be feeding our children. Indeed, the only thing such self-justification invites is further ignorance, prejudice, and conflict.
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CLIVE STAPLES LEWIS (1898–1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He was a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954. He was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement. He wrote more than thirty books, allowing him to reach a vast audience, and his works continue to attract thousands of new readers every year. His most distinguished and popular accomplishments include Mere Christianity, Out of the Silent Planet, The Great Divorce, The Screwtape Letters, and the universally acknowledged classics The Chronicles of Narnia. To date, the Narnia books have sold over 100 million copies and been transformed into three major motion pictures.
Lewis was married to poet Joy Davidman.
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