Natalie Solent

Politics, news, libertarianism, Science Fiction, religion, sewing. You got a problem, bud? I like sewing.

E-mail: nataliesolent-at-aol-dot-com (I assume it's OK to quote senders by name.)

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( 'Nother Solent is this blog's good twin. Same words, searchable archives, RSS feed. Provided by a benefactor, to whom thanks.
I also sometimes write for Samizdata and Biased BBC.)

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Thursday, December 08, 2005
The Daily Ablution has more on Bush the Enviromental Terrorist. After spending yesterday stoking my misanthropy in the hellish human-infested caverns of the Grafton Centre ("When you step foot in the Grafton Centre, you leave the dreamy spires of Cambridge behind...") it is alwasy pleasant to catch up on one's missed Ablutions (readers will be so good as to note the capital A), especially when they link to oneself.

Another Ablution post that I had missed was this one from 6 December. Scott Burgess discussed Polly Toynbee's views about the coming Narnia film. I gather the movie was about as welcome to Ms Toynbee as the Second Coming would be to a person of her views, i.e. annoying on general principles and even more irritating if the rubes turned out to like it.

One of Scott's commenters, Ian, writes:

With all the attention on Narnia books, I am wondering why no-one has yet pointed at A Horse And His Boy and frothed at the mouth at its blatent stereotyping of Arabic Muslim culture and society represented by the Calormen?
"Ask and ye shall receive," says Angie Schultz later, linking to a report that the "5th Narnia book may not see big screen". All I can do* is re-post my own Daily Ablution comment from a while back. The Wharton mentioned is a chap who wrote a letter to the Guardian.
That Lewis preferred Christianity to Islam - duh! He made no bones about being a Christian apologist. In his writings for adults I can think of three brief mentions of Islam, two critical - but reasonably so - and one complimentary. But the part I've seen of Wharton's letter suggests he has not read the Narnia books at all carefully. There is nothing like Islam mentioned.

You could have a mild dig at Lewis by today's [standards] for a not-entirely respectful take on Carlomen culture (that's the fictional pseudo-Ottoman empire in the books.) But they are clearly described as polytheists.

I don't think the books are racist at all. Emeth in The Last Battle is an appealing character and when I was a kid I wanted to be the aristocratic, daring, dominant Aravis from The Horse and His Boy. (Lewis could be sexist but his sexism was taking a break when he created her.)

*"All I can do" is one of those lying phrases writers love. In truth there are quite a lot of other things I can do. Pat my head while rubbing my stomach with a circular motion, for a start. Although not vice versa.