How did C. S. Lewis bungle The Chronicles of Narnia?
For some critics, a major flaw is the way he interrupts the flow of the story by butting into the story as the narrator. You may remember it is Lewis who tells us (twice!) that no sensible person ever shut oneself up in a wardrobe. It’s a simple line, but Lewis breaks into the story to speak a direct lesson for young readers.
Or you may remember the dizzying scene in The Silver Chair when Jill steps up to a cliff edge far above the clouds. She grows faint and wobbly, and readers wonder if Jill is about to plunge to her death. Here’s how Lewis describes it: “She was too frightened and dizzy to know quite what she was doing, but two things she remembered as long as she lived (they often came back to her in dreams)…” Stop. With this simple parenthetical statement, Lewis breaks the tension of the story. Some say that’s bad storytelling, but he does this here to reassure his young readers that whatever happens at the edge of this cliff, Jill has a future life. The brief literary interruption ministers a bit of comfort to a possibly frightened child.
Splitting the Atmosphere
In the Gospels, God’s audible voice splits the atmosphere and breaks into the narrative flow at a few key points for us. Each time, the point is to ensure we don’t miss the supremacy of Christ. This happens at three key points in the life of Jesus:
At his baptism, God’s voice testifies to Christ’s supremacy over John the Baptist (Matthew 3:17, Mark 1:11, Luke 3:22);
At the Mount of Transfiguration, God’s voice testifies to Christ’s supremacy over Moses and Elijah (Matthew 17:5, Mark 9:7, Luke 9:35, 2 Peter 1:17);
And one final time, during Holy Week, God’s voice breaks audibly into history (John 12:28).
This third and final mention of the voice of God is most timely for us.
[Read the rest of the article at Desiring God.]