Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Prince Caspian (No Spoilers)

I took the family to watch Prince Caspian on Sunday. It's been about ten years since I read the book, so I didn't have a distinct recollection of the story. But that turned out alright. I liked the movie about as much as I liked the book. Lots of windup for, at best, a two-base hit. I don't find Prince Caspian all that interesting of a character, and the children don't grow all that much either. So, for me, Prince Caspian was the somewhat diverting book that I read in between LWW and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. The latter is my favorite book of the series. I'm looking forward to the release of that movie (I "think" next summer), but I'm also a bit concerned: the narrator has some of the best lines in the book vis-a-vis Eustace. The movies, so far, have not used any voice over (that I recall). So I don't know how, or if, the movie will deliver those lines. And the book wouldn't be half as good without those lines.


Blogger Wayne said...

I'm playing it safe and trying to keep my expectations very, very low.

May 27, 2008 7:43 AM  
Blogger CPA said...

The interesting thing about Prince Caspian is its theological politics.

As I read it, it is a thinly disguised "what if" history, based on the idea that the Jacobites and "Bonny Prince Charles" succeed in 1745 in overthrowing the Telmarines/Hanoverians/Whigs and bringing back "Merry England". The wine thing at the end is not just a jibe at Puritanism, but also a reference to the running of fountains with wine which occurred in 1660, and became a symbol of the victory of high church romance over low church/secular profiteering.

Of course unlike Tolkien, Lewis could also see the good side of Puritanism, so he wrote Silver Chair, (along with Horse and His Boy, that's my favorite) with the Puritan Puddleglum as hero.

May 31, 2008 2:08 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

I can sort of see the Prince Caspian side, but what are the tells that invite connecting the Telmarines with the Whigs?

June 01, 2008 9:45 AM  
Blogger CPA said...

Well, I'm working from the received wisdom about 18th century politics.

In it, the house of Hanover was a virtually secular monarchy (Queen Anne was the last monarch to cure with her tough), politics in the 18th century was all about dividing spoils, and protecting England's material interests, especially in the colonies (the origin of the Telmarines in an errant European ship crew places it in similar territory), developing industry by building satanic mills, etc. Religion was purely formal and had nothing to do with either justice or real piety. (All a gross stereotype of course -- as Lewis at some points recognized).

The Hanoverians themselves as kings were by no means tyrants like Miraz (more weaklings), so that part has to be imported from the standard picture of kings as power politicians. But overall, I think the association is there.

June 06, 2008 8:17 AM  

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