Posts from 10th January 2011

Jan 11

NARNIA WEEK: Infinite Quest

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 291 views

David Foster Wallace vs CS Lewis.

Or at least here is a few pages of Wallace’s copy of The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe replete with inky marginalia. The notes at one point make referenc to someone called JC: WHO HE?

Stolen from io9, where you can also see some marginalia from a text of Carrie he taught from too. Carrie’s notes are obviously IN RED.

NARNIA WEEK: Yours Is A Younger World

FT17 comments • 485 views

My favourite part of any subcreation is its edges – apocrypha, marginalia, the sketches and hints at grander unrealised designs. Tolkien’s Middle-Earth is detail-rich (to say the least) but I’d linger fascinated on the Blue Wizards, or Rhun, or Far Harad: the stuff he left only as names. If anyone did fill them in I’d be mortified – this is one reason I won’t let my Doctor Who fandom take me as far as the novels, where mystery seems regularly to be given a thorough and pedantic kicking.

One of the funny things about these holes in a built world is that they work just as well – perhaps even better – if they arise from carelessness as if they’re planned. It’s a tightrope – revealing the mystery is bad, but knowing something was intended to work as a mystery can kill it for me just as surely. The Narnia series has a few of these – most of the close encounters with Aslan’s kingdom never impressed or moved me much as a kid because (I now suspect) there was too much narrative heavy-handedness around them.