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The problem of Susan is Susan's problem - Off the Cliff

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Thu Dec 12th, 2013


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08:15 pm - The problem of Susan is Susan's problem
Oh, yes, this. Thank you very much for saying what I've only vaguely felt. Especially after that 'Susan becomes an American and has a fulfilled life battling social injustice, which she couldn't have done in Narnia or England neener neener neener' story that was going around FB, and seriously cheesed me off.

Otherwise, read Geisha, a Life until 2 am and then prudently unplugged my phone. Thus I didn't get the dolorous phone call until 10, five minutes after I got up, and missed the 8 am one. Still had to cancel an acupuncture appointment for 90 minutes of work, which barely covers the cancellation penalty. Could have had a further three hours in the afternoon, but was feeling scratchy and shifted it about so I only had to do another 90 minutes and got to bicycle home in semi-light. Did however go out to Starbucks on my break, in Birkenstocks (-16C windchill) and rejoiced in the ease of walking. Bicycles and Birks will end Saturday with the return of snow. Can't complain: it's still not 2007.

(11 comments | post comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:incandescens
Date:December 13th, 2013 02:10 am (UTC)
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Thank you for that link, I needed that.
[User Picture]
From:flemmings
Date:December 13th, 2013 03:13 am (UTC)
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Sometimes one has the mental equivalent of the itch that isn't where you think it is, and when someone accidentally scratches it- aaahhhh.
[User Picture]
From:incandescens
Date:December 13th, 2013 09:57 am (UTC)
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Right. They put their finger on it.

Oh, and thank you for the etsy order! I've got to go to the post office tomorrow to post some other stuff anyhow, so I'll see how things look...
[User Picture]
From:flemmings
Date:December 13th, 2013 07:02 pm (UTC)
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Don't push it-- I'm always afraid of things getting lost at holiday season.
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From:yumiyoshi
Date:December 13th, 2013 02:34 am (UTC)
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Yes omg yes I hated that post and everything about it, totally missed the point of EVERYTHING and just--argh. Thank you for the link. <3
[User Picture]
From:flemmings
Date:December 13th, 2013 03:14 am (UTC)
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Oh good. I thought it was just me being Christmas small-spirited. Glad I'm not alone.
[User Picture]
From:i_am_zan
Date:December 13th, 2013 04:55 am (UTC)
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There are some strange people about ... I didn't even know that such thoughts existed!!!

I guess there are pluses to not having FB after all.
[User Picture]
From:flemmings
Date:December 13th, 2013 07:03 pm (UTC)
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Or Twitter, yes.
[User Picture]
From:petronia
Date:December 13th, 2013 07:28 pm (UTC)

Argh LJ ate my comment the first time

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I've actually commented on the "Susan was hard done by" reading before! I wonder if people would miss the point less if it had been both Peter and Susan, as it could well have been -- frankly, Susan's a more vivid character than Peter is, though neither are whom you read the books for. Barrie had the Lost Boys grow up in the end as well as Wendy, and he was demonstrably weirder than Lewis about women.

What I said the previous time was that it never even occurred to me, reading the books as a child/teen, that judgment was being rendered on Susan's choice. Dudes like Lewis and Barrie were aware that most people don't retain an intense connection to the emotional worlds they had as children; that this was arguably a pre-requisite of being considered "adult" at all; and that this was perhaps regrettable for various reasons** but you'd just be prevaricating if you didn't communicate to children that this process will happen to you, too.

** Lewis evidently thought children were closer to God but I bet he didn't want to go back. Barrie would have liked nothing more than to go back but he knew children were little shits.
[User Picture]
From:yumiyoshi
Date:December 14th, 2013 04:24 am (UTC)

Re: Argh LJ ate my comment the first time

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If Lewis thought that way, then he was in line with Jesus (and Paul). IE, "let the little children come", followed later by Paul's "when I was a child...", etc. Innocence is great for the kingdom of God, but in the kingdom of Man, you gotta Get Things Done. Lewis would never have thought you could have it both ways. Then again I don't think Lewis actually thinks Narnia is a 100% perfect analogy anyway, so I also think it's not necessarily the point he's even trying to make. XD But the author is dead! So hey.

... this is why Saint-Exupery is still the best as far as the adult/child dichotomy fairy tale goes, for my money. :)
[User Picture]
From:flemmings
Date:December 14th, 2013 05:35 am (UTC)

Re: Argh LJ ate my comment the first time

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My own sneaking feeling is, all thinky interpretation apart, that Lewis just wanted the magic number of seven this-world people to be there after the last battle; hence sacrificed one of the number, and foot-dragging Susan was the most likely. Though yes, it would always have been one of the females; Lewis was like that. But Peter wouldn't be jettisoned as well because hey, High King: archetypal authority guys mustn't be wrong.

What I blame Lewis for here is a purely Christian thing. Lucy has Grace, so she's always saved in spite of any hair-raising attitude and actions of hers. (Remember that spell she was about to recite in Dawn Treader? the one that would have laid waste Narnia and Archenland and Calorman; and she knew it and *didn't care* because it meant she'd be more beautiful than anyone else. Sheesh.) Susan doesn't have Grace and so in the end is jettisonable. This kind of Calvinism is anathema to my RC upbringing; and I wonder where Anglican Lewis came by it. Mind, I've forgotten what if anything Lewis was before he was CofE.

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