Monthly Archives: April 2015

“Freud’s Last Session” currently playing in San Diego. What if Lewis and Freud Met?

By Inkling
 
What if an infamous atheistic psychologist met with an infamous formerly atheist Christian apologist and had a conversation about life and God and war, and God, and relationships and God and…?
 
This is the premise of writer Mark St. Germain’s brilliant two-man play, “Freud’s Last Session,” performed by the Lambs Players Theater in Coronado, CA and directed by Deborah Gilmour Smythe.
 
Robert Smythe gave a nuanced and witty performance as the cancer-stricken, aging Freud and newcomer to Lambs’, Fran Gercke, was the perfect foil as the young Oxford professor, C.S. Lewis, who lampoons Freud in his work, “Pilgrim’s Regress.”
 
While the meeting/conversation never actually took place, one can only imagine what might be spoken with the meeting of two such great minds.
 
The actors portray the respective Austrian and English accents without going over the top and the drama of Lewis’s WWI flashbacks on the eve of WWII and Freud’s terminal cancer are played poignantly without being cloying or detracting from the main premise of the storyline.
 
Besides the fast-paced witty banter and intelligent arguments for (or against) the existence of God by both characters, the set design and stage direction give subtle-but-powerful momentum to the story.  Perhaps only a true Narnia-lover may have noticed, but amongst the many artifacts that Freud collected in his “office,” the stage set had a statue of a lion at the foot of the famous psychologist’s “couch,” which seemed a wink and nod to Lewis fans.  The telephone and the radio also play important roles in the movement of the story, with phone calls to/from Freud’s famous daughter, Anna, and the BBC radio broadcasts featuring Neville Chamberlain and King George.
 
But perhaps the most moving moment in the play was not a line spoken by either of the characters, or even one of the telephone or radio voices, but rather, a song.  Our hearts catch in our throats and tears spring to our eyes as the play closes with Lewis leaving Freud, not sure he’s made any headway in a convincing argument for the existence of God, and Freud only having weeks to live.  As the stage lights fade, the music crescendos and we hear Vaughn Williams’ moving and famous song, “Lark Ascending.”
 
And just as the lark represents dawning in most symbolism and literature, we are left with the poignant hope that the aging Freud has experienced something beyond his Self.

April Showers Bring May Flowers – Writing Contest #78

Winter is fading, flowers are blooming, the sun feels warm: Spring has arrived! What might be the first things on Narnians’ minds?

Example: “Pros and Cons of Melting Snow” by Ariel_of_Narnia
Puddleglum loved spring. The snow would melt and he’d be able to feel the marshy earth beneath his feet. The ice would dissipate and he would no longer have to take his hatchet when he went fishing. The outdoors would be warm, allowing him to air out his little wigwam.
But Puddleglum also hated spring (the very beginning of it, anyway). The snow would melt and his allergies to the mold would act up. The ice would dissipate and flood the marshes – perhaps even wash his wigwam away! And speaking of his wigwam, the warm weather would reveal just how leaky it had become since autumn.
The early birds twittered outside, but Puddleglum rolled over and hoped summer came soon.

 

Don’t forget to check out the winners of the last contest!

 

Honorable Mentions:

“Waking” by hobbit_of_narnia
I jerked to life with a start. My veins were suddenly coursing with aliveness and wakefulness. Joyfully I drank in the air, the fresh air, as the sun broke its last ties with the hill. The first sunrise of Spring. And it was glorious. The sun hadn’t been out from behind a cloud for days, for weeks.
It was warm, too. Nice and warm, and the cold late-winter rain that had been mixed, shivering, with dirty mid-winter snow in grim puddles was evaporating in lovely little wreaths of mist.
I could feel tiny little baby leaves opening all up and down my arms–or my branches, rather. I always started budding on the first day of Spring, and the feeling was wonderful. I shook myself all along my length and stretched myself. I could feel the last couple of leaves remaining from last year releasing themselves from my outermost twigs. I watched them spiral to the ground and settle in the flat of mud about my roots among the tiny green blades of new grass.
The world was waking.
Spring, at last, was here!

“Mr. Tumnus” by Hannah Ruth
Mr. Tumnus slowly walked out of his richly furnished home.
“Ah the smell of fresh flowers, and luscious herbs.”
“Hello Mr. Tumnus!” Lucy shouted.
She trotted over to his garden and watered the tomatoes. the flower’s aroma blew threw the air and the delicious smell entered her lungs. Everything was so beautiful and vivid colors bounced off of the trickling lakes. Spring was blooming all around and green was bouncing throughout the ground.

“A Walk in the Forest” by Aravis
“I’ve never seen so many colors in my life, mother! Especially the green,” Meera exclaimed. Her mother smiled. “Believe it or not, I remember in days if old when I used to take walks in forests entirely green! No traces of snow to be seen. All these patches if snow you see now…they never existed in the summer time.” Meera curiously asked, “Mother, what does summer mean?” The mother dryad, shaking her leaves in laughter, replied, “Oh my dear daughter! This wonderful season you see about now, the leaves and blossoms and greenery? They are nothing compared to what you will experience in summer! This is Spring: the season of new life and hope. Narnia was cursed with eternal winter long before you were born, my love. But the prophesied kings and queens have arrived! Aslan is on the move…” Something deep down in Meera’s roots began to stir. Aslan. What a fearsome feeling she felt when she heard that name! Aslan was the sweetest name she knew. “…Meera, my sapling…” her mother continued, though Meera hated being called a sapling when she was clearly a grown tree, practically 15 years old. “Would you like to take a walk and enjoy this lovely Spring air?” Meera almost shed a few leaves in excitement. “Really mother? Like, a normal relaxing walk? No more hiding???” “No more hiding,” her mother repeated happily. Meera practically leaped from her tree for joy and flew around her mother tree in circles! Oh how fresh the air tasted! Her mother emerged, and the two dryads went for a walk in the forest; the mother feeling something she hadn’t felt in a 100 years, but young Meera finally felt freedom for the first time in her life.

“Of Course It WOULD Be Raining; or Bearly Awake” by hobbit_of_narnia
A yawn nearly split my jaws apart. I tucked my nose between my front paws. What an awful waking! Worst first day of spring ever, I thought as I listened to the rain lashing against the outside of the den. My fur was a mess, I was sure, and I was hungry, but I didn’t feel a particular urge to get up. No one else would be up and about this early in the year, anyway, so it didn’t matter; no one that hibernated anyhow. And the only non-hibernators who would be out on a day like this would be the ducks, perhaps, or maybe the geese. With this thought I gave another prodigious yawn and rolled over. Propping my back paws against the wall, I slipped once again into dreams.

and the winner is…


“Spring is Coming” 
by Aravis

Grass. Water Flowing.
Buds of blossoms, sprouting in trees of life.
“It’s okay, it’s okay…”
The smell of fresh earth hitting her in the face, Iike a mocking SLAP.

“Don’t panick…” she mutters to herself, panting for breath. She’s not used to breathing in this type of oxygen: spring air…all so new to her.

The dwarf she’s following walks briskly, yet takes all the scenery in. He must be enjoying this weather, she thinks…suddenly, she shrieks! For she seems to have stepped on a mushroom…a mushroom?!?! Mushrooms don’t grow in winter, do they?

(“Spring is Coming, you fool…”)

What was that? Who spoke? She looks about her, searching for the owner of that terrible voice. The dwarf, she hopes…no he is still ahead of her in his own little world (stupid dwarf).

(“Spring will come upon you, foolish wretch.”)

She trembles, knowing who is speaking to her in her mind, but she mustn’t show fear. She is Power. She is Royal; A Flame that cannot be out out.

(“And when Spring reaches you… I will make my move…”)

“No, no…it will be be so,” she comforts herself, shivering from the sight of all the melting snow around her. “I am winning, I am winning, I will rise…”
(You are losing, witch.”)
“I am winning…” she sobs
(“You are melting as we speak…”)
“I will rule, I will win, oh I will stay strong…”
(Spring is devouring your power. Spring is breaking you apart, crushing your cursed icicles under foot…”)
She is now on the ground weeping, horrified by the sound of His Voice.
“Milady! We’ve reached the waterfall!” the dwarf announces, standing at the edge of the gorge.
She rises to her feet, determined to show how powerful she truly is, not to show any sign of weakness in front of the dwarf. As she nears the edge of the gorge, she thinks “Oh, not my waterfall! Not my beautiful, frozen waterfall…”

(“Spring is here, beast!”)
She falters behind the dwarf.
(I AM Spring. I will destroy Winter.”)
She sees the waterfall, rushing like a thousand horses freed of their reigns.

(“It’s over, Jadis: I AM overcomer. I AM the ruler: King of kings, Lord of lords. Oh Winter, where is thy wind? Where is thy sting? …
… You may want to cover your ears:”)

“My goodness, your highness, LISTEN to the roar of that waterfall! How majestic, how awesome! Just listen to it’s ROAR…” Ginnabrick exclaims.
“…SHUT UP, SHUT UP, YOU STUPID DWARF!!” She screams, and screams, and screams.

She hated it when the Great Lion roared, like a mocking slap across the face.

 

New letter by C.S. Lewis suggests another ending for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

By Ajnos Gamgee

A letter written to C.S. Lewis’ friend and fellow-Inkling, Owen Barfield, was recently discovered in the Oxford Bodleian library archives. In the letter, Lewis discusses the condition of his brother Warren  (Warnie) who suffered from alcoholism and whom, as a result, Lewis spent many years caring for. More significant perhaps for fans of The Chronicles of Narnia, however, is that the letter also apparently contains “a proposed change to the ending of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” This letter is dated 5 February 1949, a year before the book was published.

We do not yet know the nature of this “proposed change” and how radical or interesting it was, but the letter is due to be published in the next issue of The Journal of Inklings Studies which is coming out next week. We will update you if and when we know more regarding the details.

For more information, visit The Journal of Inklings Studies website.

The Journal of Inklings Studies is an academic journal which publishes articles by various scholars on the Oxford literary circle to which C.S. Lewis belonged. It is not affiliated with or specifically endorsed by TLC.

The Magician’s Nephew Costume Party

On April 15th we will be hosting out monthly costume party. It will be held in chat all day. The theme this month is The Magician’s Nephew so come as your favorite character/inanimate object from the book. You can change your name in your profile, or come in as a guest and change your name under “Chat with Staff.” Reveal will be held at 4 Pacific.