With news that the Mark Gordon Company would be producing a fourth Narnia film (The Silver Chair), I dusted off HJ’s old Narnia News Blog last month. We will be reporting any details as they come in. Today is the 50th anniversary of C. S. Lewis’ death, which happened to coincide with the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Here is a tribute to the two Jacks, based on an article I wrote four years ago for another publication.
November 22, 1963—50 years ago today. Two Jacks passed on into eternity. One was known for the fantasy world he created; the other for the fantasy world created around him by his public image. Most of us know more about Narnia and “Camelot” than we do about the men behind their fantasy worlds.
Behind the legends were men who made a difference in the world. C S “Jack” Lewis left a profound influence on religion, and John “Jack” F. Kennedy left a profound influence on politics. Many now consider their ideas to be outdated, but have the changes in politics and religion since their time truly made the world any better?
The conversation between King Caspian and Governor Gumpas in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Chapter 4) reflects Lewis’s beliefs about so-called “progress.”
“But that would be putting the clock back,” gasped the governor. “Have you no idea of progress, of development?”
“I have seen them both in an egg,” said Caspian. “We call it ‘Going Bad’ in Narnia….”
In other writings, Lewis warned about “chronological snobbery.” Newer ideas are not necessarily better ones. That does not mean, of course, that “new” ideas are necessarily bad, either. In many ways, Kennedy and Lewis contributed what were considered some rather “cutting edge” ideas in their time. We need leadership that can distinguish progress from putrefaction. Not an easy task, but I’d say the two Jacks were better at it than most.
May God send us another pair of Jacks for such a time as this.