Thursday, April 12, 2012

Some very stray comments on Planet Narnia, by Dr Michael Ward

Most of the pre-view by Amazon was footnotes, hope you remember where from in the footnotes. Either way, here goes, I quote in italics and then go forth to comment:

This author cannnot explain the Martial significance, if any, of the names Tarva and Alambil, nor even those of Caspian and Miraz.

To me Tarva and Alambil are prime evidence against PC being purely Mars: the lord of victory would indeed be Mars, but the lady of peace - most likely Venus (since the only other astrological lady is the Moon).

It made me speculate about each book being one of several conjunctions between planets.

Now, Miraz and Caspian is easier. A Roman Emperor was named Hadrian - and there is the Adriatic Sea. There is also the Caspian Sea, so ... as for Mars but also Jupiter, Emperor would tie it to Jupiter, but Roman to Mars. Miraz is a part of Spain, of the Camino de Santiago. As if the Camino del Norte, taken due to warlike Moors were not enough, it is the evening after leaving in the morning a place called Baamonde* - like the second family name of a very warlike, but not very wild, Spaniard eventually known as Francisco Franco Baamonde, por Gracias de Dios Caudillo de España. Since C. S. Lewis during the Spanish War was against Franco, unlike J. R. R. Tolkien and Roy Campbell (and me), and thus regarded him as an usurper, there might be some kind of hint there, though the character called Miraz is far closer to Shakespearean characters Claudius and Macbeth. Franco was a character who gained his self respect as a soldier on the Rif, fighting Moors, after having been seen by his father as the "dull one". There is of course a sense in which his wonderully moving Moscardó adventure can have inspired the saving of Caspian in the nick of time. But by and large, CSL regarded him as an usurper.

Already, Caspian has been relegated to the role of spectator at the single combat and prevented from avenging the father himself, because he is 'wounded'.

Now, since Jupiter has a Red Spot, woundedness is a part of kingship. Thus also Ransom who gets wounded in the fight with the unman, and in THS is seen as in his sofa, because he is wounded in the leg - like the Fisher King.

Caspian seems to be little more than a puppet moved about by other characters ...

Is that not typical of Kingship as actually often lived out? Look at the King in a chess board. It was a knight they found ... as they were to find Trumpkin and Reepicheep, but it was eventually to save the White Chess Board King against a Black much more active one.

Otherwise, my great objection to Dr Michael Ward's analysis was that obviously The Horse and His Boy must in such a case be Venus (Aravis' non-marriage to Ahoshta, eventual marriage to Cor, Queen Susan's non-marriage to Rabadash, a few other cases of people falling in love, and the luxury of Lazaraleen. Whereas the Magicians Nephew obviously had to be Mercury, due to the magic. And of course the travelling between the worlds. And Digory and Polly being sent with Fledge. And the tree in England communicating with that in Narnia.

But Ward has a point about Venus and motherliness. I was just the other day asking myself if all the divine parents of halfgods were demons, like the father of Merlin. I found it far more likely Venus Mater - mother of Aeneas - was human, but divinised by a sense of loss (one of the reasons St Thomas aquinas gives for idolatry). As for Venereal theme in two talking beasts of each kind and in Frank and Helen getting to Narnia, I confess I missed it.

HGL/Easter Week of 2012

*Xacobeo, Etapas, Baamonde-Miraz

1 comment:

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

It seems the festive scenes in PC - the Romp - has some connection to Saturnalia. To the Italian Saturn, therefore closer to Jove than to Mars.