Where is Queen Susan?

A rather well done bit of fan fiction, concerning Susan Pevensie who has grown too old, or perhaps too vain, to be bothered with dreams from other worlds.

Along the same lines, here is a poem from  Papersky  which I found here

The worst of it was that she’d quarrelled with them
And now they were dead, all dead, her parents too,
Nobody left but her awful aunt and uncle,
Their faces collapsed like their future.
Still she stood at the graveside, calm, composed,
Pale-faced, with folded hands, her shoulders back,
She’d been a queen once-in-a-dream,
She might be bereft but she knew how to behave.
If only they’d not quarrelled in these last few years…
They’d called her shallow and she’d called them babes,
They had not wanted to grow up: they never would.
She, more than ever, knew she had no choice.
The service droned, but something — she looked up
Saw cassock, surplice, and a lion’s eyes.

Finally, Synaesthete7 runs rings around Phillip Pullman, logically, and refutes that worthy author’s comically inept criticism of C.S. Lewis. Mr. Pullman has sex on the brain, and cannot interpret the serious matters of life save through this lens.

I have always admired the boldness Mr. Lewis shows in putting in this little touch of sadness and seriousness in his children’s book. It shows he respects his readers, big folk and little folk, enough to tell them the truth about the world, and about the next world.

The door to the wardrobe may not be entirely shut — Once a queen in Narnia, always a queen in Narnia, so say we all — and I am sure that if she knocks, it will be opened. But the author shows the possibility is always present that she will be too proud to knock, not grown up enough to have the faith of a child.

Mr. Lewis, by raising this dreadful spectre, speaks of sober and adult things: deep magic, if we may borrow that term. To have Mr. Pullman criticize him on this point is something of a hoot.

Mr. Pullman wrote a good novel and a half. By the time he reaches THE AMBER SPYGLASS, hsi writing is dangerously close to winning the crown for  the stupidest and most shallow ending of anything I’ve read. To free all the ghosts of the underworld, not to any new life, but merely to oblivion, strikes me as an odd, even sinister, choice for an heroic climax.  Having the main bad guy, God Almightly, turn out to be a drooling idiot in a coffin who dies when he is dropped is not merely silly, it is pathetic: the writing of someone so wormeaten by hate that he cannot even present the object of his hatred as worthy of any dramatic tension or conflict with the hero. The lying little girl does not learn how not to lie, and the violent little boy does not learn how not to be violent. The drama of the arch-warlock seeking to overthrow the Throne of Heaven fizzles and comes to nothing. The homosexual angel I will pass by without comment, except to say that angels in Milton cannot have their bones snapped by a boy of no particular strength. The climax (pardon my use of that word) where the underage and unmarried couple couple with each other, and sexual liberation turns out to be the simple source and sum of all good in the same shallow fashion that religion turns out to be the source and sum of all evil… well, this is childish writing. It is childishness without  the simplicity, innocence, or sweetness of a child. It is the bitterness and pouting and helpless anger of a child, one who thinks a great deal too much of himself.

No, Mr. Pullman, life is not all about copulation, and that is not the point Mr. Lewis was making. He was talking about loss of faith.

… “Sir,” said Tirian when he had greeted all these. “If I have read the chronicle aright, there should be another. Has not your Majesty two sisters? Where is Queen Susan?”

“My sister Susan,” answered Peter shortly and gravely, “is no longer a friend of Narnia.”

“Yes,” said Eustace, “and whenever you’ve tried to get her to come and talk about Narnia or do anything about Narnia, she says, ‘What wonderful memories you have! Fancy your still thinking about all those funny games we used to play when we were children.'”

“Oh Susan!” said Jill. “She’s interested in nothing nowadays except nylons and lipstick and invitations. She always was a jolly sight too keen on growing up.”

“Grown-up, indeed,” said the Lady Polly. “I wish she would grow up. She wasted all her school time wanting to be the age she is now, and she’ll waste all the rest of her life trying to stay that age. Her whole idea is to race onto the silliest time of one’s life as quick as she can and stop there as long as she can.”

“Well, don’t let’s talk about that now,” said Peter. …