Tag Archives: CS Lewis

Tolkien and Lewis’ Movie Date

When I think of JRR Tolkien’s contemporaries, I usually think of CS Lewis and the rest of the Inklings. I rarely think about what was happening on the other side of the pond — even though that’s where I live.

As anyone familiar with Tolkien knows, he had strong opinions, and that went for his contemporaries. One of those — one I never thought of — is Walt Disney.

Back in the 1937, The Hobbit and Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarves made their debuts in their respective countries. Since both have always been a part of my life, I never realized that they came out within months of one another and share a protagonist surrounded by a band of dwarves. It’s just fascinating to think about.

While I don’t know what Walt Disney thought of Tolkien’s work, Tolkien certainly wasn’t a fan of him. Neither was Lewis.

Unlike the past several generations, they grew up only knowing the original (and usually darker) versions of fairy tales. To see dwarves — the creatures of Norse mythology — playing jazz and being downright goofy just felt wrong.

I can understand it. When Frozen first came out, I was appalled by just how different the story is from Hans Christian Andersen’s original fairy tale. There are a handful of similar elements, but besides those things, the stories couldn’t be more different. Since then, I’ve warmed up to it (pun only sort of intended) and have come to like it as its own thing, but certainly not as adaptation. “Inspired by,” sure. “Adaptation”? Definitely not.

Needless to say, it was a fascinating read. If you want to check out the full article, it’s available here.

What are your thoughts on different adaptations of films? Have you ever found yourself in Tolkien and Lewis’ shoes?


Reading the Inklings: Robert Harvard

I’m officially one step closer to reading something by all of the Inklings.

A few weeks ago, I started The Problem of Pain by CS Lewis because it has an appendix written by Robert Harvard. (Read more about that here.) Though he did publish many other things, all of them are in medical journals so I wouldn’t have as much appreciation for them as I would if it were written for someone outside of the field.

As it turns out, Lewis’ words were exactly what I needed to read. While I don’t agree with everything, I do agree with most. More importantly, though, much of it resonated deeply with where I am right now, and that’s what I was hoping for.

After Lewis discusses pain of all sorts and some theological musings, Robert Harvard has a very short appendix with some medical insight. It was certainly interesting, though shorter than anticipated. I had hoped for a bit more than a few pages, especially when the Kindle told me there was 89% left to the book. Evidently, the last 8% is copyright information, Lewis’ biography, and footnotes. Lots of footnotes.

So, while not the most insightful into Robert Harvard, it was still a great read. Now, time to move on to the next Inkling!


When I was a teenager on the verge of starting college full time, my parents did quite a bit to prepare me for adulthood. Most of the lessons had started in childhood, and I learned many more from overheard conversations while they counseled other people or by watching their own lives. But it was during my senior year of high school that they had me read Sean Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens. It reinforced many things that I’d already learned, like prioritizing and the importance of rest and relaxation. But it also came with a challenge: to collect five quotes to live by.

Unfortunately, the day planner (yes, the binder type with refillable pages) that contained these quotes is long gone, but that doesn’t mean that all of them are forgotten or that I haven’t continued to collect quotes. Below are some of my favorites:

“Patience and fortitude conquer all things.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“This is one of the miracles of love: It gives a power of seeing through its own enchantments without being disenchanted.” — C.S. Lewis

“I still think the greater part of the world is mistaken about many things. Surely one may be sane and yet think so, since the greater part of the world has often had to come around from its opinion.” — Dorothea, Middlemarch by George Eliot

“Reason is the natural order of truth; but imagination is the organ of meaning.” — C.S. Lewis

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” — Albert Einstein

And, finally, two that were on that original list of five quotes and that still are at the top of my favorites today:

“Always do right; this will gratify some people and astonish the rest.” — Mark Twain

This is one of the miracles of love: It gives a power of seeing through its own enchantments and yet not being disenchanted
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/c/cslewis117457.html#Jvxa6ScMLDUbzIGv.99

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time given us.” — Gandalf, Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

What are some of your favorite quotes?

Extraordinary Destiny

“Hardship often prepares ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.”

— CS Lewis


I originally stumbled upon Lewis’ words while perusing Pinterest a few weeks ago. Since then, it’s been hard not to ponder them. Struggles are an ordinary part of life. Their nature and intensity vary, but everyone faces their own hardships.

Whenever I face them, it seems like my reactions vacillate. One minute, hope and determination dominate every other feeling. Then, when the situation begins to drag on too long or something goes wrong, self-pity and irritation and anger take over until something snaps me back to remembering that, if something has to be endured, might as well endure it with a good attitude. That’s the right, mature thing to do.

But this takes the whole suppose-I-better-just-have-a-good-attitude idea to a new level. It’s so easy to think of hardships and struggles as something that must be endured until they’re over. But maybe if that’s the only focus, we miss out on something valuable. What if these are the circumstances that push us from the everyday to something extraordinary? Something epic?

It’s not an easy way to approach problems. Especially when there doesn’t seem to be any bright side. But there’s always something to be learned in every situation, even if how it fits into the grand story of life doesn’t make sense yet.