Friday 6 June 2014

Tolkien and Lewis - Juvenile nonsense for immature escapists? Or serious literature for desperate situations?


From Windows to eternity by Jenny Roberts (1999)

[Scene - Moscow, USSR, 1984. On a covert and illegal mission to deliver Bibles to persecuted Orthodox and Baptist Christians.]

Only the day before, another Russian Orthodox believer, an art historian who had been put into a psychiatric hospital when at the age of sixteen, he professed faith in Christ, had summed up his country by an apt comparison.

"Tell us about the Soviet Union" I had asked this man.

"This is the land of Mordor". Then he added, with a smile into his greying beard, "You are hobbits!"

He was, of course, referring to Tolkien's epic novel The Lord of the Rings... People we visited loved this novel; they typed it out in its entirety and passed it to one another.

They loved C.S Lewis too, his Narnia stories, and it seemed to me that I had stumbled into a land which, like Narnia, lay under an evil spell, where, memorably, 'it was always winter and never Christmas'. 


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