Gutting C. S. Lewis
By Van Smith
Date: July 16, 2001
In one of the more extreme acts of publishing avarice, a publisher wants to extract specific religious symbolism from a classic work of literature in order to capitalize on a popular trend.
The New York publishing company, Harper Collins, has noticed the success of the Harry Potter series of books and wants to reissue C. S. Lewis's Narnia series in connection with a marketing campaign to sell related toys. However, Harper Collins sees the Christian symbolism as a barrier to fully exploiting this strategy. In a note uncovered by the New York Times, Harper Collins states, "We Will have to give emphatic assurances that no attempt will be made to correlate the stories to Christian imagery/theology."
Considered one of the most important writers of the 20th Century, C. S. Lewis infused the Narnia Series with profound Christian symbolism. Christian messages form the central themes of many of his works, and the Narnia Series is considered a masterpiece of literature.
More details can be found in this MSNBC commentary.