I loved the Chronicles of Narnia as a kid (especially A Horse and His Boy and The Silver Chair) but this stuff is too funny to pass up.
The first is from the British critic and novelist Philip Hensher:
Let us drop C. S. Lewis and his ghastly, priggish, half-witted, money-making drivel about Narnia down the nearest deep hole… They are revoltingly mean-minded books, written to corrupt the minds of the young with allegory, smugly denouncing anything that differs in the slightest respect from Lewis’s creed of clean-living, muscular Christianity, pipe-smoking, misogyny, racism, and the most vulgar snobbery.
The other is Philip Pullman.
The message of Narnia, according to Pullman, is that “Death is better than life; boys are better than girls; light-colored people are better than dark-colored people; and so on.” The books, on this account, are “nauseating drivel,” and Pullman detests “the reactionary sneering, the misogyny, the racism.”
On THE INFERNO
(Quotes from readers on Amazon.com)
“A narrowminded religious work in disguise.”
“The worst part of the Inferno is all the references that no one understands.”
“The characters have no depth. For example, Dante’s guide, Virgil, does nothing to answer many of Dante’s questions.”
“Dante’s Inferno is a poor example of literature and has almost no literary value.”
”Being set in hell, there is a dark tone throughout the novel.”
”For the contemporary lover, The Inferno provides many interesting views. Not many authors write about Hell or how Hell would appear. Dante does.”
I’ve been playing a lot of soccer lately – long physical games where I’ve taken a good number of hits – and I’ve felt the results in the following days. I don’t remember remaining sore for so long when I was younger, and real injuries like torn muscles take forever to heal. Of course a large part of the change is simply age and a slow-down in recovery times, but there is something else as well. I think I know my body better now than I did fifteen years ago. When I was younger, I didn’t have a sense of cause and effect with my body, or how it connected to my mind. I notice this with writing most of all because it takes the most concentration. At twenty-four I’d have good days writing and bad days writing but I never understood what made the difference between one and the next. Now I can almost always pinpoint the cause and it’s almost always connected to something physical – not enough sleep, three drinks too many two days ago, yesterday’s rough soccer game. When I was twenty-four, I had no sense of physical continuity from one day to the next and yesterday barely existed. I’m certain though, that the reasons why I couldn’t concentrate from one day to the next were exactly the same.