I have just been reading 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe' aloud to my daughter. Reading Chapter Four 'Turkish Delight', was a bit like disappearing through the back of a wardrobe. I sat beside my seven year old and I was her age again. Everything that Edmund does as he is beguiled by the Witch, was as it had been the first time I read the story. It was such a joy to read and I knew that Nola was enjoying it especially because I was such a willing reader. We have the whole 'Chronicles' and I'll be interested to see how my memories unfold. I don't actively remember a lot beyond Book Two. I was surprised to find that Book One was 'The Magician's Nephew'. I didn't remember this. What I do remember vividly from each book is the cover.
There are other things I don’t remember: did I read the story myself when I experienced it for the first time? I don't know. I learnt to read much earlier than Nola, just because of location, so it's possible I did. Maybe my Mum remembers. Did I, in the 1960s, already wonder at some of the phrases that feel dated now? I think the term 'Pax' is going infiltrate Nola's school. Old things can be very cool.
I told Nola how I felt about what I was reading, about how strong the memories and feelings were. She said her feelings were very strong, too, as she listened. I asked her how she 'saw' the book. She saw the film some time ago, so her vision is already coloured by that. A bit like the film, but different, she said. She found the film far more scary. When I went to cook, she asked me to type 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe' into You Tube. She watched a very strange animated version. I know it was strange because I could hear the witch's voice from the kitchen and it just wasn't right.
Right? Well, you know…