English 380 Spring Term 2003                 Suzanne Keen
Philip Pullman and C.S. Lewis: Rival Canons
MWF AB

This seminar explores some of the sources that lie behind C. S. Lewis^s Christian allegory, The Chronicles of Narnia,, and Philip Pullman^s materialist trilogy, His Dark Materials. Lewis^s debt to medieval and Renaissance romance and Pullman^s debt to the Romantic re-reading of Milton will be studied. No previous experience of Dante, Spenser, Milton, Blake, or Shelley is required, though familiarity with Paradise Lost would be helpful. For links related to the course, please see: http://home.wlu.edu/~keens/pullmanlinks.htm.

Dante, from The Inferno
Spenser, from The Faerie Queene
Milton, from Paradise Lost
William Blake, lyric poems, Milton, the Marriage of Heaven and Hell
Shelley, lyric poems and Prometheus Unbound
C. S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
—. Prince Caspian
—. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
—. The Silver Chair
—. The Magician’s Nephew
—. The Last Battle
Philip Pullman, The Golden Compass (Northern Lights)
—. The Subtle Knife
—. The Amber Spyglass

Secondary Sources on Reserve

Christine Brooke-Rose, A Rhetoric of the Unreal
William Empson, Milton^s God
Kath Filmer, The Fiction of C.S. Lewis: Mask and Mirror
Candice Fredrick and Sam McBride, Women among the Inklings
Northrop Frye, The Secular Scripture
Nelson Goodman, Ways of Worldmaking
Rosemary Jackson, Fantasy: the Literature of Subversion
C. S. Lewis, The Allegory of Love
—A Preface to
Paradise Lost
Kathryn Lindskoog, Journey into Narnia
Colin Manlove, The Fantasy Literature of England
Thomas Pavel, Fictional Worlds
Peter J. Schakel, Imagination and the Arts in C.S. Lewis: Journeying to Narnia and Other Worlds

Other Worlds and Allegory

M 4/21 Lewis, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe (discuss first day)
transports to another world; Lewis'^s theology
W 4/23 Spenser, from The Faerie Queene, Book 1, cantos 1-6, pp. 39-118
F 4/25 Lewis, The Magician^s Nephew
Response #1 due in class: Lewis and Spenser

Otherworld Journeys


M 4/28 Pullman, The Golden Compass
W 4/30 Dante, from The Inferno: Cantos 1-2, 6, 8, 10, 12, 15-16, 19, 26, 27, 34.

Issues for presentations:


Ciacco the glutton;
civil war in Florence;
Filippo Argenti;
the contest between White and Black Guelfs;
Farinata degli Uberti on Guelfs and Ghibellines;
tyranny;
Brunetto Latini;
Dante^'s exile and poetic mission;
decadence of Florence;
Boniface VIII and simonist popes;
the corruption of the church;
condemnation of Florence;
false papal counselors and despots;
traitors to God and empire.


F 5/2 The Inferno (A TV Dante) by Peter Greenaway (90 minutes); Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Response #2 due in class: Pullman and Dante

Ruling Powers and their Master Narratives


M 5/5 Pullman, The Subtle Knife. Video on Paradise Lost
W 5/7 Milton, from Paradise Lost, Books 1-3 and 5-6, pp. 2-72, 100-49. Satan, the Debate in Hell. God the Father, and the War in Heaven
F 5/9 Lewis, Prince Caspian
Response #3 due in class: Lewis and Milton
or Pullman and Milton

Rebel Forces


M 5/12Milton, from Paradise Lost. The flight through chaos. Lewis and Empson on Milton (half the group on each text)
W 5/14 Blake, Songs of Innocence and Experience, America, the Marriage of Heaven and Hell
F 5/16 Pullman, The Subtle Knife and Lewis, The Silver Chair (his Norse chronicle)
Response #4 due in class: Pullman and Blake or Lewis and Norse myths

The Rhetoric of Revolution


M 5/19 Pullman, The Amber Spyglass
W 5/21 Shelley, ^England in 1819^ and Prometheus Unbound, essay on Athiesm
F 5/23 Pullman, The Amber Spyglass
Response #5 due in class: Pullman and Shelley
or Lewis and romance

Fantasy in a Materialist Universe


M 5/26 Pullman, The Amber Spyglass. Northrop Frye, The Secular Scripture
W 5/28 C. S. Lewis, The Last Battle and Pullman^s criticism of Lewis
Papers due in class.

F 5/30 presentations on research papers