Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Why There Is No Jewish Narnia

C.S Lewis' Narnia stories are based on Christianity. J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and Middle Earth were influenced by Norse and other Northern European mythologies. In the Jewish Review of Books, Michael Wiengrad asks Why There Is No Jewish Narnia? Why are there so few fantasy novels based on Judaism?
So why don’t Jews write more fantasy literature? And a different, deeper but related question: why are there no works of modern fantasy that are profoundly Jewish in the way that, say, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is Christian? Why no Jewish Lewises, and why no Jewish Narnias?
In the course of this discussion, Weingrad reviews two examples of "Jewish fantasy" novels, The Magicians by Lev Grossman and Ha-Mayim she-bein ha-olamot (The Water Between the Worlds) by Hagar Yanai. The latter novel, written in Hebrew, includes a map of an alternate-history Europe and Middle East dominated by the Babylonian Empire.

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At Friday, March 26, 2010 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Jews wrote one of the most read books of fantasy/fiction of all time - The Bible.

At Friday, March 26, 2010 , Blogger Michael5000 said...

I'm loving the map -- it manages to look like a map of Europe and Northern Africa (which it is) and a spin on Tolkein's Middle Earth map (which it is) both at the same time. Kewl.


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