Perfect. I appreciate the musings on Susan, I've been doing some myself this last year because I'm struggling with the religion I was born and raised in and it's fucking hard.

Off-topic, but oh man, you have my utter sympathies. I can joke about it now, but it was really one of the more unpleasant times of my life.

Also, I do think this counts as fic, Ursula, but that's okay, because it's superb. The best kind of literary analysis fic.

Holy crow, woman, that was heartbreaking!

I was going to say the same thing. Utterly heartbreaking.

I wish this Susan could have found some of her dwarf's work and been able to ask.

Oh man. THANK YOU. I recently reread these books and the whole thing with Susan just seemed so unjustified and damned unfair. I figured she should have some very good reasons (and it was disturbing that none of the other children had any at all) for not wanting to think much of Narnia. This definitely follows along the lines I was thinking, too.

Damnit, Ursula, you're making me cry!

I second that! How depressing. Good! Accurate, perhaps! But depressing.

I always had issues with that. They GREW UP in narnia. They were adults. They were considering marriage. And then they tumble back home and are kids again? WTF.

Also, as far as I'm concerned this is wholy canon, and I don't think I will ever forget it, as "You shoved me back into this wretched unformed child’s body, lion-god, and made me a thousand years a widow, and now I am too old?" will not cease bouncing around inside my head. Even trying to wrap my head around someone who tore me from my life, made me a child again in another life, and then put me back in the world this life is in but after my husband and everyone I love was not just dead and gone, but so long gone their tombs had returned to dust along with them? Yeah. I'd kill them. I'd kill them slowly, and I'd likely laugh while doing it.

Edited at 2012-09-14 05:08 am (UTC)

Oh, this is heartbreaking and wonderful.

And once again, I want to put you and Seanan MacGuire in the same room and provide you both with lots of caffeine and whatever creative supplies you desire, and stand back.

Oh, my.
Oh MY.

Presto, fly this idea by her agent! Between Ursula's Deadlines-Will-Be-Met and Seanan's Three-Books-At-Once skillsets, we might have a book (a series?) in our grabby hands by March 2014.

Holy crap, Ursula. *does the Wayne & Garth bowing routine* I am not worthy, I am not worthy. That was...sublime.

Ow. Beautifully done. Ow.

You've read Neil Gaiman's "The Problem of Susan", yes?

It's in Flights Vol II and Fragile Things, I believe.

(didn't see anyone else mention it in this or the previous post on LJ - ok, just checked Tea with the Squash God and someone did mention it there but I'm going ahead and leaving it here for the LJ folks)

I loved the books growing up, thought it was stupid Susan didn't get to go back; but now that I understand the "message" behind the stories it's hard to share them with the kids. We have the books; I've told them the ~correct~ order to read them in (can't believe they're putting The Magicians Nephew first nowadays...); we've seen the first movie, maybe the second; but when they don't get into them I don't even try to encourage them. Just as happy for them to read the Percy Jackson novels, Harry Potter, Jhereg, etc...

I came down to say this, too. Folks should definitely read his take, as well.

This. A thousand times this. Thank you for fully articulating and solving a problem which I have long held with the Narnia series, what happens to Susan at the end and how... deeply unfair it felt. No, thanks to this little bit of fan fiction, it no longer seems that way. I can happily imagine that she escaped into a life that she wanted in the regular world.

And thank you for writing an amazing little story to go with it!

Thank you for the lump in my throat.

This was wonderful! You read my mind on the Problem with Susan--I never got it either, and it drove me mad--and this, THIS answers things beautifully!

Damn! I never had a problem with Lewis's treatment of Susan but then I never understood why anybody would want to be grown-up and forsake magic they knew existed, and Susan was always the character I least identified with (though being the bossy big sister probably the one I"m most like...). That said, this was incredible, really fit so well with the stories and basically rescued that character for me. Fantastic!

completely off topic, but

Gorbash icon! I literally squealed when I saw that!

So far, I have a pretty consistent reaction to everything you've written; I get a strange urge to grab random passersby and tell them "read this, and everything else she's done. Now. Don't wait." (I have foisted both Digger and Dragonsbreath 1-3 on family, and linked to the regency ninjas, and should have to the annotated fairy tales.).

This one gets that, plus a little extra heartbreak of its own

I love this, it's powerful and also deeply honest in a way that I often found the Narnia books not to be.

Btw, have you read Lev Grossman's The Magicians and The Magician King, he's playing with ideas from Narnia (and from Harry Potter) in a host of fascinating and powerful (if sometimes problematic) ways.

I hated The Magicians so much. Dreadful hipsterish faux-ironic stuff. And making The Problem of Susan analogue be about a boy. Ugh.

Aw dang. This is just amazing!

I had never thought about this from Susan's point of view before. Heartbreaking.

Close to tears. Poor Susan. :( :( :(

Not so much 'the problem of Susan' (I never liked the implications of that title) but 'The Anguish of Susan'. Thank you for an imaginative piece of metafic that gives a much maligned character back her humanity.

(And I love the scene with her and Edmund).

Thank you.

I could never reread Narnia after the extend of the allegory really sank in. Parts of it just made me so angry, and I suspect that's because of what you mentioned - that what we're shown and what we're told often doesn't feel right together. And Susan, oh my heart breaks for her. Yay for fanfic :-)

I read the original one in my (Catholic) grade school as an assignment. That should have been my first clue, eh?
I didn't really fall in love with the books like lots of others did. I read a Horse and His Boy as a kiddo, because horses, but that's about it. And I remember that one being really problematic but I can't remember why. Racist? I'm not sure. It was a long time ago.

Now, I'm just grumpy about Narnia in general since I've evolved from a non-religious-person-who-is-Atheist-but-doesn't-realize to a full blown Angry Atheist Rantasaurus. Ugh.

That said, THIS post by Ursula was far, far, far better than I remember Narnia ever being. Take THAT C.S. Lewis.
Honestly, Ursula, you are amazing and I'm absolutely certain you're going to be Gaiman famous in short order.

Thank you so much. Even as a child, and still completely in love with Narnia and Aslan, I could never be happy with what Lewis did to Susan. As an adult, even less so.


Log in