n Mousaion - The 'other' Narnia : manifestations and mutations of C.S. Lewis's

Volume 33, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0027-2639



Between 2003 and 2004, Neil Gaiman wrote a short story called 'The problem of Susan'. In it, a young journalist has a dream in which she is Susan Pevensie and the world of Narnia has become dark and terrifying. In this article, the author argues that Gaiman's preoccupation with and intertextual re-envisioning of Narnia goes beyond 'The problem of Susan', and that his children's book, Coraline (2002), can be viewed partly as a rewriting of C.S. Lewis's The lion, the witch and the wardrobe ([1950] 2001). The author further shows that the two books have many shared aspects, but that Gaiman transforms these aspects to make the fantasy world in Coraline an unsteady, threatening and even horrifying version of the bright and inviting world of Narnia. The author also argues that Gaiman's purpose in so doing is to defy and subtly criticise what he views as Lewis's attempts to encourage children to remain innocent and childlike.

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