On Grief, Joy, and Saying Goodbye: Reepicheep and Aslan’s Country

Here’s a great column at Matt Mikalatos at tor.com: On Grief, Joy, and Saying Goodbye: Reepicheep and Aslan’s Country

In the end, Reepicheep dies.

That’s something I didn’t understand when I read Voyage of the Dawn Treader as a kid. Lewis wouldn’t—indeed, didn’t—say it that way. In fact, he says the opposite, right in the text of the novel: While no one can claim to have seen Reepicheep from the moment he crested the great wave at the end of the world, Lewis says, “my belief is that he came safe to Aslan’s country and is alive there to this day.”

This is a profound column. You don’t really want to read an excerpt. Click through and read the whole thing.

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5 thoughts on “On Grief, Joy, and Saying Goodbye: Reepicheep and Aslan’s Country”

  1. Yes, I was going to pick out a bit to excerpt and then … I just couldn’t. That’s a powerful column.

  2. The article was moving. And it reminded me of another book I read recently.

    Have you read The Light Between Worlds, by Laura E. Weymouth? It tells the story of what happened after the Pevensies left Narnia and returned to England. I was interested in how Weymouth pictured the story from Susan’s POV, but the Lucy character was tragic. She never accepted that she couldn’t go back to Narnia. She spent all her time wanting and dreaming and hoping to return. In the end, I finished the story feeling somewhat depressed.

    While Weymouth had a great idea and wrote the story well, I vastly prefer the way Lewis handled it.

  3. I read that Weymouth recently. I started skimming somewhere in the middle – between wanting to shake the narrator because even though the sources of her problems were very clear I wasn’t sympathetic, and not quite finding some of the characters plausible for their ages(specially the Susan analog once the crossover happens) – I just couldn’t take it, but wondered enough where the author was going that I didn’t put it down.

    it is definitely depressing.

  4. I haven’t read Weymouth, but I like Gaiman’s short story “The Problem of Susan”, and Lev Grossman has some interesting things to say about Narnia in The Magicians trilogy (although that one was touch and go for me bc some characters are such a pain early on)

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