Thursday, February 12, 2009

CS Lewis quotes about literature for children

After I quoted Charlotte Mason on the importance of good literature for children and not "talking down", I remembered I had read some similar things said by CS Lewis (from a a collection of essays on literature by CS Lewis called Of Other Worlds., which Liam has at college with him right now, so I clipped the quotes from this interesting online essay called The Childlike in CS Lewis and George MacDonald.

"I never met The Wind in the Willows or the Bastable books till I was in my late twenties, and I do not think I have enjoyed them any the less on that account. I am almost inclined to set it up as a canon that a children's story which is enjoyed only by children is a bad children's story. The good ones last"

it certainly is my opinion that a book worth reading only in childhood is not worth reading even then"

'for children' only in the sense that I excluded what I thought they would not like or understand; not in the sense of writing what I intended to be below adult attention"


Poiema said...

When my husband and I were newlyweds, we read each other the books that we treasured in our childhoods. It helped us to know each other better, to understand what sparked our imaginations and lit our paths. Those readings are a precious memory~~ no less enjoyed as adults than they were as children.

Willa said...

That's a beautiful way to start a marriage!

We didn't quite do that as newlyweds. But we did informally share a lot of our childhood treasures when we were getting to know each other.

I've noticed again and again there is so much richness in returning to the same books at different times in our lives. I think CS Lewis wrote about that, too.