Several of my students (and their parents) have recently been asking me "What's the right order in which to read the Narnia Chronicles?" Actually, they probably said "What's the right order to read Narnia in" since they're in my Inklings class and not my grammar-crazy writing class, but that's OK. The purpose of language is the communication of ideas, and I understood them. Well, there are lots of other purposes of language, too, including patterns & the sheer beauty of the sounds & traditions & wrestling with the ineffable, etc. So.
But back to Narnia. Well, I told them that I didn't think it mattered in which order they read the Narnia Chronicles. I added that I had a slight preference for the "Published" order, but that's only because that's how I was raised, and I'll never forget the moments of wonder & revelation when I read The Magician's Nephew for the first time. Wow. But I didn't know which order Jack himself preferred.
So first of all, which order do you prefer? And why?
And then here's a really good posting on that over at another web site called What Order Should I Read the Narnia Books in (And Does It Matter?). I couldn't discover the author. Please do read it, and please read all of it, if you can. There are some very interesting points, especially the quote from Lewis. And I wonder what you think of the ending of this article?
By the way, I was really glad that the new movies are being made in the "original" order (even though that idea is now skewed a bit by that article), but I think we should all write to Douglas Gresham & beg him on bended knees to make sure the screenplay of Prince Caspian is much, MUCH more accurate than LWW! Sure, Disney probably thinks that modern viewers are too dumb for that kind of slightly elevated British 1950s English. But, as CSL himself said in the preface to Mere Christianity, "I don't think the average reader [viewer] is such a fool." Hear, hear.