Thursday, December 29, 2005

Is C.S. Lewis is a Turkaphile?

I haven’t seen The Chronicles of Narnia, but at some point in my childhood I read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I recently re-read the book in preparation for the movie, and I have reason to believe that C.S. Lewis was a Turkophile.

First, Lewis features Turkish Delight, a uniquely Turkish candy, as the most delicious candy, which is used to lure one of the children in Narnia to the witch's side. As a kid, I wanted nothing more than to have one morsel of this irresistible delicacy once, just once! Of course, this is not enough to qualify Lewis as a turkophile, but the thing that convinced me that this was no mere coincidence is the name of the Lion, Aslan, which just so happens to be the Turkish word for….yep, you guessed it….LION!

So my working theory is that C.S. Lewis made this connection deliberately, but does anyone have any insight into the origin of his inspiration? Did he date a Turkish girl, have some Turkish friends, or perhaps visit Turkey at some point in his life?

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