When we at the Gibbelins’ Tower,
observed Mrs. Schiff
first set forth to create a children’s story, we discovered a fundamental flaw in the body of literature available to us for use. Children turn to fantasy in search of truths that adult society denies them—principally and foremost, the recognition that it is acceptable to be a child. This is the meaning of magic, after all: that we do not yet know every truth of ourselves, or every capacity in our hearts to arrange the world in the order of our minds. In every case we studied, however, we found that fantasy leads children astray—that it proposes to them the idea that magic symbolizes the adult moralities of the street-corner preachers and snake oil politicians. It teaches that the mysteries of the world are those that flow from gods and rituals and wands and titles and being the heir to an empire of blood. We believe that a mystery is never more or less than the unknown, and that wands and rituals and gods are very much the known. Magic is simply a question mark, and it is our own spirit and insight that in every case provides the answer.
For this reason, then,
declared Mrs. Schiff,
It has become necessary that we should draw upon an objective philosophy with which to tell our tale. This is a children’s story set in the world of John Galt, who taught the world in his succinct radio address that the philosophies of irrationality, self-destruction, and defeat sustain themselves by leeching off the blood and sweat of men of reason. He has called those men away, one by one, so that the Enemy may defeat itself and the engine of the world grind down. Yet the Enemy, like Virtue, is present in more worlds than one.
This is a story of makers and builders, of children who even as children set their mark upon the world. This is a story to show the dear niece of our colleague C.S. Lewis that the only magical cordial she needs is a devotion to modern industrial medical practice. It is a story, first and foremost, of how not even the foulest witchery can stand before the pure exercise of reason; and we dedicate it,
said Mrs. Schiff, regarding the notes for the next three days of performances, and hoping that the readers would understand that this is literal and the author’s note was not the entire performance,
to the spirit of our dear departed colleague Erwin Schrödinger, whom we suspect to be dead but whose actual state we have elected not to investigate.
It begins like this:
One by one, the men of mind disappear from the world. The wheels begin
to grind down.
There are four children of extraordinary gifts and greater heart in John Galt’s world. Their names are Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie.
“Children,” say Mr. and Mrs. Pevensie, “it’s time for you to go.”