Edmund Pevensie: brother, bully, traitor. Aslan died for his betrayal. Always my least favorite of the Pevensie kids, always the one I was a little uncomfortable with. Who likes Edmund, after all? The bitter tang of his betrayal carries over through the Narnia saga. But today I want to talk about Edmund of C. S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in relation to his siblings – Edmund and Lucy, the first two Pevensies into the wardrobe; Edmund and Peter, the fraught relationship of brothers. Let’s talk about that long, gloomy hall where a boy stood and gave away his siblings for the promise of candy and a crown.
“The world will never starve for want of wonders; but only for want of wonder.” – G. K. Chesterton, Tremendous Trifles.
Reader be warned, this is not quite a essay on wonder and joy in daily life, and not quite a book-review for Tremendous Trifles; it seems to have become an odd and long amalgam of both.
Some kind onlooker from above must have been nudging me today, for it was absolutely by chance that I stumbled on a trove of free Chesterton books on Gutenberg and picked up Tremendous Trifles. Barely an essay or two into Chesterton’s delightful ramblings, and he’d made it clear to me exactly what idea of small joys had been tugging at the fringes of my brain for a week now, a reflection that I’d been longing to write without knowing quite what I meant to say.
“We may, by fixing our attention almost fiercely on the facts actually before us, force them to turn into adventures; force them to give up their meaning and fulfill their mysterious purpose.”