Narnia #1: The Magician’s Nephew [C. S. Lewis]


Penulis/Author: C. S. Lewis (1955)
Penerbit/Publisher: Harper Collins
Cetakan/Edition: 8, 2001
Kategori/Category: Children Fiction
ISBN: 0-00-711555-5


Digory and Polly were neighbours and they lived in a long row of houses that all joined together. One day, they explored the attic of Polly’s house and found a corridor which led to the other houses’ attics. They followed the corridor and stopped when they thought they were far enough to be on top of the empty house. When they opened the small door, they were surprised to see a fully furnished room full of books. Unfortunately, it was Digory’s uncle’s study room. Uncle Andrew was a tall and thin old man and he was very strange. On this occasion, he was also proven to be cunning! He won’t let the kids out from his study because he wanted them to participate on his magic experiment. When they refused, he tricked Polly to touch a yellow ring and woosh! Polly was gone. To bring Polly back, Uncle Andrew said Digory must after her and bring her to touch the green ring, as those yellow and green rings were in pair. Digory was so upset being tricked by Uncle Andrew but he didn’t have the option as he must bring Polly back.

And that’s the beginning of the journey of Digory and Polly to Kingdom of Charn where stone-headed Digory woke up the evil Queen Jadis, brought her to London by mistake and then brought the Queen, Uncle Andrew, a Cabby and his horse again to a beautiful and peaceful place created through the lion’s singing, a young world called Narnia. All were happened when Digory and Polly touched their rings.

Somehow since I knew about The Chronicle of Narnia back in 2003 from a young friend of mine, Felix, I didn’t really have the intention to read it as I never read Harry Potter books (but I watched the movies) or being not fond of Lord of the Rings stories. Why? Just me trying to avoid being exposed to stories where I think they would utilise plenty of my wild imagination. It is proven to me (at least) that imagination could be deceitful and persuasive. Now, I have read one of Narnia books and I still have 6 to go. I think this is actually a perfect timing for that because I am ready, Narnia has newly been published in Bahasa and the movie will due soon to be released from Disney Pictures :)

In a way, I agree with my friend Boe who believed that there are stories on Narnia that were related to the Bible. But I disagree if this book is said to have Christian symbols (thus having Christian messages?). I would rather believe that the author had used some stories from the Bible to create Narnia. If I’m not mistaken I have read somewhere that the author is religious thus quite possible for him to link back his stories to stories on the Bible. Just like other authors, they would use something familiar to them on their writing apart from writing the imaginary scenes. If this book is argued to be better for children because of the religious symbols, I would say that’s naive. There’s nothing religious in there, just fictions. I would give it to my children if they like to read it, not because of religious reasons. For that only one particular book suits the purpose.

I won’t be surprised if on the next books I will find similarities of famous legends by being interpreted differently. As the Bible, legends are not copyrighted so they belong to the public to use, to interpret or to expand into something more interesting. They may be similar but never the same. Narnia was created and expanded from what Britain’s children (and Lewis) were taught and believed to be the beginning of the world, added with magical imaginations and interpretation, and perhaps enhaced with some moral expectations that the author would want the children to learn from the story.

Overall, I think this is an enjoyable book that will demand plenty of the readers’ imagination. It is full of descriptions and would have worked better for me if I am several years younger when I had less logical thoughts and less practical senses ;)


Digory dan Polly tinggal bertetangga di barisan perumahan yang atapnya menyambung satu dengan lain. Suatu hari, ketika mereka sedang bermain di loteng rumah Polly, mereka menemukan koridor yang bisa dipakai untuk menuju loteng rumah-rumah lain. Mereka mengikuti koridor tersebut dan berhenti ketika mereka sudah berada diatas rumah yang kosong. Ketika membuka pintu kecil menuju ruang loteng rumah tersebut, betapa terkejutnya mereka melihat sebuah ruangan yang tertata rapi penuh dengan buku. Rupanya mereka masih berada diatas rumah Digory dan loteng tersebut adalah ruang kerja Paman Andrew. Paman Andrew berperawakan tinggi kurus dan berkarakter agak aneh. Kali ini terbukti pula ia seorang yang licik! Paman Andrew berusaha menghalangi ketika Digory dan Polly bermaksud segera pergi, ia bahkan memaksa mereka untuk menjadi kelinci percobaan dalam ilmu sihir yang sedang ia kembangkan. Ketika mereka menolak, Paman Andrew pun membujuk Polly memakai sebuah cincin berwarna kuning yang ketika disentuh wuush! Polly pun menghilang dari pandangan. Tidak ada jalan lain selain Digory harus pergi ke tempat dimana Polly berada sambil membawa cincin hijau pasangannya untuk membawa Polly pulang. Benar-benar akal licik Paman Andrew.

Itulah awal mula perjalanan Digory dan Polly menuju Kerajaan Charn dimana Digory yang keras kepala membangunkan si jahat Ratu Jadis dari tidur abadi, lalu membawanya ke London tanpa sengaja, lalu membawa kembali Sang Ratu, Paman Andrew, seorang kusir kereta beserta kudanya menuju tempat indah penuh kehidupan yang tenang diciptakan dari nyanyian seekor singa, sebuah dunia baru bernama Narnia. Semua ini terjadi ketika Digory dan Polly menyentuh cincin-cincin mereka.

Sejak mendengar tentang Narnia di tahun 2003 dari seorang teman bernama Felix, aku tidak memiliki keinginan sedikitpun untuk membacanya, seperti pula aku tidak membaca buku-buku Harry Potter (tetapi menontonnya) ataupun tidak terlalu tertarik dengan cerita Lord of the Rings. Kenapa sih? Terus terang aku menghindari membaca buku-buku yang berpotensi untuk memicu khayalan liarku. Setidaknya bagiku, khayalan berpotensi untuk menjerumuskan pikiran dan penuh rayuan. Sekarang aku sudah membaca satu buku Narnia, mau tidak mau aku harus lanjut terus dengan 6 buku lainnya. Aku pikir ini waktu yang tepat karena aku siap, kebetulan Narnia juga baru diterbitkan dalam Bahasa dan filmnya pun agak segera diedarkan oleh Disney Pictures :)

Aku sejuju dengan temanku Boe yang pernah bilang kalau cerita-cerita Narnia memiliki kemiripan dengan beberapa cerita Alkitab. Tapi aku tidak setuju kalau Nanria dikatakan memilki simbol-simbol keagamaan (lalu memiliki pesan-pesan tertentu?). Aku lebih setuju kalau dikatakan si penulis menggunakan beberapa cerita Alkitab yang dikembangkannya sendiri dalam menulis Narnia. Kalau tidak salah memang aku pernah membaca kalau Lewis adalah seorang yang religius sehingga wajar saja bila ia menulis memakai hal-hal yang akrab baginya selain menulis langsung menggunakan idenya sendiri. Seperti halnya penulis yang lain, sangat wajar bila mereka menulis berdasarkan sesuatu yang terasa akrab bagi mereka. Kalau buku ini dianggap lebih baik bagi anak-anak dibanding buku yang lain, aku rasa itu pernyataan naïve. Tidak ada hal yang religius di dalam buku ini, hanya fiksi belaka. Buku ini akan aku berikan kepada anak-anakku bila mereka menyukainya dan bukan karena alasan keagamaan. Untuk hal itu, hanya ada satu buku yang pantas.

Aku pun tak akan terkejut bila pada buku-buku selanjutnya ada kemiripan cerita dengan cerita legenda terkenal. Seperti Alkitab, cerita legenda tidak memiliki hak cipta sehingga mereka dimiliki umum untuk dinikmati, dimengerti ataupun dikembangkan menjadi sesuatu yang lebih menarik. Mirip tetapi tidak pernah sama. Narnia diciptakan dan dikembangkan dari asal mula dunia yang diketahui, diajarkan dan dipercayai oleh anak-anak di Inggris (dan juga Lewis), ditambah dengan khayalan magis, diartikan dengan penuh imajinasi dan disisipkan pula dengan pesan-pesan moral yang ingin sang penulis sampaikan kepada para pembaca cilik.

Keseluruhan, aku pikir buku ini menarik dan banyak mengundang khayalan para pembaca. Buku ini penuh dengan deskripsi-deskripsi yang tentunya akan lebih mengena buatku kalau saja aku beberapa tahun lebih muda ketika aku masih jarang berpikir menggunakan logika dan memiliki lebih sedikit perasaan-perasaan praktis ;)

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6 responses »

  1. Exactly what I meant. The symbolism of the story is the subject of interpretation, thus it is highly inevitably subjective.
    But the moral of the story, the values being taught are unmistakably wonderful, humane if not Christian. :)
    Btw, the-all-7-books-in-one version is already published !!! It’s great, really. But then again, may be it is a matter of personal choice. Or?

  2. to Ketek90 -> Proses kreatif memang bisa terinspirasi dari mana aja. Yang penting kan bisa bedain mana fiksi mana yang nyata :)

    to Boe -> So that was what you mean before?? Great then, we understand each other :D When it comes to symbols, yes I think they are subjective. What you see may not be the same with what I see (parody). The moral of the story, just like any other kids books I know, consists of compassion and kindness. I already have 7-loose-books of Narnia (came in a gift box), I don’t think I will get the compiled edition though. Exactly a personal option ;) hehehe…

  3. Pingback: Narnia #6: The Silver Chair, Narnia #7: The Last Battle [C. S. Lewis] « r.e.y.g.r.e.e.n.a

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