To Readers of my Susan Pevensie Chronicle (or my Essays) on How to Read my Linked Messages/Chapters

It seems that statistics on this blog (where all the as yet extant chapters of Chronicle of Susan Pevensie are technically messages on the blog) indicate that some have read the index message or the first chapter - both of which there are short links to - and then clicked on blog title to see last message, and left it at that. Maybe some have not missed that the chapter The Idol and the Spell links to a chapter where Simon and George White become catechumens - not directly but past another one called The Exorcism. But it does suggest that reading the chapters in the order they are meant to be read and linked to each other has not been top priority.

Or that I have been writing in a boring way. But that does not explain the number of readers I get (also according to statistics).

Or that the readers are thinking the novel is meant to be read as something else, like a piece of apologetics. It may indeed occasionally contain pieces of my ideas, including about the Holy Faith, and in a controversial way, but as long as the novel is a novel the main thing about it is a connected action which takes on where Last Battle leaves off from the life of Susan Pevensie. And the connected action is best appreciated if read as the chapters are placed to be read on the index and by the linking of one to the next.

You see, the first chapters I wrote were four, and they are not the first four chapters. Two of them are chapters 1 and 3 (as per now and probably will remain so, unless I decide to add chapters to be read before chapter at present 1), one is about her pilgrimage incidental on archeology to Bethlehem, one about when she is back to England and has seen Last Battle published. After that I had to write something about why she had to leave England. And something of what happened between her return and that book, leading up to her marriage (since she is already married when The Last Battle is published with C S Lewis editing a story she got from dreams).

And I introduced other characters from other stories (as well as certain of my own), since the England where you find or once found Susan Pevensie (with the Seven Friends of Narnia who died in the train crash) is likely to be the England where you find Father Brown and Sherlock Holmes too. And the Famous Five, of course. And her husband, courtesy of an unfinished novel by John Ronald Reuel Tolkien.

I could not have made it a coherent story if all these afterthougts would have to have been "the next chapter" as per reading order. I have to write the chapters in between, add them as the last message on the blog (where the Spanish and Italian and Latin messages take up little place, since I am not as good at those languages at all as I am at English or French : I chose this blog because - as Chesterton pointed out - Romance both means a Modern Language descending from Latin and an Adventure Story), but then insert that last message, or a link to it, in a series of chapters where it is not the last but comes precisely in between. At the point in the action that I meant it for.

In order to get them in that order, I repeat the advice given on top of the chapter list:

In order to read the chapters in the right order, click first one, then read it from top to bottom. Then, once you are down, click the link to the next chapter in the comments, as far as you like and as far as the continuity reaches. Then, click "back to list of extant chapters" [...]. Whenever you feel like it resume reading from first unread chapter there. Chapters are being inserted between those not yet linked [to each other but only from the list of chapters].

Now, as I owe so much to characters found within copyrighted material, I am not sure whether this story will ever be legally published commercially where the laws allow Tolkien Estate or others to block commercial publication of stories using characters made up by dead authors. I am however quite positive that this is not a problem for my essays.

One cannot say that I owe such and such an idea to such and such a person and therefore whether I quote straight forward or not I must attribute it. I owe simply too much to Clive Staples Lewis, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, Gilbert Keith Chesterton and saint Thomas Aquinas (a little less to Belloc) to attribute whenever I come near to quoting them in an essay of mine. It would clutter my essays with footnotes. And in certain fields I owe a lot to Edgar H Andrews and a little less but still some to Kent Hovind.

But when one is just writing essays - not academic ones as if discovering things in a science, or when writing them to get a degree, or make an exam, but polemic and popular ones as if taking sides between camps already known to oneself and to the public - one is not obliged to cite everyone whose ideas one is repeating. An idea that is true cannot be private property. Wording is an individual honour, but forgetfulness about exact context (or sometimes even which one of my favourite authors, though that is rare) can excuse non-attribution in such cases. And if any reader knowing and liking same authors would like to make attributions in comment fields, I have really nothing against that at all. As obviously about misquoting accidentally when quoting from memory.

When I quote an adversary of mine to refute him, I usually do attribute. If he goes under a user name, I attribute according to user name. Anyone using same part of internet as where I found him or her under that user name can usually still find him or her under that user name. As to FB, where people go under real names, I attribute under real name whenever the person is already publically known. As Richard Aleman is for Distributism, for instance. Not that I am against Distributism, but we might disagree on details.

But the problem which some readers of my essays seem to have is this: I also do link essays connected by subject to each other, and there too people seem to have some curious shyness about clicking on the first and then second and then third and so on in a list of links included on top of each essay in such cases. If someone is interested in the subject as such, I do recommend to do that. If someone is just interested in judging me by random looks at what I write, such a lack of interest in the subjects of the essays seems to me to disqualify the judgements they make about the author of the essays.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Mouffetard Library
in Paris
St Peter Canisius, S.J.

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