One word, Ma’am,” he said, coming back from the fire; limping, because of the pain. “One word. All you’ve been saying is quite right, I shouldn’t wonder. I’m a chap who always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it. So I won’t deny any of what you said. But there’s one more thing to be said, even so. Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things – trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that’s a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We’re just babies making up a game, if you’re right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That’s why I’m going to stand by the play world. I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it. I’m going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn’t any Narnia. So, thanking you kindly for our supper, if these two gentlemen and the young lady are ready, we’re leaving your court at once and setting out in the dark to spend our lives looking for Overland. Not that our lives will be very long, I should think; but that’s a small loss if the world’s as dull a place as you say.”
- From The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis.
The line is from C.S. Lewis’ The Silver Chair, which is the 6th book in the Chronicles of Narnia series. It is spoken by Puddleglum in defiant response to the Witch-queen as she tries to enchant and persuade the characters into believing that whatever they cannot perceive with their senses must be imaginary, and as such, that Narnia and Aslan cannot possibly exist. For all of C.S. Lewis's failings as a writer, he managed to create beautiful allegories of life - reminds me so much of Plato's Allegory of the Cave.
As an English teacher, I affirm that one must never limit oneself to an understanding of the world in purely scientific or economic terms. As a reader of books, I believe that a life utterly devoid of the rejuvenating power of imagination can only leave us so much the poorer for it. Yet as a Christian who has been called upon to defend her faith, I am constantly coming back to the fact that what I believe in is indeed considered foolishness by so many others.