"Pilgrim's Progress" parody thread

I saw also that Hippie looked this way and that way, as if he would run; yet he stood still, because, as I perceived, he could not tell which way to go. I looked then and saw a man named Candyman coming to him and asked, “Wherefore dost thou cry?” He answered, “Sir, I perceive that if I remain in the City of Squaresville, my trip shall ever be but a total bummer.”

Then said Candyman, “If this be thy condition, why standest thou still?” He answered, “Because I know not whither to go.”

Then Candyman gave him a parchment roll, stuffed with the finest green and sticky herbage, and he said, “Take thou, and smoke.”

Hippie therefore smoked it, and looking up on Candyman very carefully, said, “Whither must I fly?” Then said Candyman, “Do you see yonder wicker-gate?” Hippie said, “No.” Then said the other, “Do you see yonder shining light?” Hippie said, “No, but I do perceive it is a most beautiful and interesting wall, and I could sit here for hours in contemplation of it. Tell me, dear friend, hast thou aught to eat?”

Candyman gave a sigh and gave him an other parchment roll, soaked most thoroughly with Owsley’s Finest, and he said, “Eat of this not, but let it rest upon thy tongue for some little while; and for the nonce resist thy munchies, for to eat would be a waste, as thou art on the point of losing even what thou ate for breakfast.” And it was so. But when Hippie rose from his knees and wiped his mouth, Candyman asked of him again, “Do you see the wicker-gate, and yonder shining light?” And Hippie’s face shone with celestial light, and pupils of his eyes were the size of farthings, and he answered, “Yea verily I do see it, for it shineth in the groovalicious glow of the purple ether-molasses!”

And Candyman said, “Go out that gate, for it shall set thee on the path to the holy Freakout City! But 'ware many traps along the way, such as the Slough of Disillusionment, which may trap thee as thou comest to realize that not all the world can see the wisdom of Tuning In and Turning On and Dropping Out. 'Ware also the Valley of the Shadow of More, which shall lead thee into dependence upon a muchness of Bad Shit, and thou shalt want an ever more muchness until an end no man can see. Most of all, fear thou Yuppiedom Fair, which shall lead thee into the temptation of achievement and dedication, the which is deeply tempting, for it usually pays better. But verily, in truth the wages of work is work; and thou wilt pass every day and night in grim toil, cross-correlating the sales figures for the next day’s meeting, and thy Sacred Stash will lie in a drawer forgotten, and thy radicchio salad and cabernet sauvignon and herb-crusted rack of lamb will be as dust and ashes in thy mouth.”

And Hippie said, “I thank thee, friend Candyman. Say, hast thou ever really looked at thy hands?!”

And he would set forth through the wicket-gate upon the holy path to Freakout City, but he was distrained by the citizens who came forth from the City of Squaresville, and their names were Responsibility, and Domesticity, and Boredom, and Conformity, and Pinkness, and Sheriff Pig, and Master Workethic, and Mister Tightass-Headspace, and Squire Rulingclass. And they did roar and swear that if Hippie would not desist from his wicket and wanton Doing of His Own Thing, they should haul him before Magistrate Authority, and his ass should be in the sling. And Hippie conceived of the clever ruse of luring them all back to his pad and slipping some of Owsley’s Finest into their coffee; but Candymand laid his hand upon Hippie’s shoulder and said, "Remember thou the laws and commandments, and in particular Leary’s Law, that thou shalt not alter thy brother’s mind without thy brother’s consent . . . "

Mods, please move thread to CS.

With pleasure, (and relief).

I’m reminded of an old Mad Magazine riff. “We’re doing a parody of ‘How The West Was Won.’” “That’s already a parody.”

I read PP, not too many years ago. Cute, but dull. I prefer allegory with a little bit of finesse. C.S. Lewis is more subtle in his allegorizing…and Cordwainer Smith more subtle yet.

CSL took a while to develop subtlety. Read his PILGRIMS’ REGRESS, which I did not enjoy at all in spite of being in great philosophical agreement with it.

I’m embarrassed to say, I’d never heard of Pilgrim’s Recess. I’ll put it on my list, but will keep your warning in mind.

I’ve also always meant to read the Perelandra books, although people have warned me about those, also.

FWIW, I actually very much liked all of the Narnia books.

Also, I should add, I did not dislike Pilgrim’s Progress. I just thought the allegory was too rough-hewn.

(Have you read any Cordwainer Smith? Some of it is very, very tough to read. But it was brilliant, and definitely Christian-inspired.)

Does it even count as allegory?!

How many people in modern times have even read Pilgrim’s Progress?

Even a pitch-perfect parody wouldn’t register with me, becaue I’ve never read what’s being spoofed.

Frankly, I’ve only really read the bit I spoofed, the first chapter. There was a time, I’m sure, when Pilgrim’s Progress was like Robinson Crusoe or Gulliver’s Travels or Tom Sawyer or Oliver Twist – a part of the collective unconscious, a story more-or-less known even to people who had not read the book, known to the point where they would recognize scenes and themes and quotes/misquotes . . . but I doubt it is even that, any more. A shame, perhaps, because the Puritan world-view was so influential on British and American history that it deserves to be better-remembered. Never mind I can’t get down a single paragraph without wanting to grab John Bunyan by the jerkin and scream at him . . .

One of the very best things about the book, actually, is “The Author’s Apology for His Book.” The following lines have become famous, and rightly so:

“Well, when I had thus put mine ends together,
I shewed them others, that I might see whether
They would condemn them, or them justify:
And some said, Let them live; some, Let them die;
Some said, JOHN, print it; others said, Not so;
Some said, It might do good; others said, No.”

This, I think, shows a very healthy level of self-awareness and skepticism. It very much endears the man to me, and makes him feel approachable, as a neighbor to a neighbor. This spirit made the book readable.

Did he ever? There is none of it in The Screwtape Letters nor The Chronicles of Narnia.

I LOVE the second and third Perelandra books, especially the very esoteric THAT HIDEOUS STRENGTH (probably the most Charles Williams influenced thing CSL ever wrote). I’ve never done more that skim Out of the Silent Planet.

Love Narnia, especially Lion, Magician’s Nephew & Last Battle.

I highly recommend Till We Have Faces.

I’ve never read Cordwainer Smith. One of my favorite theologians, James B. Jordan, highly recommends him.

Screwtape, no… But Narnia has some subtlety, and even a little elegance. (My opinion, anyway…)

Interesting! If I do make the effort, I’ll have to read all three. But I’ll remember what you said here.

The recent movies were also pretty darned good, and quite faithful to the books.

I’ve read that’n. Also The Great Divorce. Not really happy with either. Here, his subtlety failed him.

Let me repeat my warning: much of it is damn tough sledding. One collection of his short stories was titled “You Will Never Be The Same.” That was true; the books definitely wrought a change in my young mind and soul. Some of his stories still make me cringe. But the overall vision is haunting and brilliant. He deals with timeless, universal themes. And, at the heart of it all, his insight is love.

The story “The Dead Lady of Clown Town” is at once the most horrible – and the most Christian. He alludes to the crucifixion by a re-telling of the burning of Joan of Arc, and that is allegorized by the setting in his own universe. The spirit of the sacrifice is the same: someone going to their death, out of love for all humanity.

Properly warned ye be, sez I…