The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Literature and Writing Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
Most of us know what we should expect to find in a dragon's lair, but, as I said before, Eustace had read only the wrong books. They had a lot to say about exports and imports and governments and drains, but they were weak on dragons. (6.12)
Eustace's "progressive" education has only included nonfiction reading; he hasn't read any fiction and he can't appreciate literary artistry. His lack of familiarity with the world of fantasy is unfortunate in England, but it's very nearly fatal in Narnia.
And of course they were all very anxious to hear his story, but he couldn't speak. More than once in the days that followed he attempted to write it for them on the sand. But this never succeeded. In the first place Eustace (never having read the right books) had no idea how to tell a story straight. And for another thing, the muscles and nerves of the dragon-claws that he had to use had never learned to write and were not built for writing anyway. As a result he never got nearly to the end before the tide came in and washed away all the writing except the bits he had already trodden on or accidentally swished out with his tail. (7.12)
Despite his relatively successful stint at keeping a diary, it turns out that Eustace is a terrible author and narrator. As a dragon, he's physically prevented from writing, and as a pedantic fool, he's not mentally equipped to tell a story. But never fear – Aslan will come along to help him shape the narrative of his life.
It was a large room with three big windows and it was lined from floor to ceiling with books; more books than Lucy had ever seen before, tiny little books, fat and dumpy books, and books bigger than any church Bible you have ever seen, all bound in leather and smelling old and learned and magical. But she knew from her instructions that she need not bother about any of these. For the Book, the Magic Book, was lying on a reading-desk in the very middle of the room. (10.12)
Coriarkin's book-filled study is our first indication that he's going to be a good magician rather than an evil one. As we know from some of the comments that our narrator has made, reading the right kinds of books is essential for success in the world of Narnia, and Coriarkin seems to be doing pretty well.