RE: [coinherence-l] Re: Yeats and the Inklings
- This forum has been quiet lately, so I though I would copy this here from the
Williams list, to throw a stone into the bush and see if anything comes out.
On 18 Mar 2010 at 0:56, Ann Ahnemann wrote:
> Steve wrote:
> I suppose I prefer the "Strunk & White" approach myself, and prefer to read
> *about* occultists rather than their turgid and turbid works themselves ,
> hinting at great hidden mysteries, which, when revealed, turn out to be quite
> trivial and banal. I wouldn't compare Williams's writing to theirs.
> The thought occurs that Lewis felt that fiction was a way of expressing the
> truth of Christianity without spelling it out. A most effective way. Kids I
> know who read Narnia later said, ah now I see how it works. Tolkien is in that
> category, of course. And Williams novels function in much the same way.
> Certainly CW's novels are more successful than his theology writings, imo.
> I do think so fondly of that Inklings group. How they must have nourished
> each other. What a truly remarkable example of the concourse of friends, who
> can tell the truth about each other's works and receive same. Such a group is
> rare, I find.
I think I'll copy this to the Inklings list as well, since it concerns
several of them.
I think Lewis's fiction was also more effective than his overt theological
writing as well. There is far more depth to it, because it is mythical, while
his theological writing is conceptual. And the same applies to Williams, I
I always think of what Berdyaev wrote:
Myth is a reality immeasurably greater than concept. It is high time that we
stopped identifying myth with invention, with the illusions of primitive
mentality, and with anything, in fact, which is essentially opposed to
reality... The creation of myths among peoples denotes a real spiritual life,
more real indeed than that of abstract concepts and rational thought. Myth is
always concrete and expresses life better than abstract thought can do; its
nature is bound up with that of symbol. Myth is the concrete recital of
events and original phenomena of the spiritual life symbolized in the natural
world, which has engraved itself on the language memory and creative energy
of the people... it brings two worlds together symbolically.
It's like liturgical poetry in that respect, gathering thougths from many
difference sources, and referring to them indirectly, by allusion. I think of
one of our hymns that addresses the Virgin Mary as "O heavenly jar of manna".
To unpack that you would need a whole chapter in a book on abstract theology,
if not an entire monograph.