16331Re: English People
- Feb 3, 2006John:
Thanks for these addtional fascinating details. As for what Barfield
told you, the key phrase is "no intended application". That doesn't
mean there wasn't one. As you know, an author's conscious intention in
writing ( if he has one) is often far less powerful than the
unconscious forces of his imagination where he will have stored all
his experience including his reading. The "huge and mighty forms"
abiding there will often cause the work in process to take on a life
of its own far beyond the author's conscious intention. Beyond that,
his readers will interpret what he writes in the light of their own
experience, real or imagined. It seems to me, then, that real facts
are those which come into being as the reader's imagination meets and
greets that of the author's.
In firstname.lastname@example.org, John D Rateliff <sacnoth@...> wrote:
> I should specify that the name "N.I.C.E." does not occur in
> Barfield's work. I meant rather that Barfield has a similar
> organization in his novel that I believe directly inspired Lewis's
> Nat'l Institute some fifteen years later. The group in Barfield's
> book is much more shadowy and behind the scenes, less overt (as such
> a group would have been in the 1920s, as opposed to the mid-40s). The
> only specific parallel I can recall is the rescue of an animal from
> their vivisectionist near the climax of the book.
> One anecdote about the book: I told Barfield, after I'd read it,
> that I was pleased to have discovered the source of the title in
> Meredith's MODERN LOVE (the same work that provided him with the
> title for THIS EVER-DIVERSE PAIR), only to be told that this wasn't
> the case; the completely apt context in Meredith, which would have
> shed considerable insight into what was going on in the novel, had no
> intended application within the story at all. Which just goes to show
> that the best theories run aground on cold, hard fact; a valuable
> lesson I've never forgotten.
> On Feb 2, 2006, at 6:49 AM, menelvagor1939 wrote:
> > Dear John,
> > Thanks for this additional information on Barfield's novels, and for
> > correcting my impression that ENGLISH PEOPLE was unfinished. I approve
> > your suggestion about trying to get them into print.
> > That's very interesting about N.I.C.E. I thought that was an obvious
> > pun that Lewis invented. Now that makes me wonder if he DID indeed
> > write the "beauty of the female" quote.
> > Ben
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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