16548Re: [mythsoc] Re: Alastair Fowler
- Apr 30, 2006
On Apr 26, 2006, at 11:32 AM, David Bratman wrote:
> . . . we now have reliable testimony that - at the very least - a
> roughly fitting the description of "The Dark Tower" was written by
> we don't need a Lewis letter to prove that he wrote _something_
> fitting this general
> description. We already have sufficient proof of that.
> . . . This strikes me as very strong evidence indeed, but not
> conclusive about
> the work in hand.
> . . . the open questions are still reasonably open.
Here's a question: what would it take to resolve the issue for you?
>> We have Lewis's own copy of the book that served as the
>> main source for the second half of the book, with CSL's annotations,
>> in the Wade collection at Wheaton.
> What is this, and how do we know that Lewis actually used it for
> The Dark
> Tower, and that a forger with access to Lewis's books did not?
The book is AN EXPERIMENT WITH TIME, by J. W. Dunne. Lewis's copy was
not one of those his five friends kept from his library but went
instead with the bulk of his books to form a school's collection, the
remnant of which was purchased by the Wade more than two decades
later. CSL's copy is now in Wheaton. We know Lewis used it, because
he marked it up as he read it. Since the books were sold shortly
after Lewis's death, it means that copy was not available to THE DARK
TOWER'S editor during the period the work was supposedly forged.
> We also have the possibility that it's a forgery. We have numerous
> arguments over whether that's possible or not, with the same
> experts quoted
> on both sides, and neither side willing (or able?) to demonstrate
> that the
> other side is lying.
Not a serious possibility, simply the unsupported assertion from an
unreliable source. If we're going to dismiss any evidence that passed
through Fr. Hooper's hands, such as Fr. Gervase Mathews' account of
Lewis's reading the work to the Inklings, on the grounds that Hooper
is untrustworthy, then we also have to throw out any evidence put
forward by Lindskoog, or any that passed through her hands.
>> We have the Bodleian's acceptance of the manuscript as a
>> genuine work by Lewis.
> We do? The presence of the manuscript in the Bodleian collection
> is not
> evidence of its authenticity. It's evidence of their taking Hooper's
> donation at his word.
Yes, we do. I asked them about this when I spent a day with the
manuscript myself in 1992. The reason they've never instigated a full-
scale testing is that they've never heard any credible evidence from
any reliable source that would cast doubt upon its authenticity. A
few early claims challenging the work were easily disproven by an
informal examination by Bodleian staff, and they've never been given
a good reason to revisit the matter. Plus, they're busy people, with
lots of unprocessed materials that need their attention rather than
addressing charges from conspiracy theorists.
current reading: THE RING OF WORDS: TOLKIEN AND THE OXFORD ENGLISH
DICTIONARY (Gilliver, Marshall, & Weiner).
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