17922Re: [mythsoc] Re: which biography?
- Apr 4, 2007At 03:13 AM 4/4/2007 -0400, WendellWag@... wrote:
>I disagree somewhat about this. There are specific types of errors inThis may be true (but I'm not entirely sure; see below). What's odd,
>conclusions that someone who, like Wilson, isn't very well read in his
>has to acquire a lot of information in a short amount of time is more likely
though, is that of all the many critiques of Wilson's errors I've read,
none but yours just now has made this argument. Most of the critics, as
you've already noted, fall into the "death by a thousand cuts" approach.
>For instance, the two boneheaded errors that were so bad thatIt is curious, then, that WIlson introduces the first of those errors
>Wilson (or more likely Wilson's publisher) dropped without comment from the
>second edition of the book - the misinterpretation of the "Nazi, homosexual
>pleasures" letter and the misunderstanding of when Douglas Gresham saw his
>mother and Lewis in bed - are typical of fast-reading errors.
(first edition, p. 162) by writing, "It is twenty-two years since I read
that letter, first published in Warnie's selection of his brother's
correspondence, and on and off I have been thinking it over. At no time
have I been able to see ..."
Perhaps Wilson is lying about his experience reading this letter, but it
seems an odd thing to lie about. Still, I know what Lindskoog would say.
She'd say that WIlson is just wacko and there's no explanation for anything
he does. (Why else does she - I think it was she who did this - cite his
experience in a rock band as evidence of his mendacity?)
>People who are very familiar with the work or life of their subject alsoAgain, maybe. But I find it curious that Carpenter's "The Inklings", a
>make errors, but they are different sorts of errors. ...
>I think that they also have more trouble placing their subject in the
>larger context of his time.
book written in extreme haste (though based on a couple of years of
extensive research for his Tolkien biography: still, if a couple of years
isn't Wilsonian haste, it's not exactly a lifetime of detailed study
either) is most flawed in exactly that area: understanding the Inklings in
the context of their times, and in the context of their beliefs.
>Wilson also makes errors because he wants to fit Lewis into the slots thatIf that's evidence of the quickness of Wilson's reading, then David
>he already had established in his mind before he began his research. This
>partly accounts for the weird Freudian readings of Lewis that Wilson does.
Holbrook must have gone through Lewis's work in a nanosecond.
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