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19089Re: [mythsoc] The Company They Keep-review

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  • John D Rateliff
    Nov 5, 2007
      Thanks for sharing the review, Joan. Reads to me as if there's some
      from the middle missing (the mention of the Apolausticks sounds like
      it's meant to introduce specific mention of several groups JRRT
      belonged to, while instead the next paragraph jumps to wrapping the
      piece up), but it might be that way in the original. Glad the book is
      getting attention, and that the piece, brief as it is, praises the
      book (and singles out David's contribution as well). Congratulations,
      both Diana and David.

      On Nov 3, 2007, at 8:00 PM, Joan.Marie.Verba@... wrote:
      > From the November 2007 Midwest Book Review (reprinted by permission):
      > The Company They Keep - C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien as
      > Writers in a Community
      > Diana Pavlac Glyer
      > Kent State U. Press
      > Kent, OH
      > 9780873388900 $45.00 www.kentstateuniveritypress.com
      > The fantasy literature of C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien is so
      > imaginative and idiosyncratic that one accepts that they wrote such
      > lasting works somewhat obstinately and mainly privately almost as
      > a hobby with little hope they would ever be published, much less
      > popular. The picture of J. R. Rowling writing the beginnings of the
      > first Harry Potter book sitting along at a table in an English shop
      > comes to mind with this image of the earlier authors. Lewis and
      > Tolkien are known to be good friends as well as professional
      > colleagues at Oxford University. But as professor of English at
      > Azusa Pacific U. in California Glyer puts forward, Lewis and
      > Tolkien were part of a circle of academics and writers who had a
      > large, discernible, and often documented influence on their works.
      > From diaries, memoirs, letters, and other sources, Glyer finds that
      > this influence is most evident with Tolkien. This circle which
      > acquired the name "The Inklings," "modeled the behavior of poets
      > and storytellers, provided feedback on his drafts, helped him
      > develop his own critical faculties, recommended reading material
      > that supported and shaped his imagination, and suggested that
      > certain pieces be started, reworked, completed, or submitted for
      > publication." Glyer continues, "It is no small matter that all of this
      > early influence took place within a highly interactive group
      > setting." What the author says with respect to Tolkien applies as
      > well to Lewis, though not quite so overtly recognizably. In their
      > turn, Tolkien and Lewis were active participants in the group
      > offering the same support and suggestions to its other members.
      > Shortly after arriving at Oxford as a student, Tolkien founded the
      > literary society named the "Apolausticks."
      > In an appendix by a David Bratman, relevant background on 17
      > members of the Inklings besides Tolkien and Lewis is given. Most
      > became university professors of English or medieval literature or of
      > language studies, with most doing scholarly writings on literary
      > criticism. This work of literary criticism and author biography is
      > obviously timely given the current interest in these authors as
      > evidenced by widely-popular movies made from books of theirs.
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