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23033Joshi on C. S. Lewis

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  • John Rateliff
    Mar 27, 2012
      Last week while looking for something else I ran across a book I'd not heard of before: GOD'S DEFENDERS: WHAT THEY BELIEVE AND WHY THEY ARE WRONG by Lovecraft scholar S. T. Joshi (Prometheus Books, 2003), which devotes a chapter to C. S. Lewis (and another half-chapter to G.K. Chesterton). Has anyone else seen this? I've now read about half the essays (the ones on CSL, GCK and T. S. Eliot, Jerry Falwell, and Wm F. Buckley; I'm reading the one on Wm James now) and was a bit surprised that he's harder on Chesterton than on Lewis -- he attacks Lewis's ideas with typical (for Joshi) ferocity but at least takes them seriously enough to rebut; GKC he seems to find just smoke and noise.  I think this is probably the most negative piece I've ever seen on Lewis, and I'm surprised not to have heard about it before now, almost a decade later. 

      Two small queries for the group: Joshi at one point refers to Lewis's "devout friends", giving Barfield and JRRT as examples. Tolkien, yes, but I wdn't have characterized Owen Barfield that way. Also, when distinguishing between CSL's "distinguished works of literary criticism" (which he admires) and his Xian apologetics (which he disparages), he lists THE FOUR LOVES among the former, not the latter -- wd you agree w. that classification?

      Not a book Lewis fans wd enjoy reading, but one Lewis scholars shd probably know about.

      --John R.

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