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6185Re: [mythsoc] northerness

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  • David S. Bratman
    Jul 9, 2002
      David Downing (a Lewis scholar) writes:

      >Lewis's experiences of Joy came to be associated with three constellations
      >of images which he labeled Northernness, the island garden, and Homeliness.
      >The first of these, "Northernness," was a nameless longing associated with
      >pale winter skies, heroic Norse sagas, and Wagnerian opera. In his
      >autobiography, he vividly recalls the first time he read Longfellow's
      >translations of Icelandic myth, reading the simple words, "Balder the
      >beautiful is dead, is dead," and feeling overwhelmed by "unsatisfied desire
      >which is itself more desirable than any other satisfaction" (Joy 17-18).
      >Throughout his life Lewis possessed an intense attraction to "Northernness,"
      >which he describe as a stern and ecstatic vision of things "cold, spacious,
      >severe, pale, and remote" (Joy 17)

      More at http://users.etown.edu/d/DOWNINDC/scifi.htm

      See also the book _Surprised by Joy_, quoted from in the above.

      So his sense of Northernness was associated more with Norse mythology than
      with Northern Ireland, though that is where he lived as a child.

      David Bratman
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