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Re:"When Tolkien got precious with Lewis"

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  • Cai Cherie
    Gee-- do you think Lewis and Tolkein were two full-blooded, strong-minded induviduals who stimulated and nurtured each other because they were alike ... but
    Message 1 of 13 , Sep 26, 2005
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      Gee-- do you think Lewis and Tolkein were two full-blooded, strong-minded induviduals who stimulated and nurtured each other because they were alike ... but also different? Close, passionate friendships that make a difference in one's life are rarely (never?) founded on total agreement on everything.



      Some folks are unwise enough to try and turn Tolkein and Lewis into plaster saints. And then others follow, thinking it amazing to reveal that no, they -weren't- plaster saints after all. Well whip me with a wet noodle. They were muddled-up men making the best of an often rum situation. If you can't love and/or admire them for that, well, then you're even more muddled up than they were.



      Cai


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    • Carl F. Hostetter
      I m not sure who this Tolkein fellow is, or exactly to what or to whom Cai s post is intended as a response, since the article linked to certainly doesn t
      Message 2 of 13 , Sep 26, 2005
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        I'm not sure who this "Tolkein" fellow is, or exactly to what or to
        whom Cai's post is intended as a response, since the article linked
        to certainly doesn't argue that friendships depend on "total
        agreement on everything", or that Lewis and Tolkien were "saints" (of
        any medium or variety), or even present the fact that Lewis and
        Tolkien had disagreements and a serious strain in their friendship
        (if not break) as a novelty. What appears to be novel about it, and
        thus what makes it noteworthy, is that some (apparently) new details
        underlying this strain based on (apparently) new research and
        interviews are claimed.


        On Sep 26, 2005, at 11:58 AM, Cai Cherie wrote:

        > Gee-- do you think Lewis and Tolkein were two full-blooded, strong-
        > minded induviduals who stimulated and nurtured each other because
        > they were alike ... but also different? Close, passionate
        > friendships that make a difference in one's life are rarely
        > (never?) founded on total agreement on everything.
        >
        > Some folks are unwise enough to try and turn Tolkein and Lewis into
        > plaster saints. And then others follow, thinking it amazing to
        > reveal that no, they -weren't- plaster saints after all. Well whip
        > me with a wet noodle. They were muddled-up men making the best of
        > an often rum situation. If you can't love and/or admire them for
        > that, well, then you're even more muddled up than they were.
        >
        > Cai
      • Peter Goselin
        I have been lurking on this list for a while now, but the topic just happened to coincide with what I was reading anyway . . . so even though I am here at my
        Message 3 of 13 , Sep 26, 2005
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          I have been lurking on this list for a while now, but the topic just
          happened to coincide with what I was reading anyway . . . so even though
          I am here at my desk at work and my reading material is at home on the
          table I'll rush in with my two cents.

          I notice that in Tolkien's Letters he refers in very loving (though not
          always uncritical) terms to Lewis up until the 1950's, and then the
          references diminish and stop until Lewis's death. At that point there
          are several letters responding to inquiries from family and friends
          about Lewis. Tolkien makes reference to Lewis not telling him of his
          marriage and acknowledges that they had become distant from each other.
          Even so, it seems clear that he regarded Lewis as a friend and
          intimate. Interestingly, there is no mention of his disapproval of
          Lewis' marriage. Though there are certainly lengthy letters in which
          Tolkien expounds on his rather conservative views on Catholic doctrine,
          I can't think of any instance in his letters where he criticized someone
          because they had failed to live up to those views.

          There did seem to be a hint in one letter that Charles Williams had
          somehow "come between" Tolkien and Lewis. Again, it seemed to be more
          indicative of the two of them being not in particularly close
          communication, rather than suggesting a genuine split, but I wonder if
          anyone more well read has more insight.

          Peter Goselin


          Cai Cherie wrote:

          >
          >
          > Gee-- do you think Lewis and Tolkein were two full-blooded,
          > strong-minded induviduals who stimulated and nurtured each other
          > because they were alike ... but also different? Close, passionate
          > friendships that make a difference in one's life are rarely (never?)
          > founded on total agreement on everything.
          >
          >
          >
          > Some folks are unwise enough to try and turn Tolkein and Lewis into
          > plaster saints. And then others follow, thinking it amazing to reveal
          > that no, they -weren't- plaster saints after all. Well whip me with a
          > wet noodle. They were muddled-up men making the best of an often rum
          > situation. If you can't love and/or admire them for that, well, then
          > you're even more muddled up than they were.
          >
          >
          >
          > Cai
          >
          >
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        • Mike Foster
          Cai & Co., Well, yes! Maybe the best friends are often the sometimes difficult ones. I know my best little buddy at college career was. A fretful porpentine
          Message 4 of 13 , Sep 26, 2005
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            Cai & Co.,
            Well, yes! Maybe the best friends are often the sometimes difficult
            ones. I know my best little buddy at college career was. A fretful
            porpentine who wd. weep with compassion for loss of my mom only months
            after we nearly went at it with fists and feet on the way in to teach a
            Hum. class together.

            Or let Lewis have the last word:

            [1] C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996),
            131. "Are not all lifelong friendships born at the moment when at last
            you meet another human being who has some inkling (but faint and
            uncertain in the best) of that something which you were born desiring,
            and which, beneath the flux of other desires and in all the momentary
            silences between the louder passions, night and day, year by year, from
            childhood to old age, you are looking for, watching for, listening for?

            You have never had it. All the things that have ever deeply possessed
            your soul have been but hints of it--tantalizing glimpses, promises
            never quite fulfilled, echoes that died away just as they caught your
            ear. But if it ever should become manifest--if there ever came an echo
            that did not die away but welled into the sound itself--you would know
            it. Beyond all possibility of doubt you would say, 'Here at last is the
            thing I was made for'."

            ~Mike



            Cai Cherie wrote:

            >Gee-- do you think Lewis and Tolkein were two full-blooded, strong-minded induviduals who stimulated and nurtured each other because they were alike ... but also different? Close, passionate friendships that make a difference in one's life are rarely (never?) founded on total agreement on everything.
            >
            >
            >
            >Some folks are unwise enough to try and turn Tolkein and Lewis into plaster saints. And then others follow, thinking it amazing to reveal that no, they -weren't- plaster saints after all. Well whip me with a wet noodle. They were muddled-up men making the best of an often rum situation. If you can't love and/or admire them for that, well, then you're even more muddled up than they were.
            >
            >
            >
            >Cai
            >
            >
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            >
            >
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            >Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
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          • Mike Foster
            Wise woman you are, Lynnsky. I thought of Chad Stuart & Jeremy Clyde s two great hits from my graduate-off-to-Marquette summer of 64, Yesterday s Gone & A
            Message 5 of 13 , Sep 26, 2005
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              Wise woman you are, Lynnsky.

              I thought of Chad Stuart & Jeremy Clyde's two great hits from my
              graduate-off-to-Marquette summer
              of '64,
              "Yesterday's Gone" & "A Summer Song."
              All about the seasons of affection.

              Cheers,
              Mike

              maudlinlynn@... wrote:

              >You will ALL enjoy Diana (Glyer's) upcoming book on the Lewis & Tolkien (and other Inklings) relationship - looking at the purpose and value of community and "influence" in creativity - very stimulating stuff (why, just look at the influence of THIS community of eletter hacks!)
              >
              >I wish we were a little better at remembering that friendships have *seasons* - and sometimes in the dead of winter it's hard to remember just how HOT the summer actually was! We also have this current American fixation with things needing to be "nice" all the time - and these guys were REAL. We should be so real, you know?!
              >smooches (REALLY!!!)
              > -- Lynnsky --
              >
              >-----Original Message-----
              >From: Mike Foster <mafoster@...>
              >Sent: Sep 25, 2005 7:10 PM
              >To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Lynn Maudlin <maudlinlynn@...>,
              > Amy Sturgis <ahsturgis@...>,
              > adam schwartz <ajmschwartz@...>,
              > Jo Foster <jfoster@...>,
              > Dave & Paula Hoose <hoosedp@...>
              >Subject: Re: [mythsoc] "When Tolkien got precious with Lewis"
              >
              >Thanks, Carl.
              >
              >I think we sense that tension in the letters of both, in Carpenter's
              >biographies, remarks George Sayer made &c.
              >
              >And I agree as a recovering journalism professor--one howler error makes
              >us doubt the whole thing.
              >
              >Anyone who has ever had a difficult but great good friend will understand.
              >
              >Btw, how does one say 'A Fine Kettle of Fish' in Quenya and Sindarin? :-)
              >
              >Cheers,
              >Mike
              >
              >Carl F. Hostetter wrote:
              >
              >
              >
              >>"When Tolkien got precious with Lewis"
              >>
              >><http://news.scotsman.com/entertainment.cfm?id=1990652005>
              >>
              >>"... new research has revealed that their friendship was riven by the
              >>most bitter and personal of rows on everything from literature to
              >>religion and even their choice of spouse.
              >>The fascinating revelations about their real relationship have been
              >>made by film-maker Norman Stone while researching a new drama-
              >>documentary on the life of Lewis. Stone, who made the award-winning
              >>movie about Lewis, Shadowlands, talked to mutual friends of the
              >>literary pair as well as examining documents in minute detail."
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >>This bit does not inspire confidence, though:
              >>
              >>"Lewis met and married Joy Gresham, an American widow"
              >>
              >>Joy was a divorcee, not a widow, at the time Lewis married her. Which
              >>is a very strange element to get wrong in an article on the strains
              >>between (Protestant) Lewis and (devout Roman Catholic) Tolkien.
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >>The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
              >>Yahoo! Groups Links
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Mike Foster
              Peter, I don t know if they are reading this but David Bratman & Richard C. West cd. certainly speak to Williams. But it does seem to ring true. There s more
              Message 6 of 13 , Sep 26, 2005
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                Peter,
                I don't know if they are reading this but David Bratman & Richard C.
                West cd. certainly speak to Williams. But it does seem to ring true.
                There's more to it than that. George Sayer is the best published so far
                on this. When will Diana P-G's book be published, Lynn?

                Mike

                Peter Goselin wrote:

                >I have been lurking on this list for a while now, but the topic just
                >happened to coincide with what I was reading anyway . . . so even though
                >I am here at my desk at work and my reading material is at home on the
                >table I'll rush in with my two cents.
                >
                >I notice that in Tolkien's Letters he refers in very loving (though not
                >always uncritical) terms to Lewis up until the 1950's, and then the
                >references diminish and stop until Lewis's death. At that point there
                >are several letters responding to inquiries from family and friends
                >about Lewis. Tolkien makes reference to Lewis not telling him of his
                >marriage and acknowledges that they had become distant from each other.
                >Even so, it seems clear that he regarded Lewis as a friend and
                >intimate. Interestingly, there is no mention of his disapproval of
                >Lewis' marriage. Though there are certainly lengthy letters in which
                >Tolkien expounds on his rather conservative views on Catholic doctrine,
                >I can't think of any instance in his letters where he criticized someone
                >because they had failed to live up to those views.
                >
                >There did seem to be a hint in one letter that Charles Williams had
                >somehow "come between" Tolkien and Lewis. Again, it seemed to be more
                >indicative of the two of them being not in particularly close
                >communication, rather than suggesting a genuine split, but I wonder if
                >anyone more well read has more insight.
                >
                >Peter Goselin
                >
                >
                >Cai Cherie wrote:
                >
                >
                >
                >>Gee-- do you think Lewis and Tolkein were two full-blooded,
                >>strong-minded induviduals who stimulated and nurtured each other
                >>because they were alike ... but also different? Close, passionate
                >>friendships that make a difference in one's life are rarely (never?)
                >>founded on total agreement on everything.
                >>
                >>
                >>
                >>Some folks are unwise enough to try and turn Tolkein and Lewis into
                >>plaster saints. And then others follow, thinking it amazing to reveal
                >>that no, they -weren't- plaster saints after all. Well whip me with a
                >>wet noodle. They were muddled-up men making the best of an often rum
                >>situation. If you can't love and/or admire them for that, well, then
                >>you're even more muddled up than they were.
                >>
                >>
                >>
                >>Cai
                >>
                >>
                >>__________________________________________________
                >>Do You Yahoo!?
                >>Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
                >>http://mail.yahoo.com
                >>
                >>[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >>
                >>
                >>
                >>The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                >>
                >>
                >>
                >>SPONSORED LINKS
                >>Writing book
                >><http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Writing+book&w1=Writing+book&w2=Writing+a+book&w3=Writing+child+book&w4=Book+writing+software&w5=Science+fiction+and+fantasy&w6=Writing+a+book+report&c=6&s=149&.sig=y2eg6vElueLyccicIbmLvw>
                >> Writing a book
                >><http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Writing+a+book&w1=Writing+book&w2=Writing+a+book&w3=Writing+child+book&w4=Book+writing+software&w5=Science+fiction+and+fantasy&w6=Writing+a+book+report&c=6&s=149&.sig=lO3Ub95nJOYxhLh9xKmaZA>
                >> Writing child book
                >><http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Writing+child+book&w1=Writing+book&w2=Writing+a+book&w3=Writing+child+book&w4=Book+writing+software&w5=Science+fiction+and+fantasy&w6=Writing+a+book+report&c=6&s=149&.sig=SdauVgsyQ7cty1c0_Mdmcw>
                >>
                >>Book writing software
                >><http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Book+writing+software&w1=Writing+book&w2=Writing+a+book&w3=Writing+child+book&w4=Book+writing+software&w5=Science+fiction+and+fantasy&w6=Writing+a+book+report&c=6&s=149&.sig=IyTXzOVz9wcG0elM8KQAlA>
                >> Science fiction and fantasy
                >><http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Science+fiction+and+fantasy&w1=Writing+book&w2=Writing+a+book&w3=Writing+child+book&w4=Book+writing+software&w5=Science+fiction+and+fantasy&w6=Writing+a+book+report&c=6&s=149&.sig=XRnFz_kSPtPnWY1VFwJpwQ>
                >> Writing a book report
                >><http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Writing+a+book+report&w1=Writing+book&w2=Writing+a+book&w3=Writing+child+book&w4=Book+writing+software&w5=Science+fiction+and+fantasy&w6=Writing+a+book+report&c=6&s=149&.sig=v6l7bRwIsnHwqukmL3bvDQ>
                >>
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              • Carl F. Hostetter
                ... They CAN?! Wow! Do they perform a séance, or use a ouija board, or what? ;)
                Message 7 of 13 , Sep 26, 2005
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                  On Sep 26, 2005, at 12:45 PM, Mike Foster wrote:

                  > I don't know if they are reading this but David Bratman & Richard
                  > C. West cd. certainly speak to Williams.

                  They CAN?! Wow! Do they perform a séance, or use a ouija board, or what?

                  ;)
                • Mike Foster
                  Gee, dunno about Richard and DB can speak for hisself but from what he s said I assumed it was a mix of ouija and seance and the table kinda moving up and
                  Message 8 of 13 , Sep 26, 2005
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                    Gee, dunno about Richard and DB can speak for
                    hisself but from what he's said I assumed it was a mix of ouija and
                    seance and the table kinda moving up and rising into the air...

                    =-O

                    Carl F. Hostetter wrote:

                    >On Sep 26, 2005, at 12:45 PM, Mike Foster wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >>I don't know if they are reading this but David Bratman & Richard
                    >>C. West cd. certainly speak to Williams.
                    >>
                    >>
                    >
                    >They CAN?! Wow! Do they perform a séance, or use a ouija board, or what?
                    >
                    >;)
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                    >Yahoo! Groups Links
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >


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                  • WendellWag@aol.com
                    In a message dated 9/26/2005 12:33:51 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, pdgoselin@lapm.org writes: There did seem to be a hint in one letter that Charles Williams
                    Message 9 of 13 , Sep 26, 2005
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                      In a message dated 9/26/2005 12:33:51 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
                      pdgoselin@... writes:

                      There did seem to be a hint in one letter that Charles Williams had
                      somehow "come between" Tolkien and Lewis.


                      One of the interesting papers at Tolkien 2005 in Birmingham (which included
                      Mythcon this year) was by Eric Rauscher. He looked at the claim that Tolkien
                      and Williams didn't get along that well and that they didn't have much in
                      common. The claim also usually says that the only reason they ever hung out
                      together was because they both knew Lewis. Eric argued that this was wrong.
                      It's clear if you look at letters and diaries from the time that the two knew
                      each other (up till Williams's death in 1945) that this isn't true. A couple
                      of decades later, when Tolkien was interviewed in the late 1960's and early
                      1970's, he sometimes spoke as if he never got along with Williams that well
                      and didn't have much in common with him, but that appears to be him re-writing
                      history. Tolkien just didn't like interviewers trying to prove that the
                      Inklings were responsible for everything in his books.

                      Wendell Wagner


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Mike Foster
                      Thanks, Wendell, for sharing this observation of Eriv s paperwh, I agree was one of 43 or so highlights at Aston. Mike ... It was the witchcraft interest of
                      Message 10 of 13 , Sep 26, 2005
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                        Thanks, Wendell, for sharing this observation of Eriv's paperwh, I agree
                        was one of 43 or so highlights at Aston.

                        Mike

                        WendellWag@... wrote:

                        >
                        >In a message dated 9/26/2005 12:33:51 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
                        >pdgoselin@... writes:
                        >
                        >There did seem to be a hint in one letter that Charles Williams had
                        >somehow "come between" Tolkien and Lewis.
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        It was
                        the witchcraft interest of CW, aina?

                        >One of the interesting papers at Tolkien 2005 in Birmingham (which included
                        >Mythcon this year) was by Eric Rauscher. He looked at the claim that Tolkien
                        >and Williams didn't get along that well and that they didn't have much in
                        >common. The claim also usually says that the only reason they ever hung out
                        >together was because they both knew Lewis. Eric argued that this was wrong.
                        >It's clear if you look at letters and diaries from the time that the two knew
                        >each other (up till Williams's death in 1945) that this isn't true. A couple
                        >of decades later, when Tolkien was interviewed in the late 1960's and early
                        >1970's, he sometimes spoke as if he never got along with Williams that well
                        >and didn't have much in common with him, but that appears to be him re-writing
                        >history. Tolkien just didn't like interviewers trying to prove that the
                        >Inklings were responsible for everything in his books.
                        >
                        Again, it was the best paper Eric's done in my earshot, and kudos to him.

                        Mike

                        >
                        >Wendell Wagner
                        >
                        >
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