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Re: [mythsoc] Sayer vs. Wilson

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  • Mike Foster
    Sayer gets my vote. In his preface to Jack, he speaks of his first meeting with his tutor Lewis and also Tolkien, who said to him [re: Lewis]: You ll never
    Message 1 of 18 , Nov 7, 2005
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      Sayer gets my vote. In his preface to Jack, he speaks of his first
      meeting with his tutor Lewis and also Tolkien, who said to him [re:
      Lewis]: "You'll never get to the bottom of him."

      Maybe no one could, but Sayer did the best job of it--quite possibly
      because he had a genuine friendship for Lewis--and Lewis for him.

      I'm pleased to note that Christopher Mitchell and I took 15 minutes to
      eulogize George at the end of my presentation on CSL & JRRT Saturday at
      Belmont University's CSL conference in Nashville. Only a few of the 60
      or 70 attending had heard of Sayer. By the time we walked back from the
      library to Belmont student center, the booksellers had sold their last
      copy of Jack.

      Cheers,
      Mike



      WendellWag@... wrote:

      >We had a debate at one panel at the 1998 Mythcon about which was the best
      >biography of Lewis. Yes, this is an old and tired topic. There are good and
      >bad things to be said about both books. There is no definitive biography of
      >Lewis at the moment. I could make some comments about the books, but I'm
      >really not interested in getting into that argument again.
      >
      >Wendell Wagner
      >
      >
      >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
      >Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >
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    • David Bratman
      One of many factual errors in the article, although the distorted interpretations are even more harmful. (Even A.N. Wilson, the most salacious of Lewis s
      Message 2 of 18 , Nov 7, 2005
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        One of many factual errors in the article, although the distorted
        interpretations are even more harmful. (Even A.N. Wilson, the most
        salacious of Lewis's biographers - that should tell you how to rank his
        work - doesn't spend as much space in an entire book on Lewis's dark "inner
        drives" or his lusts for comely young matrons as White does in one short
        article.)

        The nugget of fact in the statement you query is that Lewis's later
        religious commentaries were not quite the aggressively muscular apologetics
        that his earlier books were.

        David Bratman


        At 02:25 PM 11/6/2005 -0600, Jay Hershberger wrote:

        >I don't know much about the shape and chronology of Lewis' life,
        >but even I was able to detect multiple errors in Mr. White's article.
        >For instance, Mr. White claims that Lewis never wrote another word of
        >"religious commentary" after 1949. Is this true? If I am mistaken,
        >please let me know; I thought that Letters to Malcolm and A Grief
        >Observed were both written rather late. Do they not count as "religious
        >commentary?" What about the Chronicles themselves? They at least
        >induce religious commentary by others. Any thoughts?
      • Jay Hershberger
        Thanks for the information, David. And to all who responded. I think I will start with Sayer s book on Lewis. Cheers, Jay Hershberger Moorhead, MN ... From:
        Message 3 of 18 , Nov 7, 2005
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          Thanks for the information, David. And to all who responded. I think I
          will start with Sayer's book on Lewis.

          Cheers,

          Jay Hershberger
          Moorhead, MN

          -----Original Message-----
          From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
          Of David Bratman
          Sent: Monday, November 07, 2005 9:56 AM
          To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: RE: [mythsoc] count the errors

          One of many factual errors in the article, although the distorted
          interpretations are even more harmful. (Even A.N. Wilson, the most
          salacious of Lewis's biographers - that should tell you how to rank his
          work - doesn't spend as much space in an entire book on Lewis's dark
          "inner
          drives" or his lusts for comely young matrons as White does in one short
          article.)

          The nugget of fact in the statement you query is that Lewis's later
          religious commentaries were not quite the aggressively muscular
          apologetics
          that his earlier books were.

          David Bratman


          At 02:25 PM 11/6/2005 -0600, Jay Hershberger wrote:

          >I don't know much about the shape and chronology of Lewis' life,
          >but even I was able to detect multiple errors in Mr. White's article.
          >For instance, Mr. White claims that Lewis never wrote another word of
          >"religious commentary" after 1949. Is this true? If I am mistaken,
          >please let me know; I thought that Letters to Malcolm and A Grief
          >Observed were both written rather late. Do they not count as
          "religious
          >commentary?" What about the Chronicles themselves? They at least
          >induce religious commentary by others. Any thoughts?



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        • John D Rateliff
          Actually, of the three main biographies on CSL, I d recommend starting with the Green & Hooper. That s the authorized biography, and it does the best job of
          Message 4 of 18 , Nov 7, 2005
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            Actually, of the three main biographies on CSL, I'd recommend starting with the Green & Hooper. That's the authorized biography, and it does the best job of discussing the main outlines of his life, works, and career. Although now more than thirty years old, it's still not been superceded as a whole. Then if you'd like to read more I'd read the Sayer next, since it's a warm portrait by a friend, as much memoir as biography; it'll convey why Lewis's friends thought so highly of him. Its main shortcoming is that it's too uncritical of its subject, which isn't that much of a flaw in a biography. Then I'd read the Wilson, who's deliberately iconoclastic and wants to establish that, all in all, CSL while talents was also a rather strange man.
            Or, if you want a shorter take on things, Carpenter's THE INKLINGS is as much a biography of CSL as the group.
            Enjoy!
            --JDR

            P.S.: "Never wrote another word" is White's garbled version of a comment by Carpenter that, after his mauling by Anscombe, CSL stopped writing straightforward apologetics for many years and, when he resumed, his religious books were much more personal in tone (e.g., MIRACLES, THE PROBLEM OF PAIN, MERE XIANITY vs. REFLECTIONS ON THE PSALMS and LETTERS TO MALCOLM: CHIEFLY ON PRAYER).


            -----Original Message-----
            From: Jay Hershberger <hershjay@...>
            Sent: Nov 7, 2005 10:27 AM
            To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: RE: [mythsoc] count the errors

            Thanks for the information, David. And to all who responded. I think I
            will start with Sayer's book on Lewis.

            Cheers,

            Jay Hershberger
            Moorhead, MN
          • Jay Hershberger
            Thanks, John. I look forward to reading them all. Cheers, Jay Hershberger Moorhead, MN ... From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On
            Message 5 of 18 , Nov 7, 2005
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              Thanks, John. I look forward to reading them all.

              Cheers,

              Jay Hershberger
              Moorhead, MN

              -----Original Message-----
              From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
              Of John D Rateliff
              Sent: Monday, November 07, 2005 12:46 PM
              To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com; mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: RE: [mythsoc] count the errors

              Actually, of the three main biographies on CSL, I'd recommend starting
              with the Green & Hooper. That's the authorized biography, and it does
              the best job of discussing the main outlines of his life, works, and
              career. Although now more than thirty years old, it's still not been
              superceded as a whole. Then if you'd like to read more I'd read the
              Sayer next, since it's a warm portrait by a friend, as much memoir as
              biography; it'll convey why Lewis's friends thought so highly of him.
              Its main shortcoming is that it's too uncritical of its subject, which
              isn't that much of a flaw in a biography. Then I'd read the Wilson,
              who's deliberately iconoclastic and wants to establish that, all in all,
              CSL while talents was also a rather strange man.
              Or, if you want a shorter take on things, Carpenter's THE INKLINGS is
              as much a biography of CSL as the group.
              Enjoy!
              --JDR

              P.S.: "Never wrote another word" is White's garbled version of a comment
              by Carpenter that, after his mauling by Anscombe, CSL stopped writing
              straightforward apologetics for many years and, when he resumed, his
              religious books were much more personal in tone (e.g., MIRACLES, THE
              PROBLEM OF PAIN, MERE XIANITY vs. REFLECTIONS ON THE PSALMS and LETTERS
              TO MALCOLM: CHIEFLY ON PRAYER).


              -----Original Message-----
              From: Jay Hershberger <hershjay@...>
              Sent: Nov 7, 2005 10:27 AM
              To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: RE: [mythsoc] count the errors

              Thanks for the information, David. And to all who responded. I think I
              will start with Sayer's book on Lewis.

              Cheers,

              Jay Hershberger
              Moorhead, MN



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              w5=Writing+book+for+child+course&c=5&s=137&.sig=Rn-cSb7_faV3YJBtHr7xbQ>
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              Writing
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              vyOQ> child book
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              ing+book&w2=Writing+child+book&w3=Science+fiction+and+fantasy&w4=Busines
              s+writing+book&w5=Writing+book+for+child+course&c=5&s=137&.sig=CU40vJKWs
              tG3japdfhQDqg> fiction and fantasy

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              b17Wbgg> writing book
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            • David Bratman
              ... I d start with Sayer for exactly the same reason. G&H is a valuable source, but much too dry for casual reading. Also, G&H was recently massively
              Message 6 of 18 , Nov 7, 2005
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                At 10:46 AM 11/7/2005 -0800, John D. Rateliff wrote:
                >Actually, of the three main biographies on CSL, I'd recommend starting with
                >the Green & Hooper. That's the authorized biography, and it does the best
                >job of discussing the main outlines of his life, works, and career. Although
                >now more than thirty years old, it's still not been superceded as a whole.
                >Then if you'd like to read more I'd read the Sayer next, since it's a warm
                >portrait by a friend, as much memoir as biography; it'll convey why Lewis's
                >friends thought so highly of him.

                I'd start with Sayer for exactly the same reason. G&H is a valuable
                source, but much too dry for casual reading. Also, G&H was recently
                massively rewritten and extended by H, and I haven't studied all the
                changes; nor are all editions that say "revised" actually the rewritten
                edition.

                >P.S.: "Never wrote another word" is White's garbled version of a comment by
                >Carpenter that, after his mauling by Anscombe, CSL stopped writing
                >straightforward apologetics for many years and, when he resumed, his
                >religious books were much more personal in tone (e.g., MIRACLES, THE PROBLEM
                >OF PAIN, MERE XIANITY vs. REFLECTIONS ON THE PSALMS and LETTERS TO MALCOLM:
                >CHIEFLY ON PRAYER).

                Thank you; that clarifies the point better than I did.

                David Bratman
              • Mike Foster
                I agree with David. Who better to tell the story of Lewis life than one who was taught then mentored and then befriended by him? Begin with Sayer. Mike ...
                Message 7 of 18 , Nov 7, 2005
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                  I agree with David. Who better to tell the story of Lewis' life than
                  one who was taught then mentored and then befriended by him? Begin with
                  Sayer.

                  Mike

                  David Bratman wrote:

                  >At 10:46 AM 11/7/2005 -0800, John D. Rateliff wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  >>Actually, of the three main biographies on CSL, I'd recommend starting with
                  >>the Green & Hooper. That's the authorized biography, and it does the best
                  >>job of discussing the main outlines of his life, works, and career. Although
                  >>now more than thirty years old, it's still not been superceded as a whole.
                  >>Then if you'd like to read more I'd read the Sayer next, since it's a warm
                  >>portrait by a friend, as much memoir as biography; it'll convey why Lewis's
                  >>friends thought so highly of him.
                  >>
                  >>
                  >
                  >I'd start with Sayer for exactly the same reason. G&H is a valuable
                  >source, but much too dry for casual reading. Also, G&H was recently
                  >massively rewritten and extended by H, and I haven't studied all the
                  >changes; nor are all editions that say "revised" actually the rewritten
                  >edition.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >>P.S.: "Never wrote another word" is White's garbled version of a comment by
                  >>Carpenter that, after his mauling by Anscombe, CSL stopped writing
                  >>straightforward apologetics for many years and, when he resumed, his
                  >>religious books were much more personal in tone (e.g., MIRACLES, THE PROBLEM
                  >>OF PAIN, MERE XIANITY vs. REFLECTIONS ON THE PSALMS and LETTERS TO MALCOLM:
                  >>CHIEFLY ON PRAYER).
                  >>
                  >>
                  >
                  >Thank you; that clarifies the point better than I did.
                  >
                  >David Bratman
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                  >Yahoo! Groups Links
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Mike Foster
                  I finally read the White blurb since the chat about it had been so lively. I stopped counting at 5. Mike
                  Message 8 of 18 , Nov 7, 2005
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                    I finally read the White blurb since the chat about it had been so lively.

                    I stopped counting at 5.

                    Mike

                    David Bratman wrote:

                    >Michael White, author of the most error-ridden book on Tolkien ever
                    >published, is now similarly hacking his way around C.S. Lewis.
                    >
                    ><http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2092-1859141,00.html>
                    >
                    >David Bratman
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                    >Yahoo! Groups Links
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                  • Stolzi
                    Doug Gresham, who spoke at the opening banquet for PAST WATCHFUL DRAGONS, sold copies of his new (rather slight) book JACK S LIFE. I was aggravated to have
                    Message 9 of 18 , Nov 7, 2005
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                      Doug Gresham, who spoke at the opening banquet for PAST WATCHFUL DRAGONS,
                      sold copies of his new (rather slight) book JACK'S LIFE. I was aggravated
                      to have bought it bec it is obviously by
                      its style - and overtly in so many words, in the conclusion - a bio of Lewis
                      for children, yet it was marketed at this conference without ever a word or
                      hint to that effect.

                      Well, at least it was cheap; and it isn't too =bad=.

                      I did think he was rather riding a hobby horse in an excess number of
                      paragraphs about How Awful War Is. Sure, it is awful, and the two wars
                      surely had a large impact on CSL as well as his friends and family. But I
                      don't think Lewis himself would have wanted to dwell on the subject that
                      much, - stiff upper lip and all that. And it comes ill from a man like Doug
                      who as far as I know has never been in any war. In fact, this morning in
                      LETTERS v. 2, I was just reading some wartime snarky comments from Jack
                      about high-minded intellectual c.o.'s who have never, he says, been known to
                      be troubled by their consciences about anything before.

                      It would be great to influence all the children of the world forever against
                      war. If it could be ALL the children of the world. I don't see that
                      situation today.

                      Diamond Proudbrook
                    • Mike Foster
                      I concur with Diamond s assessment. The book needed a better copy editing job--typos as soon as p. 4--and danced over the difficult bits, but so did Colin
                      Message 10 of 18 , Nov 7, 2005
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                        I concur with Diamond's assessment. The book needed a better copy
                        editing job--typos as soon as p. 4--and danced over the difficult bits,
                        but so did Colin D.'s book on CSL & JRRT.

                        More later. A salmon calls.

                        Stolzi wrote:

                        > Doug Gresham, who spoke at the opening banquet for PAST WATCHFUL DRAGONS,
                        >sold copies of his new (rather slight) book JACK'S LIFE. I was aggravated
                        >to have bought it bec it is obviously by
                        >its style - and overtly in so many words, in the conclusion - a bio of Lewis
                        >for children, yet it was marketed at this conference without ever a word or
                        >hint to that effect.
                        >
                        >Well, at least it was cheap; and it isn't too =bad=.
                        >
                        >I did think he was rather riding a hobby horse in an excess number of
                        >paragraphs about How Awful War Is. Sure, it is awful, and the two wars
                        >surely had a large impact on CSL as well as his friends and family. But I
                        >don't think Lewis himself would have wanted to dwell on the subject that
                        >much, - stiff upper lip and all that. And it comes ill from a man like Doug
                        >who as far as I know has never been in any war. In fact, this morning in
                        >LETTERS v. 2, I was just reading some wartime snarky comments from Jack
                        >about high-minded intellectual c.o.'s who have never, he says, been known to
                        >be troubled by their consciences about anything before.
                        >
                        >It would be great to influence all the children of the world forever against
                        >war. If it could be ALL the children of the world. I don't see that
                        >situation today.
                        >
                        >Diamond Proudbrook
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                        >Yahoo! Groups Links
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                      • Hugh Davis
                        I had great hopes that _Jack s Life_ would feature more stories like the one Doug Gresham shared in the Q&A at Past Watchful Dragons (about the archer), but,
                        Message 11 of 18 , Nov 7, 2005
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                          I had great hopes that _Jack's Life_ would feature more stories like the one
                          Doug Gresham shared in the Q&A at Past Watchful Dragons (about the archer),
                          but, alas, the anecdotes are less salacious.

                          Hugh


                          >From: "Stolzi" <Stolzi@...>
                          >Reply-To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                          >To: <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
                          >Subject: Re: [mythsoc] count the errors
                          >Date: Mon, 7 Nov 2005 16:23:18 -0600
                          >
                          > Doug Gresham, who spoke at the opening banquet for PAST WATCHFUL DRAGONS,
                          >sold copies of his new (rather slight) book JACK'S LIFE. I was aggravated
                          >to have bought it bec it is obviously by
                          >its style - and overtly in so many words, in the conclusion - a bio of
                          >Lewis
                          >for children, yet it was marketed at this conference without ever a word or
                          >hint to that effect.
                          >
                          >Well, at least it was cheap; and it isn't too =bad=.
                          >
                          >I did think he was rather riding a hobby horse in an excess number of
                          >paragraphs about How Awful War Is. Sure, it is awful, and the two wars
                          >surely had a large impact on CSL as well as his friends and family. But I
                          >don't think Lewis himself would have wanted to dwell on the subject that
                          >much, - stiff upper lip and all that. And it comes ill from a man like
                          >Doug
                          >who as far as I know has never been in any war. In fact, this morning in
                          >LETTERS v. 2, I was just reading some wartime snarky comments from Jack
                          >about high-minded intellectual c.o.'s who have never, he says, been known
                          >to
                          >be troubled by their consciences about anything before.
                          >
                          >It would be great to influence all the children of the world forever
                          >against
                          >war. If it could be ALL the children of the world. I don't see that
                          >situation today.
                          >
                          >Diamond Proudbrook
                          >
                          >
                        • Jay Hershberger
                          Thanks, Mike. Cheers, Jay Hershberger Moorhead, MN ... From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Mike Foster Sent: Monday,
                          Message 12 of 18 , Nov 7, 2005
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                            Thanks, Mike.

                            Cheers,

                            Jay Hershberger
                            Moorhead, MN

                            -----Original Message-----
                            From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                            Of Mike Foster
                            Sent: Monday, November 07, 2005 3:52 PM
                            To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                            Subject: Re: [mythsoc] count the errors

                            I agree with David. Who better to tell the story of Lewis' life than
                            one who was taught then mentored and then befriended by him? Begin with

                            Sayer.

                            Mike

                            David Bratman wrote:

                            >At 10:46 AM 11/7/2005 -0800, John D. Rateliff wrote:
                            >
                            >
                            >>Actually, of the three main biographies on CSL, I'd recommend starting
                            with
                            >>the Green & Hooper. That's the authorized biography, and it does the
                            best
                            >>job of discussing the main outlines of his life, works, and career.
                            Although
                            >>now more than thirty years old, it's still not been superceded as a
                            whole.
                            >>Then if you'd like to read more I'd read the Sayer next, since it's a
                            warm
                            >>portrait by a friend, as much memoir as biography; it'll convey why
                            Lewis's
                            >>friends thought so highly of him.
                            >>
                            >>
                            >
                            >I'd start with Sayer for exactly the same reason. G&H is a valuable
                            >source, but much too dry for casual reading. Also, G&H was recently
                            >massively rewritten and extended by H, and I haven't studied all the
                            >changes; nor are all editions that say "revised" actually the rewritten
                            >edition.
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >>P.S.: "Never wrote another word" is White's garbled version of a
                            comment by
                            >>Carpenter that, after his mauling by Anscombe, CSL stopped writing
                            >>straightforward apologetics for many years and, when he resumed, his
                            >>religious books were much more personal in tone (e.g., MIRACLES, THE
                            PROBLEM
                            >>OF PAIN, MERE XIANITY vs. REFLECTIONS ON THE PSALMS and LETTERS TO
                            MALCOLM:
                            >>CHIEFLY ON PRAYER).
                            >>
                            >>
                            >
                            >Thank you; that clarifies the point better than I did.
                            >
                            >David Bratman
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                            >Yahoo! Groups Links
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >


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