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A washingtonpost.com article from: chowlett@erols.com

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  • chowlett@erols.com
    You have been sent this message from chowlett@erols.com as a courtesy of washingtonpost.com Personal Message: This is the latest article on Narnia and CS Lewis
    Message 1 of 7 , Dec 3, 2005
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      You have been sent this message from chowlett@... as a courtesy of washingtonpost.com

      Personal Message:
      This is the latest article on Narnia and CS Lewis from the Washington Post. I thought it was reasonable, except when citing Pullman's hostility to Lewis. Pullman's hostility is to Christianity, Lewis is a side issue for him. But nevertheless.
      Christine

      It Was Faith That Made The Fantasy

      By Richard N. Ostling

      During the 42 years since his death, the prolific C.S. Lewis has never failed to lure hordes of fans to his writings -- nor has the Oxford and Cambridge literature scholar ceased to rouse antipathy from religious skeptics.

      To view the entire article, go to http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/02/AR2005120201664.html?referrer=emailarticle


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    • Its a month...guess.
      Goodness. I really don t give a rat s you-know-what about the man s religious beliefs. I didn t even know he was Christian until I was involved in a church a
      Message 2 of 7 , Dec 5, 2005
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        Goodness. I really don't give a rat's you-know-what about the man's
        religious beliefs. I didn't even know he was Christian until I was
        involved in a church a few years back. An now I couldn't care less,
        he's just a prolific writer and isn't that all that matters. the man
        write's fiction. If it has a christian foundation, so what? We all
        write from what we know and that will show. It surprises me that it's
        such a big deal in Briton that he's a Christian. I'm deffinantly not
        one, but I can turn aside his excellent writing based on the man's
        religious views. It's not like he wrote the bible!

        This isn't meant to be against the orignal poster. Just my thoughts
        on the article.
      • John D Rateliff
        ... It s easy for us in the US to ignore it, because Lewis s reputation over here was mainly as an author and a scholar (if you ignore his appearance on the
        Message 3 of 7 , Dec 6, 2005
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          On Dec 5, 2005, at 9:18 PM, Its a month...guess. wrote:
          > Goodness. I really don't give a rat's you-know-what about the man's
          > religious beliefs. I didn't even know he was Christian until I was
          > involved in a church a few years back. An now I couldn't care less,
          > he's just a prolific writer and isn't that all that matters. the man
          > write's fiction. If it has a christian foundation, so what? We all
          > write from what we know and that will show. It surprises me that it's
          > such a big deal in Briton that he's a Christian. I'm deffinantly not
          > one, but I can turn aside his excellent writing based on the man's
          > religious views.
          It's easy for us in the US to ignore it, because Lewis's reputation
          over here was mainly as an author and a scholar (if you ignore his
          appearance on the cover of TIME, and that was a v. long time ago and
          long since forgotten). In England he was mainly known as a
          broadcaster, and one almost exclusively focused on conservative (not
          to say reactionary) Christian issues. Some people have long memories,
          and they're not going to approach CSL's novels from a neutral
          position but based on what they've heard of him from the past, the
          cliches they've inherited from their parents and grandparents. For
          example, suppose Pat Robertson were a talented poet as well as a
          telvangelist: the number of people who'd read his poems a generation
          or two from now with an open mind, not caring about his calls for us
          to assassinate foreign leaders, is relatively few. Similarly, if
          Michael Moore were a talented painter, odds are that only people who
          agreed (more or less) with his political or economic views would be
          open to looking at his art; those who despise him simply wouldn't be
          interested. There are people even now who won't read Ezra Pound
          because of his political and social views (although oddly enough most
          are willing to overlook his having committed high treason during WWII).
          Or, to put it another way, Lewis makes it hard for a reader to
          ignore his religion and thus gets judged, for good or bad, by how
          much that reader agrees with him on theological detail. Tolkien
          worked hard to keep his religion off center stage and thus more
          easily appeals across a wider spectrum.

          > It's not like he wrote the bible!

          No, but when you have hyperbole such as Kreeft's saying LWW ranks
          alongside the four gospels, or claims such as Wagner's that CSL is
          "the most influential Christian since Martin Luther", it's easy to
          see why those who consider him an okay author get impatient and
          overreact. Annoying, but not surprising. It's certainly been my
          impression that Pullman's rants have ramped up in direct proportion
          to the recent puffing of CSL in connection with the film.


          > This isn't meant to be against the orignal poster. Just my thoughts
          > . . .

          Same here.
          And, for those keeping track, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer/
          Seattle Times had a pretty good article on CSL in this past Sunday's
          issue by Moira MacDonald. No new revelations or insights, but a
          fairly solid piece with no major errors either (only minor ones like
          referring to him as an Oxford "professor").

          --JDR

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • John D Rateliff
          Here s something I ve asked a few people about that I was hoping the list could shed some light on. In Jared Lobdell s THE SCIENTIFICTION NOVELS OF C. S.
          Message 4 of 7 , Dec 6, 2005
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            Here's something I've asked a few people about that I was hoping the
            list could shed some light on.

            In Jared Lobdell's THE SCIENTIFICTION NOVELS OF C. S. LEWIS, he
            argues that the work we know as "The Dark Tower" (which he renames
            "An Exchange in Time") was written in three or four distinct stages:
            in 1938-1939, in 1944-1945, and circa 1956, with the surviving
            manuscript being a fair copy from 1956. The first of these is the
            date preferred by Hooper, based on internal chronology (i.e., the
            story's being set in 1938). The second of these is adapted from the
            1944-1946 dates I argued for in my LEGENDARIUM piece, based on
            Tolkien's letter about the book and the evidence of the manuscript,
            except that Jared argues that Lewis abandoned the work upon the death
            of Charles Williams. The third is the one that puzzles me. Lobdell
            offers no evidence in support of it, but simply credits it to "one
            knowledgeable observer . . . who knows far more than I about the last
            ten years of Lewis's life". I've heard that this is the date
            preferred by Douglas Gresham, but I can't find out quite why. One
            explanation is the claim that there was blue ink on the manuscript,
            and that blue ink supposedly hadn't been invented yet in the 30s and
            40s, but I checked into this and it's not a valid argument: a look at
            Tolkien's manuscripts disproves it.

            So, does anyone know where the 1950s date comes from? Has anyone
            written up a case for that date, or has it simply been asserted
            without evidence?

            Any help much appreciated.

            --JDR
          • WendellWag@aol.com
            In a message dated 12/6/2005 2:00:04 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, sacnoth@earthlink.net writes: No, but when you have hyperbole such as Kreeft s saying LWW
            Message 5 of 7 , Dec 6, 2005
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              In a message dated 12/6/2005 2:00:04 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
              sacnoth@... writes:

              No, but when you have hyperbole such as Kreeft's saying LWW ranks
              alongside the four gospels, or claims such as Wagner's that CSL is
              "the most influential Christian since Martin Luther", it's easy to
              see why those who consider him an okay author get impatient and
              overreact.


              You know, there are a lot of Wagners out there, and it would be helpful if
              you specified which one you meant. I didn't say that. Neither did the
              composer Richard Wagner. I presume that you mean the Richard Wagner who wrote _C.
              S. Lewis & Narnia for Dummies_.

              Wendell Wagner


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • John D Rateliff
              Sorry about that, Wendell. No, it was Richard Wagner in CSL & NARNIA FOR DUMMIES, page 47, with similar statements on pages 246 & 5. I thought the citing of
              Message 6 of 7 , Dec 6, 2005
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                Sorry about that, Wendell.

                No, it was Richard Wagner in CSL & NARNIA FOR DUMMIES, page 47, with
                similar statements on pages 246 & 5. I thought the citing of one
                author in the first half of the sentence would implicitly convey that
                I was also talking about the author of another book on Lewis in the
                second half of the same sentence. I apologize for any confusion this
                may have caused.

                --JDR

                On Dec 6, 2005, at 7:24 PM, WendellWag@... wrote:
                > In a message dated 12/6/2005 2:00:04 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
                > sacnoth@... writes:
                >
                >>> No, but when you have hyperbole such as Kreeft's saying LWW ranks
                >>> alongside the four gospels, or claims such as Wagner's that CSL is
                >>> "the most influential Christian since Martin Luther", it's easy to
                >>> see why those who consider him an okay author get impatient and
                >>> overreact.
                >
                >
                >
                > You know, there are a lot of Wagners out there, and it would be
                > helpful if
                > you specified which one you meant. I didn't say that. Neither
                > did the
                > composer Richard Wagner. I presume that you mean the Richard
                > Wagner who wrote _C.
                > S. Lewis & Narnia for Dummies_.
                >
                > Wendell Wagner



                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Lezlie
                ... Oh, I don t know about that, we all look at paintings, novels, music and poems from previous generations with more forgiving eyes after they are dead.
                Message 7 of 7 , Dec 8, 2005
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                  --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, John D Rateliff <sacnoth@e...> wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  > and they're not going to approach CSL's novels from a neutral
                  > position but based on what they've heard of him from the past, the
                  > cliches they've inherited from their parents and grandparents. For
                  > example, suppose Pat Robertson were a talented poet as well as a
                  > telvangelist: the number of people who'd read his poems a generation
                  > or two from now with an open mind, not caring about his calls for us
                  > to assassinate foreign leaders, is relatively few. Similarly, if
                  > Michael Moore were a talented painter, odds are that only people who
                  > agreed (more or less) with his political or economic views would be
                  > open to looking at his art;

                  Oh, I don't know about that, we all look at paintings, novels, music
                  and poems from previous generations with more forgiving eyes after
                  they are dead. There are a couple writers from the
                  not-too-distant-past that we all read and forgive for their
                  political/religious/social/sexual viewpoints because they tell a good
                  story. Particularly the somewhere-to-the-right-of-Attila-the-Hun cold
                  war writers of the recent past. Not to mention the militarists,
                  propagandists, racists, anti-Semites (and, everyone else), Maoists,
                  Libertines, capitalist apologists, anti-war activists, and a couple of
                  out-and-out whakos that have graced our library shelves, opera halls
                  and museum walls over the last couple of centuries. <insert wicked
                  smile> Lezlie
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