I'm going public! this is fascinating debate!
- Holy cow, er, lion, or whatever!
Good points, David. It's all too easy for artists/writers/etcs. to comment on
one another's work with a
spectacular lack of nuance. Tolkien & Lewis had differences that did not boil
down to mutual "hate".
I've had the experience of telling others I don't enjoy listening to endless
Mozart on the classical radio
station, then being confronted with "So you HATE Mozart?( How dare you!)" I then
have to take pains to point out that
Mr. Mozart made sensational contributions to Western Musical Civ, some of which
I savor, but I get
tired of the ubiquity of his stuff every hour of the day when there are so many
unappreciated pcs. of musuc
going begging. It's not about hate. It's often about other issues that somehow
never get aired.
Pullman "hates" Lewis? Maybe it's not about hate, but rather it might be about
his feeling that various writers are putting their evangelism ahead of their
literary acumen. Or who knows what? He's apparently been somewhat
(understatement?) graceless in his
expression of his antipathy. If he saw no love in Narnia or Scripture, I DO, in
both, and I saw it in his work as well.
Wish he could come to a Mytho. discussion & share his POV & engage with us. I
suspect we'd hear some serious
concerns on his part.
I agree with those who have argued the esthetics, the visual wonder Lewis
conveyed (He's so illustratable!), and the purity
of story. Worked for me & I'm just a (confession time!)humble agnostic
Love to all of you this holiday season!
David Bratman wrote:
> Dear Mr. Ebert,
> I'm dismayed that an old fantasy/science-fiction reader like yourself would
> fall for the canard that C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien "hated each other's
> fantasy worlds." Tolkien did remark privately to a friend that Lewis's
> Narnia "wouldn't do," by which he meant that he considered the imaginary
> world slapdash. But this hardly rises to hatred, and was fastidiousness,
> not jealousy. The year after his _The Hobbit_ was published, Tolkien
> enthusiastically recommended Lewis's _Out of the Silent Planet_ to his own
> publisher, writing that reading it in manuscript he "was so enthralled that
> I could do nothing else until I had finished it," adding that he "should
> have bought this story at almost any price if I had found it in print."
> This is not the act of a man offended that someone else is creating another
> universe next door to his own.
> And Tolkien was a man of narrow literary sympathies. Lewis, who had much
> broader tastes in literature, encouraged the diffident, recalcitrant
> Tolkien in his literary efforts for deaces. He was uniformly and entirely
> enthusiastic about both _The Hobbit_ and _The Lord of the Rings_., and
> published two highly favorable reviews of each work, writing of _The Lord
> of the Rings_ that "I have little doubt that the book will soon take its
> place among the indispensables." He didn't hate Tolkien's fantasy world;
> he loved it as much as any literature he'd ever read.
> (Tolkien's comments on _Out of the Silent Planet_ may be found in his
> published Letters, Lewis's on _The Lord of the Rings_ in his book _On
> In A.N. Wilson's biography of Lewis, there's an account of one of the
> Inklings who would make rude interjections when Tolkien read from _The Lord
> of the Rings_. Somehow the impression has gotten around that it was Lewis
> who said this. Perhaps that story has come your way? Wilson has been at
> pains to correct this error when he finds it. His text is clear: the
> objector was Hugo Dyson, not Lewis. Lewis loved Tolkien's story and wanted
> him to keep reading it, and most of the other Inklings liked it too. And
> though Wilson doesn't make this clear, Dyson's objection was not to
> Tolkien's story so much as to any readings at all, because they interfered
> with open conversation, which Dyson preferred because he always dominated it.
> David Bratman
> San Jose, California
> The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
> Yahoo! Groups Links