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English People

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  • John D Rateliff
    ... Yes, ENGLISH PEOPLE is at the Wade, but just for the record it s not an unfinished novel . Rather, it s a long (500-page) novel Barfield wrote circa 1930
    Message 1 of 7 , Feb 1, 2005
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      On Feb 1, 2006, at 7:29 AM, menelvagor1939 wrote:
      >
      > I think the reference to Barfield's unfinished novel may be important.
      > Does anyone in this group have access to the Wade collection or has
      > anyone visited it to check out Barfield's manuscript? The relevant
      > information may be found at <http://www.owenbarfield.com/>

      Yes, ENGLISH PEOPLE is at the Wade, but just for the record it's not
      an "unfinished novel". Rather, it's a long (500-page) novel Barfield
      wrote circa 1930 or shortly before that he couldn't get published.
      The only surviving copy is missing five or so chapters in the middle--
      say about twenty or thirty pages, which were removed from the
      typescript at some point for reasons unknown and lost. It's truly
      excellent, except for the ending (ironically, the only part that's
      been published: an embedded novella one character reads to the rest
      called "The Rose and the Ash-heap" (or something very similar--it's
      been over twenty years since I read the book and my memory of it
      isn't as precise as I shd like). Nor is this the only unpublished
      Barfield: the excellent short novel EAGER SPRING, which he wrote in
      the late 1980s, also languishes in unpublished limbo. I'm luckier
      there, though, since I have a copy of EAGER SPRING and can re-read it
      whenever I want (I wrote the introduction for the abortive BookMakers
      Guild edition in 1989 or thereabouts).

      Unfortunately, it's simply been too long for me to remember whether
      the lilith quote comes from Barfield's book, though Lewis does borrow
      the idea of N.I.C.E. from ENGLISH PEOPLE. I do remember that the only
      Arthurian connection is a cat named Merlin.

      It's my opinion that there'd be no better project for the Mythopoeic
      Press to undertake than trying to get these two works into print,
      possibly also with THIS EVER-DIVERSE PAIR (the story of a split
      personality, narrated by one of the two halves of main character's
      mind); among other delights it includes C. S. Lewis as a character in
      one chapter).

      --John R.

      current reading: THE GRAND TOUR by Wrede & Stevermer
      current writing: the death of Bard
      current music: CONCERT FOR GEORGE (not David Seville).




      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • John D Rateliff
      Ben: I should specify that the name N.I.C.E. does not occur in Barfield s work. I meant rather that Barfield has a similar organization in his novel that I
      Message 2 of 7 , Feb 2, 2005
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        Ben:
        I should specify that the name "N.I.C.E." does not occur in
        Barfield's work. I meant rather that Barfield has a similar
        organization in his novel that I believe directly inspired Lewis's
        Nat'l Institute some fifteen years later. The group in Barfield's
        book is much more shadowy and behind the scenes, less overt (as such
        a group would have been in the 1920s, as opposed to the mid-40s). The
        only specific parallel I can recall is the rescue of an animal from
        their vivisectionist near the climax of the book.
        --JDR

        One anecdote about the book: I told Barfield, after I'd read it,
        that I was pleased to have discovered the source of the title in
        Meredith's MODERN LOVE (the same work that provided him with the
        title for THIS EVER-DIVERSE PAIR), only to be told that this wasn't
        the case; the completely apt context in Meredith, which would have
        shed considerable insight into what was going on in the novel, had no
        intended application within the story at all. Which just goes to show
        that the best theories run aground on cold, hard fact; a valuable
        lesson I've never forgotten.


        On Feb 2, 2006, at 6:49 AM, menelvagor1939 wrote:
        > Dear John,
        >
        > Thanks for this additional information on Barfield's novels, and for
        > correcting my impression that ENGLISH PEOPLE was unfinished. I approve
        > your suggestion about trying to get them into print.
        >
        > That's very interesting about N.I.C.E. I thought that was an obvious
        > pun that Lewis invented. Now that makes me wonder if he DID indeed
        > write the "beauty of the female" quote.
        >
        > Ben



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • menelvagor1939
        Dear John, Thanks for this additional information on Barfield s novels, and for correcting my impression that ENGLISH PEOPLE was unfinished. I approve your
        Message 3 of 7 , Feb 2, 2006
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          Dear John,

          Thanks for this additional information on Barfield's novels, and for
          correcting my impression that ENGLISH PEOPLE was unfinished. I approve
          your suggestion about trying to get them into print.

          That's very interesting about N.I.C.E. I thought that was an obvious
          pun that Lewis invented. Now that makes me wonder if he DID indeed
          write the "beauty of the female" quote.

          Ben




          In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, John D Rateliff <sacnoth@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          > On Feb 1, 2006, at 7:29 AM, menelvagor1939 wrote:
          > >
          > > I think the reference to Barfield's unfinished novel may be important.
          > > Does anyone in this group have access to the Wade collection or has
          > > anyone visited it to check out Barfield's manuscript? The relevant
          > > information may be found at <http://www.owenbarfield.com/>
          >
          > Yes, ENGLISH PEOPLE is at the Wade, but just for the record it's not
          > an "unfinished novel". Rather, it's a long (500-page) novel Barfield
          > wrote circa 1930 or shortly before that he couldn't get published.
          > The only surviving copy is missing five or so chapters in the middle--
          > say about twenty or thirty pages, which were removed from the
          > typescript at some point for reasons unknown and lost. It's truly
          > excellent, except for the ending (ironically, the only part that's
          > been published: an embedded novella one character reads to the rest
          > called "The Rose and the Ash-heap" (or something very similar--it's
          > been over twenty years since I read the book and my memory of it
          > isn't as precise as I shd like). Nor is this the only unpublished
          > Barfield: the excellent short novel EAGER SPRING, which he wrote in
          > the late 1980s, also languishes in unpublished limbo. I'm luckier
          > there, though, since I have a copy of EAGER SPRING and can re-read it
          > whenever I want (I wrote the introduction for the abortive BookMakers
          > Guild edition in 1989 or thereabouts).
          >
          > Unfortunately, it's simply been too long for me to remember whether
          > the lilith quote comes from Barfield's book, though Lewis does borrow
          > the idea of N.I.C.E. from ENGLISH PEOPLE. I do remember that the only
          > Arthurian connection is a cat named Merlin.
          >
          > It's my opinion that there'd be no better project for the Mythopoeic
          > Press to undertake than trying to get these two works into print,
          > possibly also with THIS EVER-DIVERSE PAIR (the story of a split
          > personality, narrated by one of the two halves of main character's
          > mind); among other delights it includes C. S. Lewis as a character in
          > one chapter).
          >
          > --John R.
          >
          > current reading: THE GRAND TOUR by Wrede & Stevermer
          > current writing: the death of Bard
          > current music: CONCERT FOR GEORGE (not David Seville).
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
        • menelvagor1939
          John: Thanks for these addtional fascinating details. As for what Barfield told you, the key phrase is no intended application . That doesn t mean there
          Message 4 of 7 , Feb 3, 2006
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            John:

            Thanks for these addtional fascinating details. As for what Barfield
            told you, the key phrase is "no intended application". That doesn't
            mean there wasn't one. As you know, an author's conscious intention in
            writing ( if he has one) is often far less powerful than the
            unconscious forces of his imagination where he will have stored all
            his experience including his reading. The "huge and mighty forms"
            abiding there will often cause the work in process to take on a life
            of its own far beyond the author's conscious intention. Beyond that,
            his readers will interpret what he writes in the light of their own
            experience, real or imagined. It seems to me, then, that real facts
            are those which come into being as the reader's imagination meets and
            greets that of the author's.

            Ben




            In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, John D Rateliff <sacnoth@...> wrote:
            >
            > Ben:
            > I should specify that the name "N.I.C.E." does not occur in
            > Barfield's work. I meant rather that Barfield has a similar
            > organization in his novel that I believe directly inspired Lewis's
            > Nat'l Institute some fifteen years later. The group in Barfield's
            > book is much more shadowy and behind the scenes, less overt (as such
            > a group would have been in the 1920s, as opposed to the mid-40s). The
            > only specific parallel I can recall is the rescue of an animal from
            > their vivisectionist near the climax of the book.
            > --JDR
            >
            > One anecdote about the book: I told Barfield, after I'd read it,
            > that I was pleased to have discovered the source of the title in
            > Meredith's MODERN LOVE (the same work that provided him with the
            > title for THIS EVER-DIVERSE PAIR), only to be told that this wasn't
            > the case; the completely apt context in Meredith, which would have
            > shed considerable insight into what was going on in the novel, had no
            > intended application within the story at all. Which just goes to show
            > that the best theories run aground on cold, hard fact; a valuable
            > lesson I've never forgotten.
            >
            >
            > On Feb 2, 2006, at 6:49 AM, menelvagor1939 wrote:
            > > Dear John,
            > >
            > > Thanks for this additional information on Barfield's novels, and for
            > > correcting my impression that ENGLISH PEOPLE was unfinished. I approve
            > > your suggestion about trying to get them into print.
            > >
            > > That's very interesting about N.I.C.E. I thought that was an obvious
            > > pun that Lewis invented. Now that makes me wonder if he DID indeed
            > > write the "beauty of the female" quote.
            > >
            > > Ben
            >
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
          • John D Rateliff
            News of interest from www.scifi.com: Musical Rings Takes The Stage The curtain rises Feb. 4 on the multimillion-dollar stage musical version of J.R.R.
            Message 5 of 7 , Feb 3, 2006
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              News of interest from www.scifi.com:

              Musical Rings Takes The Stage

              The curtain rises Feb. 4 on the multimillion-dollar stage musical
              version of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings in Toronto, the
              Reuters news service reported.

              The production will align theater and a range of musical traditions,
              including work by Finnish group Varttina and Indian composer A.R.
              Rahman, to deliver a retelling of Tolkien's fantasy classic, producer
              Kevin Wallace told Reuters.

              Previews begin on Saturday at Toronto's Princess of Wales Theater,
              ahead of a March 23 world premiere. The show boasts a 55-strong cast
              and three acts and will run more than three hours.

              It is hoped the show will go to London next and then, if the musical
              proves to be a hit, to Broadway. 

              Here's the original link:
              http://www.scifi.com/scifiwire/index.php?category=0&id=34486

              Ah, to be in Toronto in the coming weeks.

              --JDR




              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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