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Re: [mythsoc] Re: Alastair Fowler

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  • David Bratman
    This is very interesting and it raises two questions in my mind. 1) When did Dr. Fowler read The Dark Tower , both the time that Lewis gave it to him and the
    Message 1 of 17 , Apr 14, 2006
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      This is very interesting and it raises two questions in my mind.

      1) When did Dr. Fowler read "The Dark Tower", both the time that Lewis gave
      it to him and the time that Hooper did? Does he say, either in his letter
      or the article? All that Joe quotes is "forty years ago," but this must be
      very approximate for his meeting with Lewis, as forty years ago Lewis was
      already dead.

      2) Can any light be shed on this reference to typescript rather than
      manuscript? I believe the only known copy of the text, the one that Hooper
      gave the Bodleian, is hand-written. If, as Fowler seems to say, Hooper had
      a typescript, what has become of it? (One might also wonder why, if the
      Bodleian copy is a forgery, the forgers gave themselves the difficult task
      of trying to replicate Lewis's handwriting, when they could have just typed
      it. But that query is no more proof that DT is not forged than supposed
      resemblances to Madeleine L'Engle stories are proof that it is.)

      David Bratman


      At 12:27 PM 4/14/2006 -0500, Joe R. Christopher wrote:
      >John D Rateliff, I think it was, mentioned Dr. Fowler's _Yale Review_ piece
      >in which he mentioned reading "The Dark Tower" when Lewis was alive. I
      >wrote to Dr. Fowler and asked two questions about the situation.
      >
      >First, I asked (in a less straight-forward way) if what he read originally
      >was the version we have. He replied in a letter of 2 April 2006, "I read
      >the fragment twice, I think: once given me by Jack, once by Hooper. So far
      >as I know the two texts were the same; although I never collated
      >them. ...I certainly read the current opening, as it appears in _Essay
      >Collection and Other Short Pieces_ (2000), with the stingers. The white
      >riders episode I don't remember; but then it is less striking, and besides
      >all this is forty years ago."
      >
      >Second, I asked about the manuscript (I assumed the work in Lewis's time
      >would be handwritten, and so I phrased the question about being on separate
      >pages or in a large, black book). Dr. Fowler replied, "On both occasions
      >what I read was typescript on loose leaves. Whether it was the same
      >typescript or two copies or two drafts, I can't say. Jack seldom redrafted
      >much on paper; but it's quite possible he made additions. But I remember
      >the characters as the same."
      >
      >I think Dr. Fowler's reply decides the fact that Lewis wrote the opening of
      >the fragment. On the basis of what he writes, a controversy may still
      >exist over whether what is currently published has been padded or not. The
      >second answer complicates things. Lewis evidently had his fragment
      >typed. Since W. H. Lewis didn't know anything about a fourth Ransom novel,
      >presumably he didn't type it. At any rate, this early typescript does not
      >affect the basic arguments about the manuscript in the book, although both
      >of Dr. Fowler's statements together refocus them. None of this affects
      >Ratliff's main arguments that "The Dark Tower" was written in 1944-45, not
      >1939 ("The Lost Road, The Dark Tower, and The Notion Club Papers" in
      >_Tolkien's Legendarium_, ed. Verlyn Flieger and Carl F. Hostetter).
    • John D Rateliff
      ... I m afraid I have no memory of this, and I m so busy finishing up my current project that I haven t had time to go back through the list archive to see who
      Message 2 of 17 , Apr 17, 2006
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        On Apr 14, 2006, at 10:27 AM, Joe R. Christopher wrote:
        > John D Rateliff, I think it was, mentioned Dr. Fowler's _Yale
        > Review_ piece
        > in which he mentioned reading "The Dark Tower" when Lewis was
        > alive. I
        > wrote to Dr. Fowler and asked two questions about the situation.

        I'm afraid I have no memory of this, and I'm so busy finishing up my
        current project that I haven't had time to go back through the list
        archive to see who did post it. Very glad that you've followed up on
        this, though, since I think it's a real discovery. Many thanks for
        sharing those excerpts from Professor Fowler's letter. Since the
        early chapters with the Stingerman had been explicitly singled out as
        the part that couldn't possibly be by Lewis, I think this really
        clinches it that the entire work is just what most people thought it
        all along: an unfinished but authentic fragment by CSL. The part
        about typescript is interesting but not crucial: Lewis may have made
        a typescript which does not survive (though I think this unlikely for
        an unfinished work), or Fowler might be confusing the loose leaf
        manuscript now in the Bodleian with the loose leaf typescript he says
        Fr. Hooper showed him. Hooper does say he showed the story to several
        of Lewis's friends, and it's unlikely that he loaned out the
        irreplaceable unique copy of the manuscript, so I imagine that as the
        first stage when editing the work he made a typescript for limited
        circulation while trying to find out more about the story's origin
        and date. I'm surprised that Fr. Hooper didn't cite Fowler as
        confirmation back in 1977, but then he never did say that Fr. Gervase
        Mathew was the only person who recognized it.
        I don't think that ultimately the 1938 vs. 1944-46 date can be
        definitively proven either way, unless and until more evidence turns
        up; I simply think the evidence is much stronger for the latter
        dating (with Tolkien's letter describing the story as the key). This
        memoir definitely rules out the 1950s date Jared had suggested, since
        Fowler makes clear that he read it in 1952 or very shortly thereafter
        and that it was then a piece Lewis had written some time before and
        abandoned. What I found most interesting is that from Fowler's
        account Lewis knew exactly where it was, and that CSL rated it with
        "After Ten Years" (which he also loaned A.F.) as a piece he'd started
        but not been able to complete; he clearly held onto both because he
        hoped that he would, someday, find the right way to tell that story.
        I wish we knew more about how Lewis organized his files. And who did
        prepare the typescripts of CSL's books? Did he really send manuscript
        to the printers?

        On Apr 14, 2006, at 11:49 AM, David Bratman wrote:
        > 1) When did Dr. Fowler read "The Dark Tower", both the time that
        > Lewis gave
        > it to him and the time that Hooper did? Does he say, either in his
        > letter
        > or the article? All that Joe quotes is "forty years ago," but this
        > must be
        > very approximate for his meeting with Lewis, as forty years ago
        > Lewis was
        > already dead.

        From the Yale Review piece, it's clear that this was sometime
        between 1952, when Fowler arrived at Oxford and asked Lewis to direct
        his thesis, and 1955 when Lewis left Oxford for Cambridge. After a
        little online research, I found it posted at

        http://www.solcon.nl/arendsmilde/cslewis/reflections/e-fowler.htm

        The significant section is in the following:


        "Jenny and I rented an attic at 2 Church Walk in North Oxford, the
        same house where the Spenserian Rudolf Gottfried stayed. From there I
        cycled to Magdalen for supervisions. Often Major Lewis sat typing in
        the large sitting room and directed me through to his brother in the
        smaller room. One winter morning I got there frozen; Lewis, wearing a
        dressing gown over his clothes, was engrossed in Astounding Science
        Fiction. Conversation turned to fantasy; I confessed I was trying to
        write one, myself, and had got blocked. He made me describe the
        setting (a paraworld with a slower time-lapse), then said, �You need
        two things for this sort of fiction. The first you already have: a
        world, a mise en sc�ne. But you also need a mythos or plot.� After
        that, Lewis was always keener to know how The Rest of Time was coming
        along than to read the next installment of dissertation. This was
        gratifying, of course, yet somehow depressing to a would-be academic
        author. But it was an article of faith with Lewis that writing
        fiction could never conflict with studying literature. Not that he
        always wrote without difficulty; sometimes he had to set a project
        aside for a long period. He showed me several unfinished or abandoned
        pieces (his notion of supervision included exchanging work in
        progress); these included �After Ten Years,� The Dark Tower, and Till
        We Have Faces. Another fragment, a time-travel story, had been
        aborted after only a few pages. Getting to the �other� world was a
        particular problem, he said; he had given up several stories at that
        stage. His unfamiliarity with scientific discourse may have played a
        part in this. The vehicles of transition in Out of the Silent Planet
        and Perelandra, although suggestive in other ways, are hardly
        plausible as scientific apparatus. In the Narnia stories Lewis turned
        to magical means of entry: teleportation rings from E. Nesbit and
        Tolkien, or else a terribly strange wardrobe.
        Once fully started, Lewis quickly wrote a more or less
        final version, like Anthony Trollope. Unlike Henry James (or
        Tolkien), he never drafted and redrafted. Nevill Coghill might have
        to make ten or more drafts of anything for publication; but when
        things went well Lewis would write only a rough copy and a fair copy
        (with one or two corrections per page). And that was it, except for
        scholarly books like the OHEL volume, which were tried out first as
        lectures. Even the final version would be in longhand; Lewis thought
        a noisy typewriter dulled the sense of rhythm. Fortunately, his
        writing was legible enough to go straight to the publisher, unless
        Warren typed it out. Obviously, composition was not so fast as
        writing; before committing to paper, he must have composed each work
        in his head, retaining it by some �power of memory� (as Tolkien
        called Lewis�s retentiveness of the spoken word). Lewis�s fluency
        suggests that he composed in paragraphs, as Robert Louis Stevenson
        did, and Edward Gibbon in his covered acacia walk."

        The whole piece is quite interesting, from the role Hugo Dyson played
        in putting in a good word for Fowler before Lewis would agree to
        supervise his research to Fowler's own time-travel story THE REST OF
        TIME. Does anyone know if this has been published? If so, it could
        provide the so-called L'Engle link, though personally I've come to
        believe that if there is any influence between the Ransom books and A
        WRINKLE IN TIME it would be from L'Engle being influenced,
        consciously or not, by the severed head scenes in THAT HIDEOUS STRENGTH.
        As for "forty years ago", that would be about right for the
        period when Fr. Hooper was asking Lewis's surviving friends if they
        recognized the fragment, but I took it as 'mind you, all this was
        more than forty years ago' and so would not be perturbed by small
        inconsistencies.

        --JDR





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      • John D Rateliff
        ... Did a little more mulling over this in the last week or so, and think the issue really is resolved. We have Fowler s word for it that the first half of the
        Message 3 of 17 , Apr 26, 2006
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          On Apr 14, 2006, at 10:27 AM, Joe R. Christopher wrote:
          > I think Dr. Fowler's reply decides the fact that Lewis wrote the
          > opening of
          > the fragment. On the basis of what he writes, a controversy may still
          > exist over whether what is currently published has been padded or not.


          Did a little more mulling over this in the last week or so, and think
          the issue really is resolved. We have Fowler's word for it that the
          first half of the text existed and was acknowledged by Lewis in his
          lifetime. We have Lewis's own copy of the book that served as the
          main source for the second half of the book, with CSL's annotations,
          in the Wade collection at Wheaton. We have Fr. Gervase Mathews'
          recollection of Lewis reading it to the Inklings. We have Tolkien's
          statement that Lewis was planning to write such a novel. We have the
          manuscript, in Lewis's handwriting, found among Lewis's papers after
          his death. We have the Bodleian's acceptance of the manuscript as a
          genuine work by Lewis. Against this we have accusations that the
          manuscript, while it may or may not be in Lewis's handwriting, might
          not be wholly Lewis's work--which would make it an extreme anomoly; I
          don't think we have any evidence that Lewis ever copied over other
          author's work into his own handwriting while adding his own bits to
          it, all without indicating in any way his own contributions. Perhaps
          someday a letter by Lewis mentioning the work will turn up (given the
          thousands of letters he wrote, and the number of them still
          unaccounted for, I think this entirely possible); till then the
          weight of evidence is that it's the real thing.

          Speaking of Fowler, I've been going through a lot of my old notebooks
          lately and came across an interesting excerpt from an article which
          quotes from a 1961 letter CSL wrote to Fowler about who'd they
          nominate for a Nobel Prize, given the chance. After noting that
          Mauriac already had it, Lewis suggests "Frost? Eliot? Tolkien?
          E.M.Forster?" Granted, he's forgetting here that TSE already won in
          1948, but still it's an indication, if we needed it, of the high
          regard he held for JRRT's work.

          JDR

          Current Reading: ORTNIT & WOLFDIETRICH: Two Medieval Romances






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        • David Bratman
          ... Joe said that part of the issue is resolved, but part of it is not. I think he s still right about that. I am not going to argue that The Dark Tower as
          Message 4 of 17 , Apr 26, 2006
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            At 10:53 AM 4/26/2006 -0700, John D Rateliff wrote:
            >On Apr 14, 2006, at 10:27 AM, Joe R. Christopher wrote:
            >> I think Dr. Fowler's reply decides the fact that Lewis wrote the
            >> opening of
            >> the fragment. On the basis of what he writes, a controversy may still
            >> exist over whether what is currently published has been padded or not.
            >
            >Did a little more mulling over this in the last week or so, and think
            >the issue really is resolved.

            Joe said that part of the issue is resolved, but part of it is not. I
            think he's still right about that. I am not going to argue that The Dark
            Tower as published is a forged work. I am, however, going to argue that,
            given Walter Hooper's known unreliability, the open questions are still
            reasonably open.


            >We have Fowler's word for it that the
            >first half of the text existed and was acknowledged by Lewis in his
            >lifetime.

            Yes, we now have reliable testimony that - at the very least - a work
            roughly fitting the description of "The Dark Tower" was written by Lewis.
            (The hesitation is to acknowledge the doubt that Fowler can verify that the
            published text is identical with the one he read in ms. many years before.)
            This strikes me as very strong evidence indeed, but not conclusive about
            the work in hand.


            >We have Lewis's own copy of the book that served as the
            >main source for the second half of the book, with CSL's annotations,
            >in the Wade collection at Wheaton.

            What is this, and how do we know that Lewis actually used it for The Dark
            Tower, and that a forger with access to Lewis's books did not?


            >We have Fr. Gervase Mathews'
            >recollection of Lewis reading it to the Inklings.

            No, we do not. We have Hooper's statement that Mathew (by then deceased)
            had at some earlier date told him that. And that is not enough. The Dark
            Tower may be authentic, but that does not make Hooper any more trustworthy.
            Also, we have the curious fact that the reading is dated 1939-40, which
            for two separate reasons is quite probably incorrect.


            >We have Tolkien's
            >statement that Lewis was planning to write such a novel.

            We do, but that is of far more help in dating Lewis's plan than it is in
            deciding if the work in hand is something he actually wrote.


            >We have the
            >manuscript, in Lewis's handwriting, found among Lewis's papers after
            >his death.

            We also have the possibility that it's a forgery. We have numerous
            arguments over whether that's possible or not, with the same experts quoted
            on both sides, and neither side willing (or able?) to demonstrate that the
            other side is lying.


            >We have the Bodleian's acceptance of the manuscript as a
            >genuine work by Lewis.

            We do? The presence of the manuscript in the Bodleian collection is not
            evidence of its authenticity. It's evidence of their taking Hooper's
            donation at his word.


            >Against this we have accusations that the
            >manuscript, while it may or may not be in Lewis's handwriting, might
            >not be wholly Lewis's work--which would make it an extreme anomoly;

            If it isn't Lewis's handwriting, then whether it's Lewis's composition is
            entirely irrelevant to the question of anomaly. If it is Lewis's
            handwriting, then the question of borrowed composition hardly comes up, at
            least in my mind.

            And I still want to know what happened to the typescript that Hooper
            supposedly had. If it was a typescript that Hooper himself made or had
            made from the manuscript, it's of no importance. But if it was a
            typescript he got from the Lewis estate, the absence of any reference to it
            in the documentary description of the work is most surprising and disturbing.


            >Perhaps
            >someday a letter by Lewis mentioning the work will turn up (given the
            >thousands of letters he wrote, and the number of them still
            >unaccounted for, I think this entirely possible);

            Perhaps. But a letter, unless the description of the plot is unusually
            detailed, will not prove that the work in hand is authentic. And we don't
            need a Lewis letter to prove that he wrote _something_ fitting this general
            description. We already have sufficient proof of that.


            >till then the
            >weight of evidence is that it's the real thing.

            I agree, especially since the principal arguments against its authenticity
            are 1) that Hooper is untrustworthy (which he is, but that's not evidence
            he forged any given item); 2) that The Dark Tower is too bad a work to be
            by Lewis (which is nonsensical and untrue, and in any case its badness is
            surely why he abandoned it).

            But "the weight of evidence" is not the same thing as "the issue really is
            resolved." Weight, yes; resolved, no.

            - David Bratman
          • John D Rateliff
            On Apr 26, 2006, at 11:32 AM, David Bratman wrote: ... Here s a question: what would it take to resolve the issue for you? ...
            Message 5 of 17 , Apr 30, 2006
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              On Apr 26, 2006, at 11:32 AM, David Bratman wrote:
              <begin snippets>
              > . . . we now have reliable testimony that - at the very least - a
              > work
              > roughly fitting the description of "The Dark Tower" was written by
              > Lewis.

              > we don't need a Lewis letter to prove that he wrote _something_
              > fitting this general
              > description. We already have sufficient proof of that.

              > . . . This strikes me as very strong evidence indeed, but not
              > conclusive about
              > the work in hand.

              > . . . the open questions are still reasonably open.
              <end snippets>

              Here's a question: what would it take to resolve the issue for you?


              >> We have Lewis's own copy of the book that served as the
              >> main source for the second half of the book, with CSL's annotations,
              >> in the Wade collection at Wheaton.
              > What is this, and how do we know that Lewis actually used it for
              > The Dark
              > Tower, and that a forger with access to Lewis's books did not?

              The book is AN EXPERIMENT WITH TIME, by J. W. Dunne. Lewis's copy was
              not one of those his five friends kept from his library but went
              instead with the bulk of his books to form a school's collection, the
              remnant of which was purchased by the Wade more than two decades
              later. CSL's copy is now in Wheaton. We know Lewis used it, because
              he marked it up as he read it. Since the books were sold shortly
              after Lewis's death, it means that copy was not available to THE DARK
              TOWER'S editor during the period the work was supposedly forged.


              > We also have the possibility that it's a forgery. We have numerous
              > arguments over whether that's possible or not, with the same
              > experts quoted
              > on both sides, and neither side willing (or able?) to demonstrate
              > that the
              > other side is lying.

              Not a serious possibility, simply the unsupported assertion from an
              unreliable source. If we're going to dismiss any evidence that passed
              through Fr. Hooper's hands, such as Fr. Gervase Mathews' account of
              Lewis's reading the work to the Inklings, on the grounds that Hooper
              is untrustworthy, then we also have to throw out any evidence put
              forward by Lindskoog, or any that passed through her hands.


              >> We have the Bodleian's acceptance of the manuscript as a
              >> genuine work by Lewis.
              >
              > We do? The presence of the manuscript in the Bodleian collection
              > is not
              > evidence of its authenticity. It's evidence of their taking Hooper's
              > donation at his word.

              Yes, we do. I asked them about this when I spent a day with the
              manuscript myself in 1992. The reason they've never instigated a full-
              scale testing is that they've never heard any credible evidence from
              any reliable source that would cast doubt upon its authenticity. A
              few early claims challenging the work were easily disproven by an
              informal examination by Bodleian staff, and they've never been given
              a good reason to revisit the matter. Plus, they're busy people, with
              lots of unprocessed materials that need their attention rather than
              addressing charges from conspiracy theorists.

              --JDR

              current reading: THE RING OF WORDS: TOLKIEN AND THE OXFORD ENGLISH
              DICTIONARY (Gilliver, Marshall, & Weiner).
            • Carl F. Hostetter
              ... And David can say the same thing about Hooper s story of provenance for the text. Hooper s proven himself unreliable on matters of his relationship with
              Message 6 of 17 , May 1, 2006
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                On May 1, 2006, at 1:08 AM, John D Rateliff wrote:

                > simply the unsupported assertion from an unreliable source.

                And David can say the same thing about Hooper's story of provenance
                for the text. Hooper's proven himself unreliable on matters of his
                relationship with Lewis: an inveterate exaggerator (to say the least
                and to put it in the nicest possible light).

                > The reason they've never instigated a full-scale testing is that
                > they've never heard any credible evidence from
                > any reliable source that would cast doubt upon its authenticity.

                Then they're apparently unaware of Hooper's tendency to exaggerate
                (at best) his relationship with Lewis, which is more than sufficient
                to call into question any testimony of provenance he provides. The
                fact that the Bodleian staff are unaware of Hooper's tendencies and
                thus do not question his testimony hardly constitutes authoritative
                support for the manuscript's authenticity: it just means they haven't
                done anything to test the word of Hooper that it is authentic.

                Carl

                (Who thinks _The Dark Tower_ is most likely authentic, but that
                there's no reason to take Hooper's word on anything, and plenty of
                reasons not to do so.)
              • David Bratman
                ... You mean, convince me that there s no reasonable possibility it was forged? A manuscript, functionally identical with the printed copy, that comes with a
                Message 7 of 17 , May 1, 2006
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                  At 10:08 PM 4/30/2006 -0700, John D Rateliff wrote:

                  >Here's a question: what would it take to resolve the issue for you?

                  You mean, convince me that there's no reasonable possibility it was forged?
                  A manuscript, functionally identical with the printed copy, that comes
                  with a solid provenance and no possibility it could have gone through the
                  hands of Walter Hooper or anyone associated with him, which means it would
                  have to have been given by Lewis himself to someone else, someone not Owen
                  Barfield.


                  >The book is AN EXPERIMENT WITH TIME, by J. W. Dunne. Lewis's copy was
                  >not one of those his five friends kept from his library but went
                  >instead with the bulk of his books to form a school's collection

                  ... where for decades they were available, not far from Oxford, for
                  literally anyone (including Walter Hooper) to look at, and a large number
                  of them disappeared, as happens to books kept in unsecured libraries, and
                  what was left is accurately called by you a "remnant" (the relevancy of
                  this to Dunne's book, which did not disappear, is that it could have been
                  removed and put back without anybody noticing) ...

                  >the remnant of which was purchased by the Wade more than two decades
                  >later. CSL's copy is now in Wheaton. We know Lewis used it, because
                  >he marked it up as he read it. Since the books were sold shortly
                  >after Lewis's death

                  ... after they were sorted by one Walter Hooper, according to the testimony
                  of Doug Gresham ...

                  >it means that copy was not available to THE DARK
                  >TOWER'S editor during the period the work was supposedly forged.

                  ... no, it means that it was very easily available to The Dark Tower's
                  editor, the aforementioned Walter Hooper. Not one whit of your history of
                  this copy would have made it unavailable to Walter Hooper at any time
                  before it was sold to the Wade.


                  >Not a serious possibility, simply the unsupported assertion from an
                  >unreliable source. If we're going to dismiss any evidence that passed
                  >through Fr. Hooper's hands, such as Fr. Gervase Mathews' account of
                  >Lewis's reading the work to the Inklings, on the grounds that Hooper
                  >is untrustworthy, then we also have to throw out any evidence put
                  >forward by Lindskoog, or any that passed through her hands.

                  That follows not at all. Kay Lindskoog once made a foolish remark about
                  being "mentally married" to Lewis, and she later played an even more
                  foolish practical joke passing a forgery off on Stephen Scofield. But she
                  didn't let the forgery pass unremarked into the general thread of Lewis
                  scholarship. She never, at any time, spent over a decade consistently
                  misleading people as to the extent of her acquaintanceship with Lewis. She
                  never published articles trying to cast doubt on Warren Lewis's sanity.
                  She never did a whole bunch of disturbing things that Walter Hooper did.
                  There is no comparison between them.

                  Nor am I dismissing the account about Mathew (again, his name was Mathew,
                  not Mathews). I do not believe that it must be a lie because Hooper said
                  it. I do say, however, that there are at least two good grounds for
                  believing that the date is wrong, and that the Mathew story in any form
                  does not verify anything that the Fowler account doesn't already verify.


                  >> We do? The presence of the manuscript in the Bodleian collection
                  >> is not
                  >> evidence of its authenticity. It's evidence of their taking Hooper's
                  >> donation at his word.
                  >
                  >Yes, we do. I asked them about this when I spent a day with the
                  >manuscript myself in 1992. The reason they've never instigated a full-
                  >scale testing is that they've never heard any credible evidence from
                  >any reliable source that would cast doubt upon its authenticity. A
                  >few early claims challenging the work were easily disproven by an
                  >informal examination by Bodleian staff, and they've never been given
                  >a good reason to revisit the matter. Plus, they're busy people, with
                  >lots of unprocessed materials that need their attention rather than
                  >addressing charges from conspiracy theorists.

                  Well, if they're so busy, and if they are inclined to dismiss legitimate
                  concerns as "conspiracy theorists," then that does not provide any evidence
                  of the manuscript's authenticity whatever. Instead, it provides evidence
                  of what I said it provides evidence of: evidence of their taking Hooper's
                  donation at his word.

                  That "The Dark Tower" is authentic I think most likely on the basis of the
                  evidence. But the arguments put forward by the defenders are so weak as to
                  make me wonder.

                  DB
                • Patrick Wynne
                  On May 2, 2006, at 1:07 AM, David Bratman wrote, in reply to John Rateliff s comment that If we re going to dismiss any evidence that passed through Fr.
                  Message 8 of 17 , May 2, 2006
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                    On May 2, 2006, at 1:07 AM, David Bratman wrote, in reply to
                    John Rateliff's comment that "If we're going to dismiss any
                    evidence that passed through Fr. Hooper's hands ... on the
                    grounds that Hooper is untrustworthy, then we also have to
                    throw out any evidence put forward by Lindskoog, or any that
                    passed through her hands" :

                    > That follows not at all. Kay Lindskoog once made a foolish
                    > remark about being "mentally married" to Lewis, and she
                    > later played an even more foolish practical joke passing a
                    > forgery off on Stephen Scofield. But she didn't let the forgery
                    > pass unremarked into the general thread of Lewis scholarship.
                    > She never, at any time, spent over a decade consistently
                    > misleading people as to the extent of her acquaintanceship
                    > with Lewis. She never published articles trying to cast doubt
                    > on Warren Lewis's sanity. She never did a whole bunch of
                    > disturbing things that Walter Hooper did. There is no comparison
                    > between them.

                    Kathryn gives a full account of her ill-conceived (and self-admittedly
                    "foolish") hoax on Stephen Scofield in her book "Fakes, Frauds &
                    Other Malarkey: 301 Amazing Stories and How Not to be Fooled"
                    (Zondervan, 1993). It appears in a four-page concluding chapter
                    entitled "A Hoaxer's Epilogue" (pp. 275-78), which she concludes
                    with the comment:

                    "Thus I learned that although it is surprisingly easy to toss off silly
                    forgeries, it is hard to avoid doing accidental harm with them and
                    absolutely impossible to overestimate human gullibility."

                    Has Walter Hooper EVER been this forthcoming about his known
                    "exaggerations"? Not that I've heard. There is indeed no comparison
                    to be made between Lindskoog's openness and Walter Hooper's
                    apparent lack thereof.

                    -- Pat
                  • John D Rateliff
                    Came across this on Thursday and forgot to post it: turns out Twain s The Curious Republic of Gondour was reprinted in 1984 in David Ketterer s edition of
                    Message 9 of 17 , May 2, 2006
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                      Came across this on Thursday and forgot to post it: turns out Twain's
                      "The Curious Republic of Gondour" was reprinted in 1984 in David
                      Ketterer's edition of THE SCIENCE FICTION OF MARK TWAIN; saw a trade
                      paperback of this, under the title TALES OF WONDER, in the university
                      bookstore while waiting for Elizabeth Moon's author reading to start.
                      So it's readily available for anyone who wants to pick up that
                      collection.


                      Speaking of Gondour/Gondor/Ond, thanks to a friend I now have a copy
                      of "Stone Towers", Carl & Pat's article on Tolkien's real-world
                      source for "OND" = stone (from MYTHLORE #74, 1993). It's an excellent
                      piece, and if I'd known of its existence I'd certainly have cited it
                      in my essay in the Blackwelder festschrift. The only point I disagree
                      with hinges on their identification of John Rhys's CELTIC BRITAIN
                      with the "small book (professedly for the young" that Tolkien said he
                      read when eight years old, and their comment (Endnote #5) on how
                      standards on writing for the young have shifted so much since
                      Tolkien's childhood. Rhys's book is certainly small (its pages
                      measuring about six inches tall and four inches wide--i.e. pocket-
                      sized) but he explicitly states that he is writing for "the general
                      reader" (Preface, page iv), and there is no indication either in his
                      book nor in the list of other books in the series in the back to
                      imply that it is a work for children (in fact, v. much the
                      contrary*). Therefore we either have to conclude that (a) Tolkien
                      read the book at age eight and so considered it "for the young", not
                      realizing how advanced a reader he had been, (b) Tolkien read a book
                      "professedly for the young" which derived from Rhys's book--that is,
                      some popularization of his ideas that has yet to be identified, or
                      (c) Tolkien read Rhys's book, but not quite as early as he later
                      thought in the letter he wrote when he was seventy-nine recalling the
                      fact. Of these, I think (c) the most likely, since we have plenty of
                      other evidence that Tolkien had a tendency to predate events,
                      thinking that they had occurred before they actually did.


                      *e.g., SINAI: FROM THE FOURTH EGYPTIAN DYNASTY TO THE PRESENT DAY, by
                      Henry S. Palmer, Major R.E., F.R.A.S., part of the "Ancient History
                      from the Monuments" series "chiefly intended to illustrate the Sacred
                      Scriptures by the results of recent Monumental Researches in the
                      East", or the books on EPICUREANISM and STOICISM, in "A Series of
                      Books which deals with the Chief Systems of Ancient Thought, not
                      merely as dry matters of History, but as having a bearin on Modern
                      Speculation".
                    • Carl F. Hostetter
                      ... I ve had much the same further thoughts on the matter since writing that article, and would certainly tell my self of 13 years ago not to be so firm in the
                      Message 10 of 17 , May 2, 2006
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                        On May 2, 2006, at 3:36 PM, John D Rateliff wrote:

                        > Therefore we either have to conclude that (a) Tolkien
                        > read the book at age eight and so considered it "for the young", not
                        > realizing how advanced a reader he had been, (b) Tolkien read a book
                        > "professedly for the young" which derived from Rhys's book--that is,
                        > some popularization of his ideas that has yet to be identified, or
                        > (c) Tolkien read Rhys's book, but not quite as early as he later
                        > thought in the letter he wrote when he was seventy-nine recalling the
                        > fact. Of these, I think (c) the most likely, since we have plenty of
                        > other evidence that Tolkien had a tendency to predate events,
                        > thinking that they had occurred before they actually did.

                        I've had much the same further thoughts on the matter since writing
                        that article, and would certainly tell my self of 13 years ago not to
                        be so firm in the judgement! I've kept my eye out for any other
                        possible source for Tolkien's learning of Pre-Celtic" _ond_ ever
                        since, but have yet to find even one other mention of it.

                        I would add a further possibility: Tolkien read Rhys's book as a
                        child, but misremembered its nature when describing it 70+ years later.

                        Carl
                      • John D Rateliff
                        ... I would give Lindskoog more credit for openness if the account you refer to were actually truthful. Unfortunately, it s a self-serving melange of
                        Message 11 of 17 , May 3, 2006
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                          On May 2, 2006, at 5:38 AM, Patrick Wynne wrote:
                          > Kathryn gives a full account of her ill-conceived (and self-admittedly
                          > "foolish") hoax on Stephen Scofield in her book "Fakes, Frauds &
                          > Other Malarkey: 301 Amazing Stories and How Not to be Fooled"
                          > (Zondervan, 1993). It appears in a four-page concluding chapter
                          > entitled "A Hoaxer's Epilogue" (pp. 275-78), which she concludes
                          > with the comment:
                          >
                          > "Thus I learned that although it is surprisingly easy to toss off
                          > silly
                          > forgeries, it is hard to avoid doing accidental harm with them and
                          > absolutely impossible to overestimate human gullibility."
                          >
                          > Has Walter Hooper EVER been this forthcoming about his known
                          > "exaggerations"? Not that I've heard. There is indeed no comparison
                          > to be made between Lindskoog's openness and Walter Hooper's
                          > apparent lack thereof.

                          I would give Lindskoog more credit for "openness" if the account you
                          refer to were actually truthful. Unfortunately, it's a self-serving
                          melange of untruths, as consultation with the original newspaper
                          articles published at the time reveals.
                          So, Fr. Hooper silently corrected the record without ever
                          confessing to having misled people, while Lindskoog published a false
                          story rewriting history to excuse her behavior.
                          What a world, what a world.

                          --John R.

                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Carl F. Hostetter
                          ... Could you cite some examples of these untruths, and of the actual facts, to illustrate this claim for those of us who don t have those newspaper articles?
                          Message 12 of 17 , May 4, 2006
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                            On May 4, 2006, at 1:07 AM, John D Rateliff wrote:

                            > On May 2, 2006, at 5:38 AM, Patrick Wynne wrote:
                            >> Kathryn gives a full account of her ill-conceived (and self-
                            >> admittedly "foolish") hoax on Stephen Scofield in her book "Fakes,
                            >> Frauds & Other Malarkey: 301 Amazing Stories and How Not to be
                            >> Fooled" (Zondervan, 1993). It appears in a four-page concluding
                            >> chapter entitled "A Hoaxer's Epilogue" (pp. 275-78), which she
                            >> concludes
                            >> with the comment:
                            >>
                            >> "Thus I learned that although it is surprisingly easy to toss off
                            >> silly forgeries, it is hard to avoid doing accidental harm with
                            >> them and absolutely impossible to overestimate human gullibility."
                            >>
                            >> Has Walter Hooper EVER been this forthcoming about his known
                            >> "exaggerations"? Not that I've heard. There is indeed no
                            >> comparison to be made between Lindskoog's openness and Walter
                            >> Hooper's apparent lack thereof.
                            >
                            > I would give Lindskoog more credit for "openness" if the account
                            > you refer to were actually truthful. Unfortunately, it's a self-
                            > serving melange of untruths, as consultation with the original
                            > newspaper articles published at the time reveals.

                            Could you cite some examples of these untruths, and of the actual
                            facts, to illustrate this claim for those of us who don't have those
                            newspaper articles?

                            > So, Fr. Hooper silently corrected the record without ever
                            > confessing to having misled people,

                            Corrections Hooper would _never_ have offered were it not for
                            Lindskoog's work.

                            > while Lindskoog published a false story rewriting history

                            So you say.

                            > to excuse her behavior.

                            As Pat notes, she called the behavior "foolish". That doesn't sound
                            like excusing it to me.

                            As I see it, Hooper consistently misrepresented himself in public in
                            order to promote himself and his supposed expertise on Lewis's life.
                            I have no reason to think that he didn't also misrepresent himself in
                            private in order to insinuate himself into the position of literary
                            executor of a man he'd known for all of, what, two, three weeks? --
                            a position that no doubt comes with not inconsiderable remunerations,
                            financial and otherwise, and from which he has repeatedly abused his
                            authority in order to trash Lewis's brother, friends, and actual
                            assistants -- and about whom, so far as I know, he'd written almost
                            nothing of any significance beforehand. I wouldn't personally crow
                            about Hooper's behavior or character, esp. not as being at all
                            superior to Lindskoog's.

                            > What a world, what a world.

                            As you say.

                            Carl
                          • Kevin Bowring
                            I have frequently heard these criticisms of Hooper. What are the major sources for this? Kevin Bowring
                            Message 13 of 17 , May 4, 2006
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                              I have frequently heard these criticisms of Hooper. What are the major sources for this?
                              Kevin Bowring
                            • Patrick Wynne
                              ... For starters, see Kathryn Lindskoog s book Light in the Shadowlands: Protecting the Real C.S. Lewis (Multnomah, 1994; ISBN 0880706953). If your local
                              Message 14 of 17 , May 4, 2006
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                                On May 4, 2006, at 6:56 AM, Kevin Bowring wrote:

                                > I have frequently heard these criticisms of Hooper. What are the
                                > major sources for this?
                                > Kevin Bowring

                                For starters, see Kathryn Lindskoog's book "Light in the Shadowlands:
                                Protecting the Real C.S. Lewis" (Multnomah, 1994; ISBN 0880706953).
                                If your local library doesn't have a copy, new and used ones are
                                available
                                on Amazon.com beginning at $2.99.

                                -- Pat




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                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • John D Rateliff
                                ... The best place to start would be Lindskoog s 1978 article in CHRISTIANITY & LITERATURE; I believe the title was Some Problems in C. S. Lewis Scholarship .
                                Message 15 of 17 , May 4, 2006
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                                  On May 4, 2006, at 4:56 AM, Kevin Bowring wrote:
                                  > I have frequently heard these criticisms of Hooper. What are the
                                  > major sources for this?
                                  > Kevin Bowring

                                  The best place to start would be Lindskoog's 1978 article in
                                  CHRISTIANITY & LITERATURE; I believe the title was "Some Problems in
                                  C. S. Lewis Scholarship". Then came her 1988 book THE C. S. LEWIS
                                  HOAX. An expanded edition of this came out in 2001 under the title
                                  SLEUTHING C. S. LEWIS. She also started her own journal (THE LEWIS
                                  LEGACY) which was largely devoted to further presentation of her
                                  case, and many issues and articles from it are available online
                                  courtesy of the Discovery Institute (a leading Creationist thinktank
                                  right here in Seattle who have hosted several CSL events). A quick
                                  Google search should lead you to an interesting selection of pieces
                                  by her, as well as many challenges to her claims, enabling you to
                                  read about it first-hand rather than relying on summaries of who said
                                  what by myself and others (returning to primary sources: always a
                                  good thing).
                                  Hope this helps.
                                  --John R.
                                • Kevin Bowring
                                  Thanks everyone. Kevin
                                  Message 16 of 17 , May 4, 2006
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                                    Thanks everyone.
                                    Kevin


                                    | On Thu, 4 May 2006 10:57:36 -0700
                                    | John D Rateliff <sacnoth@...> wrote:
                                    | On May 4, 2006, at 4:56 AM, Kevin Bowring wrote:
                                    | > I have frequently heard these criticisms of Hooper. What are the
                                    | > major sources for this?
                                    | > Kevin Bowring
                                    |
                                    | The best place to start would be Lindskoog's 1978 article in
                                    | CHRISTIANITY & LITERATURE; I believe the title was "Some Problems in
                                    | C. S. Lewis Scholarship". Then came her 1988 book THE C. S. LEWIS
                                    | HOAX. An expanded edition of this came out in 2001 under the title
                                    | SLEUTHING C. S. LEWIS. She also started her own journal (THE LEWIS
                                    | LEGACY) which was largely devoted to further presentation of her
                                    | case, and many issues and articles from it are available online
                                    | courtesy of the Discovery Institute (a leading Creationist thinktank
                                    | right here in Seattle who have hosted several CSL events). A quick
                                    | Google search should lead you to an interesting selection of pieces
                                    | by her, as well as many challenges to her claims, enabling you to
                                    | read about it first-hand rather than relying on summaries of who said
                                    | what by myself and others (returning to primary sources: always a
                                    | good thing).
                                    | Hope this helps.
                                    | --John R.
                                    |
                                    |
                                    |
                                    |
                                    |
                                    |
                                    | The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                                    | Yahoo! Groups Links
                                    |
                                    |
                                    |
                                    |
                                    |
                                    |
                                    |
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