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Re: [mythsoc] Re: Alastair Fowler

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  • 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 1 of 17 , Apr 30, 2006
      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 2 of 17 , May 1, 2006
        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 3 of 17 , May 1, 2006
          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 4 of 17 , May 2, 2006
            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 5 of 17 , May 2, 2006
              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 6 of 17 , May 2, 2006
                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 7 of 17 , May 3, 2006
                  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 8 of 17 , May 4, 2006
                    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 9 of 17 , May 4, 2006
                      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 10 of 17 , May 4, 2006
                        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 11 of 17 , May 4, 2006
                          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 12 of 17 , May 4, 2006
                            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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                            |
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