Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [mythsoc] Which Lewis Biography

Expand Messages
  • WendellWag@aol.com
    In a message dated 3/28/2007 10:19:37 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, d-lena@umn.edu writes: Someone, likely David Bratman, in a review listed a devastatingly
    Message 1 of 13 , Mar 28 7:37 PM
    • 0 Attachment
      In a message dated 3/28/2007 10:19:37 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
      d-lena@... writes:

      Someone,
      likely David Bratman, in a review listed a devastatingly long list of
      minor errors in Wilson, many so easily corrected with minor checking
      that any confidence that the reader can have in any of the book's
      assertions must be undercut.


      Actually, I think you're probably thinking of my letter to _Mythprint_
      commenting on a review of Wilson's book.

      There is *no* definitive biography of Lewis. As people have already
      commented, there are several passible ones that anyone interested in Lewis should
      read. Until such time as somebody gives me a big enough advance that I can
      quit my job for a couple of years and write the definitive Lewis biography,
      you'll have to make do with what's available.

      Wendell Wagner



      ************************************** See what's free at http://www.aol.com


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • WendellWag@aol.com
      In a message dated 3/28/2007 10:19:37 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, d-lena@umn.edu writes: Someone, likely David Bratman, in a review listed a devastatingly
      Message 2 of 13 , Mar 28 7:37 PM
      • 0 Attachment
        In a message dated 3/28/2007 10:19:37 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
        d-lena@... writes:

        Someone,
        likely David Bratman, in a review listed a devastatingly long list of
        minor errors in Wilson, many so easily corrected with minor checking
        that any confidence that the reader can have in any of the book's
        assertions must be undercut.


        Actually, I think you're probably thinking of my letter to _Mythprint_
        commenting on a review of Wilson's book.

        There is *no* definitive biography of Lewis. As people have already
        commented, there are several passible ones that anyone interested in Lewis should
        read. Until such time as somebody gives me a big enough advance that I can
        quit my job for a couple of years and write the definitive Lewis biography,
        you'll have to make do with what's available.

        Wendell Wagner



        ************************************** See what's free at http://www.aol.com


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • WendellWag@aol.com
        In a message dated 3/28/2007 10:19:37 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, d-lena@umn.edu writes: Someone, likely David Bratman, in a review listed a devastatingly
        Message 3 of 13 , Mar 28 7:37 PM
        • 0 Attachment
          In a message dated 3/28/2007 10:19:37 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
          d-lena@... writes:

          Someone,
          likely David Bratman, in a review listed a devastatingly long list of
          minor errors in Wilson, many so easily corrected with minor checking
          that any confidence that the reader can have in any of the book's
          assertions must be undercut.


          Actually, I think you're probably thinking of my letter to _Mythprint_
          commenting on a review of Wilson's book.

          There is *no* definitive biography of Lewis. As people have already
          commented, there are several passible ones that anyone interested in Lewis should
          read. Until such time as somebody gives me a big enough advance that I can
          quit my job for a couple of years and write the definitive Lewis biography,
          you'll have to make do with what's available.

          Wendell Wagner



          ************************************** See what's free at http://www.aol.com


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Elizabeth Hardy
          I also found They Stand Together to be enormously helpful. For one thing, it debunked Sayer s fantastic claim that Lewis had initially read the entire Faerie
          Message 4 of 13 , Mar 29 4:48 AM
          • 0 Attachment
            I also found They Stand Together to be enormously helpful. For one thing, it debunked Sayer's fantastic claim that Lewis had initially read the entire Faerie Queene at a sitting (a Herculean task even for such an amazing reader.) By reading Lewis's letters to Arthur Greeves, I was able to see his regular reports on his progress through the poem's books, which actually took many weeks. Then again, he was only reading it for fun, as a break from his "serious" reading at Great Bookham!

            David Lenander <d-lena@...> wrote: For a while I thought, like John, that the Wilson bio was the best.
            And it is, on a number of levels. Probably the best-written, the only
            one that observes certain conventions of the form, the only one to
            really consider some (less-positive) aspects of its subject. But there
            are a couple of major failings, and I actually prefer the Sayer, maybe
            only because I share some of its sympathy for the subject. Someone,
            likely David Bratman, in a review listed a devastatingly long list of
            minor errors in Wilson, many so easily corrected with minor checking
            that any confidence that the reader can have in any of the book's
            assertions must be undercut. (At the same time, it's not that I have
            any doubt that overall the book is accurate and right about most of
            what it says). Beyond this, there are several clear misunderstandings
            or misreadings on Wilson's part that seem almost willful
            misunderstandings of CSL. (I'm almost certain that the most notorious
            of these has been discussed a couple of times on this list, go back and
            check the backfiles). The affair of Lewis and Mrs. Moore seems to me
            so likely that those who claim it's controversial or in doubt or a
            point of debate in Wilson's book are being, themselves, willfully or
            wishfully innocent. It is an example of the problem with some of the
            other CSL biography, that this should be a debatable point in the
            Wilson bio. But the real problem is that Wilson is so convinced that
            it IS very important, and that he is so dedicated to debunking the CSL
            worship that he sees in Kay Lindskoog and, I suppose, Walter Hooper
            (how would they like being put together?) that he loses sight of his
            real subject. It's not as bad as the notorious bio-critical book about
            the Skeleton in the Wardrobe by any means, but it errs in the other
            direction, and in fact I think everyone seriously interested in CSL
            should read both Wilson and Sayer. For most of us in the MythSoc, the
            most important and best books on the subject are Lewis's own _Surprised
            by Joy_ and Carpenter's _The Inklings_, which is essentially a bio of
            the CSL in whom we're most interested. For some months I've been
            reading and enjoying _They Stand Together_, a few letters at a time
            (this is a collection of CSL's letters to his dear friend from his
            youth, back in Ireland), and it might be that this is more valuable
            than most biographies, too. I imagine that this is even more true of
            the collected letters, which I have not read.

            My two cents.

            David Lenander
            d-lena@...
            2095 Hamline Ave. N.
            Roseville, MN 55113
            651-292-8887
            http://www.umn.edu/~d-lena/RIVENDELL.html






            ---------------------------------
            Sucker-punch spam with award-winning protection.
            Try the free Yahoo! Mail Beta.

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • WendellWag@aol.com
            In a message dated 3/29/2007 3:38:59 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, WendellWag@aol.com writes: Until such time as somebody gives me a big enough advance that I
            Message 5 of 13 , Mar 29 7:10 AM
            • 0 Attachment
              In a message dated 3/29/2007 3:38:59 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
              WendellWag@... writes:

              Until such time as somebody gives me a big enough advance that I can
              quit my job for a couple of years and write the definitive Lewis biography,
              you'll have to make do with what's available.


              And, in the meantime, perhaps someone can fix whatever caused the Yahoo
              listserver to send me three copies of my last post? I'm glad to see things that
              I wrote get such huge distribution, but I was thinking of having many people
              read my writings, not having some people have to read my post several times.
              Did other people get multiple copies of my last post?

              Wendell Wagner



              ************************************** See what's free at http://www.aol.com


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Croft, Janet B.
              I heard from my husband that his Yahoo slide rule list exploded this morning, sending up to 20 copies of the same message, so I think it s at Yahoo s end...
              Message 6 of 13 , Mar 29 7:22 AM
              • 0 Attachment
                I heard from my husband that his Yahoo slide rule list exploded this
                morning, sending up to 20 copies of the same message, so I think it's at
                Yahoo's end...





                Janet

                ________________________________

                From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                Of WendellWag@...
                Sent: Thursday, March 29, 2007 9:10 AM
                To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Which Lewis Biography




                In a message dated 3/29/2007 3:38:59 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
                WendellWag@... <mailto:WendellWag%40aol.com> writes:

                Until such time as somebody gives me a big enough advance that I can
                quit my job for a couple of years and write the definitive Lewis
                biography,
                you'll have to make do with what's available.

                And, in the meantime, perhaps someone can fix whatever caused the Yahoo
                listserver to send me three copies of my last post? I'm glad to see
                things that
                I wrote get such huge distribution, but I was thinking of having many
                people
                read my writings, not having some people have to read my post several
                times.
                Did other people get multiple copies of my last post?

                Wendell Wagner

                ************************************** See what's free at
                http://www.aol.com <http://www.aol.com>

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





                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Carl F. Hostetter
                ... I m sure we re all thinking the same thing: There s a Yahoo SLIDE RULE list?!?! Carl (Who runs a Yahoo Pretend Fairy Language list...)
                Message 7 of 13 , Mar 29 9:20 AM
                • 0 Attachment
                  On Mar 29, 2007, at 10:22 AM, Croft, Janet B. wrote:

                  > I heard from my husband that his Yahoo slide rule list exploded this
                  > morning,

                  I'm sure we're all thinking the same thing:

                  "There's a Yahoo SLIDE RULE list?!?!"

                  Carl

                  (Who runs a Yahoo Pretend Fairy Language list...)
                • Croft, Janet B.
                  I m sure we re all thinking the same thing: There s a Yahoo SLIDE RULE list?!?! Carl A very active list, actually! In fact I recently accompanied Duane to a
                  Message 8 of 13 , Mar 29 9:44 AM
                  • 0 Attachment
                    I'm sure we're all thinking the same thing:

                    "There's a Yahoo SLIDE RULE list?!?!"

                    Carl



                    A very active list, actually! In fact I recently accompanied Duane to a
                    slide rule collectors' meeting in Dallas, where he came in third in the
                    Fastest Slide Rule in the West competition. (Of course, there were only
                    three entrants...)



                    Janet



                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • alexeik@aol.com
                    ... From: WendellWag@aol.com To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com Sent: Thu, 29 Mar 2007 10:10 AM Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Which Lewis Biography And, in the meantime,
                    Message 9 of 13 , Mar 29 10:24 AM
                    • 0 Attachment
                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: WendellWag@...
                      To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Thu, 29 Mar 2007 10:10 AM
                      Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Which Lewis Biography



                      And, in the meantime, perhaps someone can fix whatever caused the Yahoo
                      listserver to send me three copies of my last post? I'm glad to see things that
                      I wrote get such huge distribution, but I was thinking of having many people
                      read my writings, not having some people have to read my post several times.
                      Did other people get multiple copies of my last post?

                      Wendell Wagner

                      <<
                      I've been getting multiple copies of every post from yahoogroups, and I suspect it's an AOL problem, as usual.
                      AlexeiRecent Activity
                      1New Members
                      Visit Your Group
                      SPONSORED LINKS
                      Genre magazine
                      Science fiction and fantasy
                      Film genres
                      Apprentice LA
                      Who will be next?
                      Play the Bix.com
                      faceoff to see!
                      Yahoo! Movies
                      Staying in tonight?
                      Check out new DVDs
                      and read reviews.
                      Yahoo! News
                      Most Popular News
                      What's the most
                      popular news now?.

                      ________________________________________________________________________
                      AOL now offers free email to everyone. Find out more about what's free from AOL at AOL.com.


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • David Bratman
                      ... It certainly wasn t me. Wilson s minor inaccuracies, though numerous, seem to me to be petty sloppiness and to shed very little light on whether he s
                      Message 10 of 13 , Mar 31 5:30 AM
                      • 0 Attachment
                        At 09:18 AM 3/28/2007 -0500, David Lenander wrote:

                        >Someone,
                        >likely David Bratman, in a review listed a devastatingly long list of
                        >minor errors in Wilson, many so easily corrected with minor checking
                        >that any confidence that the reader can have in any of the book's
                        >assertions must be undercut.

                        It certainly wasn't me. Wilson's minor inaccuracies, though numerous, seem
                        to me to be petty sloppiness and to shed very little light on whether he's
                        right or wrong about larger issues. The two aren't really connected. Some
                        of the best big-picture people are sloppy on facts, though a really good
                        one would get someone to check his facts. But Wilson's critics do have a
                        tendency to frantically seize on the litany of minor errors, exaggerate
                        their significance and the degree to which they are erroneous, and wave
                        them around as final proof of his worthlessness. It doesn't really follow.

                        >The affair of Lewis and Mrs. Moore seems to me
                        >so likely that those who claim it's controversial or in doubt or a
                        >point of debate in Wilson's book are being, themselves, willfully or
                        >wishfully innocent.

                        The affair seems far likelier than not, and its existence would explain a
                        lot about Lewis, but a fair appraisal must include that it's absolutely
                        unproven and is sheer guesswork.

                        >But the real problem is that Wilson is so convinced that
                        >it IS very important, and that he is so dedicated to debunking the CSL
                        >worship that he sees in Kay Lindskoog and, I suppose, Walter Hooper
                        >(how would they like being put together?) that he loses sight of his
                        >real subject.

                        Which makes Wilson unsuitable as the default biography, but not as a
                        contribution to the discussion. Some of Wilson's critics profess
                        bewilderment at his claim of Lewis-worship by the likes of Lindskoog and
                        Hooper, but it's quite plainly there.

                        >For most of us in the MythSoc, the
                        >most important and best books on the subject are Lewis's own _Surprised
                        >by Joy_ and Carpenter's _The Inklings_, which is essentially a bio of
                        >the CSL in whom we're most interested.

                        Surprised by Joy is an excellently-written book, and too often overlooked
                        as a biography, but it's very limited and partial in its view (not a
                        criticism, just a statement of fact). And Carpenter's Inklings is far
                        better about the group than it is about the individual members. I used to
                        reluctantly recommend Sayer as the best Lewis biography for a person who
                        just wants to read one, but my recommendation for that purpose is now
                        wholly given over to Jacobs's The Narnian.

                        David Bratman
                      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.