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Re: [mythsoc] Which Lewis Biography

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  • 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 1 of 13 , Mar 29, 2007
      -----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.
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      [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 2 of 13 , Mar 31, 2007
        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
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