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The Company They Keep

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  • Joan.Marie.Verba@sff.net
    I ve just finished (today) The Company They Keep by Diana Pavlac Glyer (and an appendix by David Bratman). I highly recommend it. It s brilliant. Her premise
    Message 1 of 24 , Feb 25, 2008
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      I've just finished (today) The Company They Keep by Diana Pavlac Glyer (and an
      appendix by David Bratman). I highly recommend it. It's brilliant.

      Her premise is that despite the protests of the Inklings that they did not
      influence one another, that they did indeed influence each other in many ways.
      Her assertions are thoroughly documented and convincing.

      It also contains a lot of interesting facts and observations about Tolkien,
      Lewis (Jack and Warnie), Williams, etc.

      Well worth reading.
      Joan
    • David Emerson
      ... I heartily second that opinion! If nothing else, the amount of research Diana has done is awe-inspiring! And there s plenty else, too. emerdavid
      Message 2 of 24 , Feb 25, 2008
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        >I've just finished (today) The Company They Keep by Diana Pavlac Glyer (and an
        >appendix by David Bratman). I highly recommend it. It's brilliant.
        >
        >Her premise is that despite the protests of the Inklings that they did not
        >influence one another, that they did indeed influence each other in many ways.
        >Her assertions are thoroughly documented and convincing.
        >
        >It also contains a lot of interesting facts and observations about Tolkien,
        >Lewis (Jack and Warnie), Williams, etc.
        >
        >Well worth reading.
        >Joan

        I heartily second that opinion! If nothing else, the amount of research Diana has done is awe-inspiring! And there's plenty else, too.

        emerdavid

        ________________________________________
        PeoplePC Online
        A better way to Internet
        http://www.peoplepc.com
      • Croft, Janet B.
        It is a great book. When people complained about the premise of my collection Tolkien and Shakespeare, saying that Tolkien disliked Shakespeare and
        Message 3 of 24 , Feb 26, 2008
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          It is a great book. When people complained about the premise of my collection "Tolkien and Shakespeare," saying that Tolkien disliked Shakespeare and therefore there could be no influence, I was having trouble articulating exactly why that was too simplistic an attitude. Glyer's book gave me a good critical framework to use in response, and if I could go back and rewrite my introduction, I'd quote liberally from her book. I've also passed it on to the director of the writing center here, and she's been very impressed with it and is quoting from it and the two related articles in the last _Mythlore_ in her work on collaborative writing and writing groups.


          Janet

          ________________________________
          From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of David Emerson
          Sent: Monday, February 25, 2008 9:48 PM
          To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [mythsoc] The Company They Keep


          >I've just finished (today) The Company They Keep by Diana Pavlac Glyer (and an
          >appendix by David Bratman). I highly recommend it. It's brilliant.
          >
          >Her premise is that despite the protests of the Inklings that they did not
          >influence one another, that they did indeed influence each other in many ways.
          >Her assertions are thoroughly documented and convincing.
          >
          >It also contains a lot of interesting facts and observations about Tolkien,
          >Lewis (Jack and Warnie), Williams, etc.
          >
          >Well worth reading.
          >Joan

          I heartily second that opinion! If nothing else, the amount of research Diana has done is awe-inspiring! And there's plenty else, too.

          emerdavid

          ________________________________________
          PeoplePC Online
          A better way to Internet
          http://www.peoplepc.com



          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • David Bratman
          ... Really? I d have pointed mutely to the note at the bottom of p. 212 in the Letters, which is where Tolkien beefs about Macbeth and says I longed to
          Message 4 of 24 , Feb 26, 2008
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            "Croft, Janet B." <jbcroft@...> wrote:

            >It is a great book. When people complained about the premise
            >of my collection "Tolkien and Shakespeare," saying that
            >Tolkien disliked Shakespeare and therefore there could be no
            >influence, I was having trouble articulating exactly why that
            >was too simplistic an attitude.

            Really? I'd have pointed mutely to the note at the bottom of p. 212 in the Letters, which is where Tolkien beefs about "Macbeth" and says "I longed to devise a setting in which the trees might really march to war." It's one of the primary sources from which we know that Tolkien disliked Shakespeare, and there it is right there, influence.

            This is the kind of influence that the terminology Diana Glyer uses calls "Opposition", and it's a common one. Tolkien's Beowulf essay was written in Opposition to previous Beowulf scholars. And so on.

            Having been stuffing myself with essays about similarities between Tolkien's work and this-or-that dashed thing, I find it actually refreshing when the writer says, "This is just a resemblance; I have no idea whether Tolkien read this other author or not."
          • Croft, Janet B.
            There are a lot of people who, as Glyer points out, confuse influence and imitation. That s the kind of criticism I was seeing. They didn t understand that
            Message 5 of 24 , Feb 26, 2008
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              There are a lot of people who, as Glyer points out, confuse "influence" and "imitation." That's the kind of criticism I was seeing. They didn't understand that influence could manifest as opposition, as in this specific case, or in any of the many other ways that Harold Bloom cataloged in _The Anxiety of Influence_ .


              Janet

              ________________________________
              From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of David Bratman
              Sent: Tuesday, February 26, 2008 9:35 AM
              To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: RE: [mythsoc] The Company They Keep


              "Croft, Janet B." <jbcroft@...<mailto:jbcroft%40ou.edu>> wrote:

              >It is a great book. When people complained about the premise
              >of my collection "Tolkien and Shakespeare," saying that
              >Tolkien disliked Shakespeare and therefore there could be no
              >influence, I was having trouble articulating exactly why that
              >was too simplistic an attitude.

              Really? I'd have pointed mutely to the note at the bottom of p. 212 in the Letters, which is where Tolkien beefs about "Macbeth" and says "I longed to devise a setting in which the trees might really march to war." It's one of the primary sources from which we know that Tolkien disliked Shakespeare, and there it is right there, influence.

              This is the kind of influence that the terminology Diana Glyer uses calls "Opposition", and it's a common one. Tolkien's Beowulf essay was written in Opposition to previous Beowulf scholars. And so on.

              Having been stuffing myself with essays about similarities between Tolkien's work and this-or-that dashed thing, I find it actually refreshing when the writer says, "This is just a resemblance; I have no idea whether Tolkien read this other author or not."



              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Sarah Beach
              Even if Diana were NOT a friend, I d be singing the praises of this book. On the one hand, just in terms of getting a better picture of the Inklings in action,
              Message 6 of 24 , Feb 26, 2008
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                Even if Diana were NOT a friend, I'd be singing the praises of this
                book.

                On the one hand, just in terms of getting a better picture of the
                Inklings in action, it's superb. Pointing out the mutual editing,
                critiquing, correcting they did for each other brings the group alive
                much more than instance of being able to say "Item X in JRRT's book
                is there because Williams said Y". The dry statement that Lewis
                didn't appreicate Tolkien's homey humor does not convey much. But
                after reading the book, I suddenly have an image of JRRT impishly
                indulging himself in such flippancies for the pleasure of hearing his
                friends groan at them.

                On the other hand, presenting the Inklings as a case study of how
                creative interaction and influence works is fascinating. Because I
                like the writers, I can take this description of THEIR interaction
                and use it as a template to compare the interaction in some of my own
                circles. Yes, it's there. It does happen this way.

                Hopefully, the book will start lighting the way in helping people
                understand that influence in a group does NOT lead the group members
                to become more and more like each other. Instead, it helps each
                member become more clearly himself.

                And as an aside: if this book doesn't win the MythSoc scholarship
                award this year, I'll beat the voters gooy with a wet noodle. (Alas,
                I don't have the time to do the reading to get in on the voting.)


                --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Croft, Janet B." <jbcroft@...> wrote:
                >
                > It is a great book. When people complained about the premise of my
                collection "Tolkien and Shakespeare," saying that Tolkien disliked
                Shakespeare and therefore there could be no influence, I was having
                trouble articulating exactly why that was too simplistic an
                attitude. Glyer's book gave me a good critical framework to use in
                response, and if I could go back and rewrite my introduction, I'd
                quote liberally from her book. I've also passed it on to the
                director of the writing center here, and she's been very impressed
                with it and is quoting from it and the two related articles in the
                last _Mythlore_ in her work on collaborative writing and writing
                groups.
                >
                >
                > Janet
                >
                > ________________________________
                > From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On
                Behalf Of David Emerson
                > Sent: Monday, February 25, 2008 9:48 PM
                > To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                > Subject: Re: [mythsoc] The Company They Keep
                >
                >
                > >I've just finished (today) The Company They Keep by Diana Pavlac
                Glyer (and an
                > >appendix by David Bratman). I highly recommend it. It's brilliant.
                > >
                > >Her premise is that despite the protests of the Inklings that they
                did not
                > >influence one another, that they did indeed influence each other
                in many ways.
                > >Her assertions are thoroughly documented and convincing.
                > >
                > >It also contains a lot of interesting facts and observations about
                Tolkien,
                > >Lewis (Jack and Warnie), Williams, etc.
                > >
                > >Well worth reading.
                > >Joan
                >
                > I heartily second that opinion! If nothing else, the amount of
                research Diana has done is awe-inspiring! And there's plenty else,
                too.
                >
                > emerdavid
                >
                > ________________________________________
                > PeoplePC Online
                > A better way to Internet
                > http://www.peoplepc.com
                >
                >
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
              • Lynn Maudlin
                Absolutely; the response of no no no, that s not right; I d better do it myself to get it right is INDEED an example of influence. Shoot, I wrote a song
                Message 7 of 24 , Feb 26, 2008
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                  Absolutely; the response of "no no no, that's not right; I'd better do
                  it myself to get it right" is INDEED an example of influence. Shoot, I
                  wrote a song ("Walk on By"
                  <http://www.moonbirdmusic.us/lyrics_walkonby.htm> reacting to Lynyrd
                  Skynyrd's "what's your name, little girl, what's your name?" !!).

                  I particularly like that Diana shows us about the dynamic of a
                  positive, functional group (and we can infer the issues that brought
                  the Inklings sadly to an end). On the other hand, they had a very good
                  run...

                  -- Lynn --


                  --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Croft, Janet B." <jbcroft@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > It is a great book. When people complained about the premise of my
                  collection "Tolkien and Shakespeare," saying that Tolkien disliked
                  Shakespeare and therefore there could be no influence, I was having
                  trouble articulating exactly why that was too simplistic an attitude.
                  Glyer's book gave me a good critical framework to use in response,
                  and if I could go back and rewrite my introduction, I'd quote
                  liberally from her book. I've also passed it on to the director of
                  the writing center here, and she's been very impressed with it and is
                  quoting from it and the two related articles in the last _Mythlore_ in
                  her work on collaborative writing and writing groups.
                  >
                  >
                  > Janet
                  >
                  > ________________________________
                  > From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On
                  Behalf Of David Emerson
                  > Sent: Monday, February 25, 2008 9:48 PM
                  > To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                  > Subject: Re: [mythsoc] The Company They Keep
                  >
                  >
                  > >I've just finished (today) The Company They Keep by Diana Pavlac
                  Glyer (and an
                  > >appendix by David Bratman). I highly recommend it. It's brilliant.
                  > >
                  > >Her premise is that despite the protests of the Inklings that they
                  did not
                  > >influence one another, that they did indeed influence each other in
                  many ways.
                  > >Her assertions are thoroughly documented and convincing.
                  > >
                  > >It also contains a lot of interesting facts and observations about
                  Tolkien,
                  > >Lewis (Jack and Warnie), Williams, etc.
                  > >
                  > >Well worth reading.
                  > >Joan
                  >
                  > I heartily second that opinion! If nothing else, the amount of
                  research Diana has done is awe-inspiring! And there's plenty else, too.
                  >
                  > emerdavid
                  >
                  > ________________________________________
                  > PeoplePC Online
                  > A better way to Internet
                  > http://www.peoplepc.com
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
                • David Emerson
                  ... I have often thought that Don t Think Twice, It s All Right was a direct answer to The Last Thing on My Mind . emerdavid
                  Message 8 of 24 , Feb 27, 2008
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                    >Absolutely; the response of "no no no, that's not right; I'd better do
                    >it myself to get it right" is INDEED an example of influence. Shoot, I
                    >wrote a song ("Walk on By"
                    ><http://www.moonbirdmusic.us/lyrics_walkonby.htm> reacting to Lynyrd
                    >Skynyrd's "what's your name, little girl, what's your name?" !!).

                    I have often thought that "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" was a direct answer to "The Last Thing on My Mind".


                    emerdavid

                    ________________________________________
                    PeoplePC Online
                    A better way to Internet
                    http://www.peoplepc.com
                  • Mike Foster
                    Continuing this tangled thread, Bob Dylan s Clothesline Saga [The Basement Tapes] was an answer to Bobbi Gentry s Ode To Billy Joe. ... From:
                    Message 9 of 24 , Feb 27, 2008
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                      Continuing this tangled thread, Bob Dylan's "Clothesline Saga" [The
                      Basement Tapes] was an answer to Bobbi Gentry's "Ode To Billy Joe."

                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                      Of David Emerson
                      Sent: Wednesday, February 27, 2008 8:56 AM
                      To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Re: The Company They Keep

                      >Absolutely; the response of "no no no, that's not right; I'd better do
                      >it myself to get it right" is INDEED an example of influence. Shoot, I
                      >wrote a song ("Walk on By"
                      ><http://www.moonbird <http://www.moonbirdmusic.us/lyrics_walkonby.htm>
                      music.us/lyrics_walkonby.htm> reacting to Lynyrd
                      >Skynyrd's "what's your name, little girl, what's your name?" !!).

                      I have often thought that "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" was a
                      direct answer to "The Last Thing on My Mind".

                      emerdavid

                      ________________________________________
                      PeoplePC Online
                      A better way to Internet
                      http://www.peoplepc <http://www.peoplepc.com> .com



                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Cole Matson
                      Message 10 of 24 , Feb 27, 2008
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                        << Hopefully, the book will start lighting the way in helping people
                        understand that influence in a group does NOT lead the group members
                        to become more and more like each other. Instead, it helps each
                        member become more clearly himself.>>

                        Didn't C.S. Lewis write something like this about friendship in The Four
                        Loves? That each friend in a group reflects a facet of each other friend in
                        the group, which without the group would not be seen. In effect, friends
                        help each other become more themselves.

                        In any case, I will also be shocked if the book does not win the Scholarship
                        Award. I had never thought about the different types of influence artists
                        can have on each other, and I enjoyed the descriptions of the Inklings'
                        literary responses to other Inklings. Brilliant book.

                        Cole


                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • David Bratman
                        ... He did indeed, and Glyer cites this in a note at the top of page 44. ... It s only fair to mention that there are some other brilliant books up this year,
                        Message 11 of 24 , Feb 28, 2008
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                          Cole Matson <ccematson@...> wrote:

                          >Didn't C.S. Lewis write something like this about friendship in The Four
                          >Loves? That each friend in a group reflects a facet of each other friend in
                          >the group, which without the group would not be seen. In effect, friends
                          >help each other become more themselves.

                          He did indeed, and Glyer cites this in a note at the top of page 44.

                          >In any case, I will also be shocked if the book does not win the Scholarship
                          >Award. I had never thought about the different types of influence artists
                          >can have on each other, and I enjoyed the descriptions of the Inklings'
                          >literary responses to other Inklings. Brilliant book.

                          It's only fair to mention that there are some other brilliant books up this year, in particular John D. Rateliff's "The History of The Hobbit". (Also the Marquette conference collection, and Verlyn Flieger's "Interrupted Music", and Marjorie Burns's "Perilous Realms", not to mention some other very good books.) It's very hard for me to judge between them, since I had been hearing about both Glyer's and Rateliff's from their authors for years before publication - books aren't written in a day - and reading them (listening to Rateliff read aloud, sheafs of successive draft mss. from Glyer), so I knew the theses and neither came as a bolt from the blue. How they must look to people who are coming to them fresh now I can only imagine. But oh, it's so refreshing to see them in print at last.
                        • Cole Matson
                          Message 12 of 24 , Mar 13, 2008
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                            <<It's only fair to mention that there are some other brilliant books up
                            this year, in particular John D. Rateliff's "The History of The Hobbit".
                            (Also the Marquette conference collection, and Verlyn Flieger's "Interrupted
                            Music", and Marjorie Burns's "Perilous Realms", not to mention some other
                            very good books.)>>

                            Thanks for bringing these to my attention. I'd heard of them, but didn't
                            remember they were in consideration the same year as Ms. Glyer's book! I'll
                            have to reserve judgment then until I've read these. And the stack of
                            to-be-read grows effortlessly higher and higher...

                            Cole


                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • John D Rateliff
                            I can t speak to my own work, of course, but you shd definitely move PERILOUS REALMS and INTERRUPTED MUSIC to the top of your pile. Burns doesn t just
                            Message 13 of 24 , Mar 13, 2008
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                              I can't speak to my own work, of course, but you shd definitely move
                              PERILOUS REALMS and INTERRUPTED MUSIC to the top of your pile. Burns
                              doesn't just elegantly sort out the Norse vs. Celtic dichotomy but
                              presents the best case I've ever seen for Tolkien as not an "either/
                              or" author but a "both/and" one, stressing his ability to see and
                              fairly present both sides of an issue. It's a fine refutation of
                              those who think he sees everything in black-and-white. And Flieger's
                              is quite simply one of the two or three best books ever written about
                              Tolkien.
                              --JDR

                              On Mar 13, 2008, at 2:41 PM, Cole Matson wrote:
                              > <<It's only fair to mention that there are some other brilliant
                              > books up
                              > this year, in particular John D. Rateliff's "The History of The
                              > Hobbit".
                              > (Also the Marquette conference collection, and Verlyn Flieger's
                              > "Interrupted
                              > Music", and Marjorie Burns's "Perilous Realms", not to mention some
                              > other
                              > very good books.)>>
                              >
                              > Thanks for bringing these to my attention. I'd heard of them, but
                              > didn't
                              > remember they were in consideration the same year as Ms. Glyer's
                              > book! I'll
                              > have to reserve judgment then until I've read these. And the stack of
                              > to-be-read grows effortlessly higher and higher...
                              >
                              > Cole
                            • Doug Kane
                              ... I haven t gotten to the much-praised _The Company They Keep_ or _Perilous Realms_ yet (soon!), but I do want to second John s comment about _Interrupted
                              Message 14 of 24 , Mar 13, 2008
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                                --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, John D Rateliff <sacnoth@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > I can't speak to my own work, of course, but you shd definitely move
                                > PERILOUS REALMS and INTERRUPTED MUSIC to the top of your pile. Burns
                                > doesn't just elegantly sort out the Norse vs. Celtic dichotomy but
                                > presents the best case I've ever seen for Tolkien as not an "either/
                                > or" author but a "both/and" one, stressing his ability to see and
                                > fairly present both sides of an issue. It's a fine refutation of
                                > those who think he sees everything in black-and-white. And Flieger's
                                > is quite simply one of the two or three best books ever written about
                                > Tolkien.
                                > --JDR

                                I haven't gotten to the much-praised _The Company They Keep_ or _Perilous Realms_ yet (soon!), but I do want to second John's comment about _Interrupted Music_. I didn't think there was any way that Flieger could equal or exceed _Splintered Light_ but she has done so. I agree with John that it is one of the two or three best books ever written about Tolkien.

                                That having been said, I can't say which I would choose between _Interrupted Music_ and John's own _The History of The Hobbit_. John's book is a ground-breaking labor of love (with the emphasis on labor because it obviously was a HUGE amount of work) that is a must-read for any fan of Tolkien's.

                                The award may need to just get split into pieces this year. ;-)

                                Doug

                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • Andrew Higgins
                                To All I just finished The Company they Keep a week ago (and the pile still gets higher). Really enjoyed it. It sheds some really interesting light on all
                                Message 15 of 24 , Mar 16, 2008
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                                  To All

                                  I just finished The Company they Keep a week ago (and the pile still gets higher). Really enjoyed it. It sheds some really interesting light on all the Inklings (including ones like Barfield and Dyson) and has made me very interested in reading the works of Charles Williams. It did destroy one illusion I had and that is that the Inklings used to gather at the Bird and the Baby on Thursdays to read their works where actually they did this in C.S. Lewis' rooms in Magdlen college on Tuesday mornings to read their works and Thursday night was more of a leisurely drinking, chatting Inklings event. When I went to the Bird and the Baby for the first time (of many since I have moved to London) I was waxing poetical about Tolkien, Lewis, et al sitting in the back room reading sections from The Hobbit, The Lost Road, Out of the Silent Planet, etc - but it was probably more likely that just bits and pieces of Elvish poetry was heard in the drinking bouts! An excellent book -
                                  how the Inklings influenced each other, competed with each other and potrtrayed each other in their works (as I am finding as I read C.S. Lewis Out of the Silent Planet and the character of Ransom the philologist dreaming of learning the verb tense for inhabitants of Malacandra being J.R.R. himself). A great read.

                                  They just came out with The History of the Hobbit in paperback here in the UK and it was a great excuse to purchase another copy of this and re-read - one of the best researched books I have read in a while.

                                  Cheers, Andy

                                  Cole Matson <ccematson@...> wrote:
                                  <<It's only fair to mention that there are some other brilliant books up
                                  this year, in particular John D. Rateliff's "The History of The Hobbit".
                                  (Also the Marquette conference collection, and Verlyn Flieger's "Interrupted
                                  Music", and Marjorie Burns's "Perilous Realms", not to mention some other
                                  very good books.)>>

                                  Thanks for bringing these to my attention. I'd heard of them, but didn't
                                  remember they were in consideration the same year as Ms. Glyer's book! I'll
                                  have to reserve judgment then until I've read these. And the stack of
                                  to-be-read grows effortlessly higher and higher...

                                  Cole

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






                                  Andrew Higgins
                                  asthiggins@...
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                                  "Alles ist nach seiner Art, an ihr wirst du nichts andern." Siegfried Act 2
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                                • David Bratman
                                  ... Williams can be a challenge. His novels are often considered a good place to start, but one way to get a discussion going among Williams readers is to ask
                                  Message 16 of 24 , Mar 16, 2008
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                                    >At 12:35 PM 3/16/2008 +0000, Andrew Higgins wrote:

                                    >I just finished The Company they Keep a week ago (and the pile still gets
                                    >higher). Really enjoyed it. It sheds some really interesting light on all
                                    >the Inklings (including ones like Barfield and Dyson) and has made me very
                                    >interested in reading the works of Charles Williams.

                                    Williams can be a challenge. His novels are often considered a good place to start, but one way to get a discussion going among Williams readers is to ask which novel a new reader should try first. My vote goes to _War in Heaven_.

                                    >It did destroy one
                                    >illusion I had and that is that the Inklings used to gather at the Bird and
                                    >the Baby on Thursdays to read their works where actually they did this in
                                    >C.S. Lewis' rooms in Magdlen college on Tuesday mornings to read their works
                                    >and Thursday night was more of a leisurely drinking, chatting Inklings
                                    >event.

                                    It's a common illusion that you've had punctured. But you do have the days wrong: reading meetings in Lewis's rooms at Magdalen were usually in the evenings (often but not always Thursdays, and sometimes some Inklings would meet for readings during the day, but again in the college rooms, not in the pub). The pub sessions were Tuesday noons in the Inklings' heyday: these were general literary conversation (Lewis hated small talk), both serious and light, lubricated by beer and cider, rather than drinking bouts.

                                    Although Glyer has some criticisms of Humphrey Carpenter's interpretations and conclusions in his _The Inklings_, both she and I would highly recommend the book: it's an excellent narrative history of the group that's readable and has great value. It covers Tolkien only lightly, as he'd already been thoroughly discussed in Carpenter's earlier _Tolkien: A Biography_, still the only good full biography of Tolkien.

                                    David Bratman
                                  • Alana
                                    ... See, I d vote _Greater Trumps,_ but that s just because it s my favorite (and I think that it has the most clear depiction of coinherence as a physical as
                                    Message 17 of 24 , Mar 16, 2008
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                                      > Williams can be a challenge. His novels are often considered a
                                      >good place to start, but one way to get a discussion going among
                                      >Williams readers is to ask which novel a new reader should try
                                      >first. My vote goes to _War in Heaven_.

                                      See, I'd vote _Greater Trumps,_ but that's just because it's my
                                      favorite (and I think that it has the most clear depiction of
                                      coinherence as a physical as well as psychical possibility). You're
                                      right, though, I bet this is an easy discussion to start... :)

                                      -Alana #2
                                    • Marc Drayer
                                      ... Myself, I d start with Descent into Hell and work outward from there. That s my favorite, and gives a perfect example of coinherence and substituted love.
                                      Message 18 of 24 , Mar 16, 2008
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                                        --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Alana" <artiephesus@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        > > Williams can be a challenge. His novels are often considered a
                                        > >good place to start, but one way to get a discussion going among
                                        > >Williams readers is to ask which novel a new reader should try
                                        > >first. My vote goes to _War in Heaven_.
                                        >
                                        > See, I'd vote _Greater Trumps,_ but that's just because it's my
                                        > favorite (and I think that it has the most clear depiction of
                                        > coinherence as a physical as well as psychical possibility). You're
                                        > right, though, I bet this is an easy discussion to start... :)
                                        >
                                        > -Alana #2
                                        >
                                        Myself, I'd start with Descent into Hell and work outward from there.
                                        That's my favorite, and gives a perfect example of coinherence and
                                        substituted love.

                                        Marc
                                      • John D Rateliff
                                        ... I too wd suggest WAR IN HEAVEN, with THE GREATER TRUMPS as the alternate if the person I was suggesting it to had a strong interest in the tarot. CSL of
                                        Message 19 of 24 , Mar 16, 2008
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                                          On Mar 16, 2008, at 10:48 AM, David Bratman wrote:

                                          >> At 12:35 PM 3/16/2008 +0000, Andrew Higgins wrote:
                                          >> . . . has made me very interested in reading the works of Charles
                                          >> Williams.
                                          >
                                          > Williams can be a challenge. His novels are often considered a
                                          > good place to start, but one way to get a discussion going among
                                          > Williams readers is to ask which novel a new reader should try
                                          > first. My vote goes to _War in Heaven_.

                                          I too wd suggest WAR IN HEAVEN, with THE GREATER TRUMPS as the
                                          alternate if the person I was suggesting it to had a strong interest
                                          in the tarot. CSL of course started with PLACE OF THE LION, and it
                                          seems to have been his favorite to recommend to new readers, but I'm
                                          glad I didn't start with that one. Avoid SHADOWS OF ECSTASY until
                                          after you've read most if not all of the others.

                                          --JDR

                                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                        • Ellen
                                          I finally got around to reading Williams last year and read THE GREATER TRUMPS, followed by WAR IN HEAVEN. I liked them both, but I think I liked THE GREATER
                                          Message 20 of 24 , Mar 17, 2008
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                                            I finally got around to reading Williams last year and read THE GREATER
                                            TRUMPS, followed by WAR IN HEAVEN. I liked them both, but I think I
                                            liked THE GREATER TRUMPS best. It even made me want to get a set of
                                            tarot cards because I knew almost nothing about them and wanted to see
                                            the images. I don't think Williams will ever be a favorite of mine, but
                                            I did like the books and would like to read his other novels at some point.

                                            Ellen Denham

                                            Alana wrote:
                                            >
                                            > > Williams can be a challenge. His novels are often considered a
                                            > >good place to start, but one way to get a discussion going among
                                            > >Williams readers is to ask which novel a new reader should try
                                            > >first. My vote goes to _War in Heaven_.
                                            >
                                            > See, I'd vote _Greater Trumps,_ but that's just because it's my
                                            > favorite (and I think that it has the most clear depiction of
                                            > coinherence as a physical as well as psychical possibility). You're
                                            > right, though, I bet this is an easy discussion to start... :)
                                            >
                                            > -Alana #2
                                            >
                                            >


                                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                          • Sarah Beach
                                            I actually started with ALL HALLOWS EVE. I m not sure why, as I don t think that at the time I knew much of anything about any of the plots of Williams books.
                                            Message 21 of 24 , Mar 17, 2008
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                                              I actually started with ALL HALLOWS EVE. I'm not sure why, as I don't
                                              think that at the time I knew much of anything about any of the plots
                                              of Williams' books. I just knew that Lewis had liked his work
                                              immensely. (This may be back in the Dark Ages, either before or
                                              around the time I actually joined the MythSoc.)

                                              But I really loved ALL HALLOWS EVE. In part it was that I am also an
                                              artist in addition to being a writer, and his description of the
                                              reactions to Jonathan's paintings was sort of the way I wished people
                                              could experience art (not necessarily mine, but any art). And then
                                              too, his understanding of the spiritual dimension ... well, resonated
                                              truthfully to me, in a way I'd never encountered in fiction before.
                                              So I was hooked.

                                              ALL HALLOWS EVE remains my favorite, followed by DESCENT INTO HELL,
                                              THE GREATER TRUMPS, and WAR IN HEAVEN. The others are just there.


                                              --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Ellen <carnimiriel@...> wrote:
                                              >
                                              > I finally got around to reading Williams last year and read THE
                                              GREATER
                                              > TRUMPS, followed by WAR IN HEAVEN. I liked them both, but I think
                                              I
                                              > liked THE GREATER TRUMPS best. It even made me want to get a set
                                              of
                                              > tarot cards because I knew almost nothing about them and wanted to
                                              see
                                              > the images. I don't think Williams will ever be a favorite of
                                              mine, but
                                              > I did like the books and would like to read his other novels at
                                              some point.
                                              >
                                              > Ellen Denham
                                              >
                                              > Alana wrote:
                                              > >
                                              > > > Williams can be a challenge. His novels are often considered a
                                              > > >good place to start, but one way to get a discussion going among
                                              > > >Williams readers is to ask which novel a new reader should try
                                              > > >first. My vote goes to _War in Heaven_.
                                              > >
                                              > > See, I'd vote _Greater Trumps,_ but that's just because it's my
                                              > > favorite (and I think that it has the most clear depiction of
                                              > > coinherence as a physical as well as psychical possibility).
                                              You're
                                              > > right, though, I bet this is an easy discussion to start... :)
                                              > >
                                              > > -Alana #2
                                              > >
                                              > >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                              >
                                            • alexeik@aol.com
                                              ... From: Marc Drayer To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com Sent: Mon, 17 Mar 2008 12:03 am Subject: [mythsoc] Re: The Company They Keep Myself,
                                              Message 22 of 24 , Mar 17, 2008
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                                                -----Original Message-----
                                                From: Marc Drayer <mdrayer2001@...>
                                                To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                                                Sent: Mon, 17 Mar 2008 12:03 am
                                                Subject: [mythsoc] Re: The Company They Keep






                                                Myself, I'd start with Descent into Hell and work outward from there.
                                                That's my favorite, and gives a perfect example of coinherence and
                                                substituted love.

                                                Marc

                                                <<
                                                It's a great book, but it's also his most densely written, and might be a little off-putting to someone who is completely new to his style.
                                                Alexei









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                                              • Grace Donaldson
                                                ... interest ... I m ... Ah, I started with _Place of the Lion_, after reading Sayer s bio _Jack_...and while I ve been meaning to read _All Hallow s Eve_ and
                                                Message 23 of 24 , Mar 17, 2008
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                                                  --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, John D Rateliff <sacnoth@...> wrote:
                                                  >
                                                  > I too wd suggest WAR IN HEAVEN, with THE GREATER TRUMPS as the
                                                  > alternate if the person I was suggesting it to had a strong
                                                  interest
                                                  > in the tarot. CSL of course started with PLACE OF THE LION, and it
                                                  > seems to have been his favorite to recommend to new readers, but
                                                  I'm
                                                  > glad I didn't start with that one. Avoid SHADOWS OF ECSTASY until
                                                  > after you've read most if not all of the others.
                                                  >
                                                  > --JDR

                                                  Ah, I started with _Place of the Lion_, after reading Sayer's bio
                                                  _Jack_...and while I've been meaning to read _All Hallow's Eve_ and
                                                  _War in Heaven_ since then, sigh...the first one was too much for me...

                                                  Grace
                                                • Diane Joy Baker
                                                  I started with *Place of the Lion* and continued with *Greater Trumps.* *All Hallow s Eve* was the first one I tried, but I couldn t get into it. ... From:
                                                  Message 24 of 24 , Mar 18, 2008
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                                                    I started with *Place of the Lion* and continued with *Greater Trumps.* *All Hallow's Eve* was the first one I tried, but I couldn't get into it.

                                                    ----- Original Message -----
                                                    From: Grace Donaldson
                                                    To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                                                    Sent: Monday, March 17, 2008 3:49 PM
                                                    Subject: [mythsoc] Re: The Company They Keep


                                                    --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, John D Rateliff <sacnoth@...> wrote:
                                                    >
                                                    > I too wd suggest WAR IN HEAVEN, with THE GREATER TRUMPS as the
                                                    > alternate if the person I was suggesting it to had a strong
                                                    interest
                                                    > in the tarot. CSL of course started with PLACE OF THE LION, and it
                                                    > seems to have been his favorite to recommend to new readers, but
                                                    I'm
                                                    > glad I didn't start with that one. Avoid SHADOWS OF ECSTASY until
                                                    > after you've read most if not all of the others.
                                                    >
                                                    > --JDR

                                                    Ah, I started with _Place of the Lion_, after reading Sayer's bio
                                                    _Jack_...and while I've been meaning to read _All Hallow's Eve_ and
                                                    _War in Heaven_ since then, sigh...the first one was too much for me...

                                                    Grace





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