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Re: W. H. Lewis's diary

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  • Lynn Maudlin
    Indeed. In my increasing experience (age! *sheeeesh!*), we are complex beings with frequently warring motivations, and more self-serving than we readily admit.
    Message 1 of 15 , Jun 23, 2008
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      Indeed. In my increasing experience (age! *sheeeesh!*), we are complex
      beings with frequently warring motivations, and more self-serving than
      we readily admit.

      I can easily see WHL conflicted over Hooper, grateful for entertaining
      company, easily tapped into a sense of 'obligation', and needing to
      vent safely in private. I can easily see Hooper enthusiastic, lucky,
      feeling some need to justify his presence as having CSL's imprimatur
      rather than opportunism or 'luck of the draw' --

      This is humanity, in all our glorious, shoddy striations and variety.
      Hooper is not an angel but neither is he a demon.

      -- Lynn --


      --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, David Bratman <dbratman@...> wrote:
      >
      > Lynn Maudlin <lynnmaudlin@...> wrote:
      >
      > >There's also the component of how a particular person generally uses
      > >his/her diary: venting stuff they wouldn't dream of saying to the
      > >person or anyone else in order to keep a relationship civil, or is the
      > >person more likely to be cool & factual, clever & factual, etc. - what
      > >purpose does the diary serve in the author's life?
      >
      > True enough.
      >
      > "Many of the Inklings, especially Tolkien and Warren Lewis, use
      their diaries and some of their letter writing to work out their
      grumbles and frustrations. Therefore, it is wise to treat these
      comments [context is Tolkien's dislike of some of Lewis's work] as a
      small (albeit significant) part of a much larger story." - Diana
      Pavlac Glyer, _The Company They Keep_, p. 97
      >
      > WHL's diary is at times very sour, but awareness of more about him
      (such as John Wain's description of him as the most naturally
      courteous man he'd ever met) makes it clear that the diary gives at
      most a very partial picture. Though WHL distrusts Hooper, he
      cherishes his visits at least as a break from loneliness, and however
      much he grumbles, he keeps allowing Hooper to talk him into things,
      like attending the annual Friends of CSL parties.
      >
    • dbratman
      ... Wait a minute. I do not wish to be misunderstood here. The person whose speckled humanity I m really interested in is Warren Lewis. I don t think Hooper
      Message 2 of 15 , Jun 23, 2008
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        "Lynn Maudlin" <lynnmaudlin@...> wrote:


        > Indeed. In my increasing experience (age! *sheeeesh!*), we are complex
        > beings with frequently warring motivations, and more self-serving than
        > we readily admit.
        >
        > I can easily see WHL conflicted over Hooper, grateful for entertaining
        > company, easily tapped into a sense of 'obligation', and needing to
        > vent safely in private. I can easily see Hooper enthusiastic, lucky,
        > feeling some need to justify his presence as having CSL's imprimatur
        > rather than opportunism or 'luck of the draw' --
        >
        > This is humanity, in all our glorious, shoddy striations and variety.
        > Hooper is not an angel but neither is he a demon.

        Wait a minute. I do not wish to be misunderstood here. The person whose
        speckled humanity I'm really interested in is Warren Lewis. I don't think
        Hooper is a demon, but I don't have to think that in order to declare that
        he is, or was in his earlier years - he may have quietly repented now, like
        George Psalmanazar - an incontestably serial exaggerator and misleader, to
        some extent a liar as well. I do not claim to fathom his soul, but on
        factual matters about Lewis's biography his statements about his personal
        involvement are simply not trustworthy. I trust the "Companion and Guide",
        though. It's like a different Hooper wrote it, and maybe one did.
      • Carl F. Hostetter
        ... Precisely so. And this fact, coupled with the ridiculous bonfire story, has called into question the provenance of every Lewis text Hooper has published.
        Message 3 of 15 , Jun 24, 2008
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          On Jun 24, 2008, at 1:01 AM, dbratman wrote:

          > I don't think Hooper is a demon, but I don't have to think that in
          > order to declare that he is, or was in his earlier years - he may
          > have quietly repented now, like George Psalmanazar - an
          > incontestably serial exaggerator and misleader, to some extent a
          > liar as well.
          >

          Precisely so. And this fact, coupled with the ridiculous bonfire
          story, has called into question the provenance of every Lewis text
          Hooper has published. Perhaps unjustly, but even if so, Hooper --
          alone -- brought it on himself.

          Carl
        • John D Rateliff
          ... Well, because sometimes libraries and collections move things from general access to restricted access or vice versa. I ve seen things at the Wade that
          Message 4 of 15 , Jun 24, 2008
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            On Jun 22, 2008, at 1:10 PM, David Bratman wrote:
            > Why would WHL's diary no longer be available to visitors?

            Well, because sometimes libraries and collections move things from
            general access to restricted access or vice versa. I've seen things
            at the Wade that were later no longer in the general collection, and
            I've seen things at the Bodleian move first into and then back out of
            general access. So it seemed a reasonable question.


            > I read through the whole thing from the date of his retirement
            > onwards while doing research on Inklings history back in 1994, and
            > the result has been [if you'll excuse the expression] a major
            > source for everything I've written on the subject since. For
            > instance, when I write in the Edwards CSL encyclopedia that WHL
            > "makes no mention of the [Inklings as a] group in the diary that he
            > kept regularly through 1933 and 1934," it's because I was looking
            > for them in the full diary. And this is important because this
            > absence calls into question George Sayer's, and a lot of other
            > people's, accounts of the Inklings' origins. Either the group
            > didn't exist that early, or if it did WHL wasn't a member yet
            > [either of which would contradict Sayer], or for some reason WHL
            > left it out of his diary, which last would be curious because he
            > does mention the Inklings later on, and in these years he does
            > mention meetings with people who would be Inklings: Barfield,
            > Tolkien, Dyson, insignificant folk like that.

            Just out of curiosity, when does he first mention an Inklings
            meeting? In the published BROTHERS & FRIENDS, the first account he
            gives is of their December 1945 'Victory' outing, and the first
            mention seems to be in his entry on Charles Wms' death (May 1945).
            Yet we know the group was meeting by 1936, when CSL told Ch.Wms about
            them by name.

            --John R
          • David Bratman
            ... That means it s possible, administratively. My question was, why would they do it? The WHL papers are central to the Wade s research value, and they ve
            Message 5 of 15 , Jun 24, 2008
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              John D Rateliff <sacnoth@...> wrote:

              >On Jun 22, 2008, at 1:10 PM, David Bratman wrote:
              >> Why would WHL's diary no longer be available to visitors?
              >
              >Well, because sometimes libraries and collections move things from
              >general access to restricted access or vice versa. I've seen things
              >at the Wade that were later no longer in the general collection, and
              >I've seen things at the Bodleian move first into and then back out of
              >general access. So it seemed a reasonable question.

              That means it's possible, administratively. My question was, why would they do it? The WHL papers are central to the Wade's research value, and they've been out there for a long time. It would be strange to restrict them at such a late date when they've been open for so long, which was not the case with the Bodleian papers that I know about that were moved to restricted status.


              >Just out of curiosity, when does he first mention an Inklings
              >meeting? In the published BROTHERS & FRIENDS, the first account he
              >gives is of their December 1945 'Victory' outing, and the first
              >mention seems to be in his entry on Charles Wms' death (May 1945).
              >Yet we know the group was meeting by 1936, when CSL told Ch.Wms about
              >them by name.

              The March 1936 reference by CSL, which was not generally known (or published) until several years ago, is the earliest Inklings reference by nearly two years, and the earliest by name for over three years, until CSL started writing WHL letters during the latter's 1939-40 service. WHL was mostly diary-less from about 1936 until 1944/5, so that by itself explains no Inklings references during that period. The earliest Inklings reference by name I have from the diary is 15 March 1945, which is when he refers to "an Inklings in partibus" during the Liverpool trip with Havard.
            • Lynn Maudlin
              David, I wasn t meaning to attribute any such thoughts or opinions to you, rather waxing philosophical in general and in particular in response to an area
              Message 6 of 15 , Jun 24, 2008
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                David, I wasn't meaning to attribute any such thoughts or opinions to
                you, rather waxing philosophical in general and in particular in
                response to an area which has been known to spark significant
                differences of opinion among Mythsoc folks. I think we are ALL
                variegated humanity, Hooper, WHL, CSL, Bratman, Maudlin, et.al.

                Welcome to the species! {{smooches}}

                your fan,
                -- Lynn --

                --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "dbratman" <dbratman@...> wrote:
                >
                > "Lynn Maudlin" <lynnmaudlin@...> wrote:
                >
                >
                > > Indeed. In my increasing experience (age! *sheeeesh!*), we are complex
                > > beings with frequently warring motivations, and more self-serving than
                > > we readily admit.
                > >
                > > I can easily see WHL conflicted over Hooper, grateful for entertaining
                > > company, easily tapped into a sense of 'obligation', and needing to
                > > vent safely in private. I can easily see Hooper enthusiastic, lucky,
                > > feeling some need to justify his presence as having CSL's imprimatur
                > > rather than opportunism or 'luck of the draw' --
                > >
                > > This is humanity, in all our glorious, shoddy striations and variety.
                > > Hooper is not an angel but neither is he a demon.
                >
                > Wait a minute. I do not wish to be misunderstood here. The person
                whose
                > speckled humanity I'm really interested in is Warren Lewis. I don't
                think
                > Hooper is a demon, but I don't have to think that in order to
                declare that
                > he is, or was in his earlier years - he may have quietly repented
                now, like
                > George Psalmanazar - an incontestably serial exaggerator and
                misleader, to
                > some extent a liar as well. I do not claim to fathom his soul, but on
                > factual matters about Lewis's biography his statements about his
                personal
                > involvement are simply not trustworthy. I trust the "Companion and
                Guide",
                > though. It's like a different Hooper wrote it, and maybe one did.
                >
              • David Bratman
                Sure, Lynn, absolutely - but the question at hand wasn t the state of Hooper s soul nor the fallibility of his humanity. It was the accuracy of his
                Message 7 of 15 , Jun 25, 2008
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                  Sure, Lynn, absolutely - but the question at hand wasn't the state of Hooper's soul nor the fallibility of his humanity. It was the accuracy of his autobiographical statements and the reliability of his scholarship. On those questions, humans are not equally fallible.

                  DB

                  -----Original Message-----
                  >From: Lynn Maudlin <lynnmaudlin@...>
                  >Sent: Jun 24, 2008 11:56 PM
                  >To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                  >Subject: [mythsoc] Re: W. H. Lewis's diary
                  >
                  >David, I wasn't meaning to attribute any such thoughts or opinions to
                  >you, rather waxing philosophical in general and in particular in
                  >response to an area which has been known to spark significant
                  >differences of opinion among Mythsoc folks. I think we are ALL
                  >variegated humanity, Hooper, WHL, CSL, Bratman, Maudlin, et.al.
                  >
                  >Welcome to the species! {{smooches}}
                • Grace Monk
                  David, I think you have (as usual) hit upon an important distinction. One doesn t have to attribute malice or anything else pernicious to another who has
                  Message 8 of 15 , Jun 25, 2008
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                    David, I think you have (as usual) hit upon an important distinction.
                    One doesn't have to attribute malice or anything else pernicious to
                    another who has unreliable scholarship. When dealing with inaccuracy
                    and unreliability, the "why" doesn't really matter.

                    Grace Monk


                    On Wed, Jun 25, 2008 at 12:26 PM, David Bratman <dbratman@...> wrote:
                    > Sure, Lynn, absolutely - but the question at hand wasn't the state of
                    > Hooper's soul nor the fallibility of his humanity. It was the accuracy of
                    > his autobiographical statements and the reliability of his scholarship. On
                    > those questions, humans are not equally fallible.
                    >
                    > DB
                    >
                    > -----Original Message-----
                    >>From: Lynn Maudlin <lynnmaudlin@...>
                    >>Sent: Jun 24, 2008 11:56 PM
                    >>To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                    >>Subject: [mythsoc] Re: W. H. Lewis's diary
                    >>
                    >>David, I wasn't meaning to attribute any such thoughts or opinions to
                    >>you, rather waxing philosophical in general and in particular in
                    >>response to an area which has been known to spark significant
                    >>differences of opinion among Mythsoc folks. I think we are ALL
                    >>variegated humanity, Hooper, WHL, CSL, Bratman, Maudlin, et.al.
                    >>
                    >>Welcome to the species! {{smooches}}
                    >
                    >
                  • Carl F. Hostetter
                    Or, as I like to say, Never attribute to malice that which is sufficiently explained by stupidity. Carl
                    Message 9 of 15 , Jun 25, 2008
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                      Or, as I like to say, "Never attribute to malice that which is
                      sufficiently explained by stupidity."

                      Carl


                      On Jun 25, 2008, at 1:51 PM, Grace Monk wrote:

                      > David, I think you have (as usual) hit upon an important distinction.
                      > One doesn't have to attribute malice or anything else pernicious to
                      > another who has unreliable scholarship. When dealing with inaccuracy
                      > and unreliability, the "why" doesn't really matter.
                      >
                      > Grace Monk
                      >
                      > On Wed, Jun 25, 2008 at 12:26 PM, David Bratman <dbratman@...
                      > > wrote:
                      > > Sure, Lynn, absolutely - but the question at hand wasn't the state
                      > of
                      > > Hooper's soul nor the fallibility of his humanity. It was the
                      > accuracy of
                      > > his autobiographical statements and the reliability of his
                      > scholarship. On
                      > > those questions, humans are not equally fallible.
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