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New Barfield (x 2)

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  • John D Rateliff
    The various announcements here reminded me of another new arrival that folks here might be interested in. The Barfield Estate has just released two books, one
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 11, 2008
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      The various announcements here reminded me of another new arrival
      that folks here might be interested in.

      The Barfield Estate has just released two books, one of which has
      never seen the light of day before.

      The first is NIGHT OPERATION, a brief dystopian novella first
      published in 1983/84 in the journal TO-WARDS and later included in A
      BARFIELD SAMPLER (1993). Here it appears in the form of a short (64-
      page) book of its own with a helpful new introduction by Jane
      Hipolito, who equates its three main characters to Barfield, Lewis,
      and Harwood. So for those interested in stories by the Inklings
      which include Inklings-inspired characters in them (e.g., THE NOTION
      CLUB PAPERS), here's another for yr list.

      The second is EAGER SPRING, Barfield's short (143-page)
      ecological novel about a literary scholar ultimately moved by her
      studies to become an environmental activist -- in brief, she's a sort
      of anti-Damaris Tighe, for those of you who've read THE PLACE OF THE
      LION (though the book itself is closer to Jean Giono's THE MAN WHO
      PLANTED TREES). I'm particularly glad to see this one in print at
      last, since I wrote the Introduction for it way back in 1989 only to
      have its publisher go out of business before the book was released;
      it's taken a long time to see this little gem of a novel to see the
      light of day, but it's been worth it. And aside from John Wain's last
      two novels I think it's the final work of fiction to be written by an
      Inkling, though of course there are others written earlier and still
      unpublished -- Barfield's own ENGLISH PEOPLE foremost among them.

      It's a nice coincidence that my copies of these books arrived
      yesterday in the same mail as the most recent copy of MYTHLORE, which
      includes my review of the new Owen Barfield biography by Simon
      Blaxland-de Lange.

      --JDR

      P.S.: For more on Barfield's grandson's efforts to revitalize
      interest in O.B.'s work (and an upcoming conference on him), see the
      website www.owenbarfield.org.
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