New Barfield (x 2)
- 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unpublished -- Barfield's own ENGLISH PEOPLE foremost among them.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
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