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Mention of Lewis in article in The New Yorker

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  • WendellWag@aol.com
    Does anyone have any comment about this mention of Lewis in a review (by Adam Gopnik) of two new biographies of Samuel Johnson in the December 4, 2008 issue
    Message 1 of 3 , Dec 4, 2008
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      Does anyone have any comment about this mention of Lewis in a review (by
      Adam Gopnik) of two new biographies of Samuel Johnson in the December 4, 2008
      issue of The New Yorker?:

      _http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/atlarge/2008/12/08/081208crat_atlarge_g
      opnik_
      (http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/atlarge/2008/12/08/081208crat_atlarge_gopnik)

      The mention is on page 95 in the magazine. In the online version, click
      forward to page 5. The one sentence where Lewis is mentioned is this:

      > Compare him with C. S. Lewis, who modelled himself on Johnson, and we
      recall that Lewis, too, becomes
      > human when at the end of his life he wanted something, the physical love
      of his American mistress.

      You may want to read the context of this sentence though.

      Wendell Wagner
      **************Make your life easier with all your friends, email, and
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    • WendellWag@aol.com
      In a message dated 12/4/2008 4:49:44 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, WendellWag@aol.com writes: Does anyone have any comment about this mention of Lewis in a
      Message 2 of 3 , Dec 5, 2008
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        In a message dated 12/4/2008 4:49:44 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
        WendellWag@... writes:




        Does anyone have any comment about this mention of Lewis in a review (by
        Adam Gopnik) of two new biographies of Samuel Johnson in the December 4,
        2008
        issue of The New Yorker?:

        __http://www.newyorkehttp://www.http://www.newyohttp://www.http://www.http://w
        w_
        (http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/atlarge/2008/12/08/081208crat_atlarge_g)
        opnik_
        (_http://www.newyorkehttp://www.http://www.newyohttp://www.http://www.http://w
        ww.new_
        (http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/atlarge/2008/12/08/081208crat_atlarge_gopnik) )

        The mention is on page 95 in the magazine. In the online version, click
        forward to page 5. The one sentence where Lewis is mentioned is this:

        > Compare him with C. S. Lewis, who modelled himself on Johnson, and we
        recall that Lewis, too, becomes
        > human when at the end of his life he wanted something, the physical love
        of his American mistress.

        You may want to read the context of this sentence though.

        Wendell Wagner
        ************************<WBR>**Make your life easier with all your fri
        favorite sites in one place. Try it now.
        (_http://www.aol.http://www.http:/&icid=icid=<WBR>aolc&<WBR>ncid=emlcnt<WBR>nc
        id_
        (http://www.aol.com/?optin=new-dp&icid=aolcom40vanity&ncid=emlcntaolcom00000010) )

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




        **************Make your life easier with all your friends, email, and
        favorite sites in one place. Try it now.
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        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • John D Rateliff
        ... I ve now had a chance to read it, and I think it unfair both to Johnson and Lewis. I don t know if Johnson had a masochistic streak or not; in any case,
        Message 3 of 3 , Dec 7, 2008
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          On Dec 4, 2008, at 1:27 AM, WendellWag@... wrote:
          > Does anyone have any comment about this mention of Lewis in a
          > review (by
          > Adam Gopnik) of two new biographies of Samuel Johnson in the
          > December 4, 2008
          > issue of The New Yorker?

          I've now had a chance to read it, and I think it unfair both to
          Johnson and Lewis.
          I don't know if Johnson had a masochistic streak or not; in any
          case, this article's assertions do not persuade me of it. But Lewis
          was certainly not a masochist; his failing, which he fought hard
          against, tended more towards sadism by his own account.
          More importantly, I don't think Lewis waited until the end of his
          life to become human; there's his long and, until the end, happy
          relationship with Janie Moore, for instance, that has to be taken
          into account.
          There are more, and better, comparisons between CSL & Dr. Johnson
          than this waiting to be made.
          --JDR

          P.S.: Hasn't Gopnik written about CSL before? I seem to remember a
          piece about Narnia, or possibly Pullman, from a year or so ago.


          Here's the full paragraph from the article:
          Johnson certainly wouldn�t be alone among strong critics in having
          [masochistic] tastes; the list includes Lytton Strachey and Kenneth
          Tynan. Yet the sense of shame is, for such men, usually stronger even
          than the sexual appetite. (Kathleen Tynan wrote of her husband�s
          inability to come to terms with his fetish because of his need to
          think well of himself.) Johnson�s piety is more impressive if we
          imagine it up against the keen daily edge of erotic appetite, rather
          than simply a long-term bulwark against imagined insanity. Compare
          him with C. S. Lewis, who modelled himself on Johnson, and we recall
          that Lewis, too, becomes human when at the end of his life he wanted
          something, the physical love of his American mistress. We love
          Johnson for his humanity, and what makes us human is the contest
          between our desires and our doctrines.



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