- Thank you, John R and David B - just another example of where we get snagged because of underlying assumptions; the more I live, the more I notice this!
Academe versus art....
-- Lynn --
--- In email@example.com, John Rateliff <sacnoth@...> wrote:
> Yes, what David said. I shd have been more specific that I was talking about CSL's role within academe (philosopher), vs. his self-image as a writer (poet).
> Here's how I put it in 1992 (published 1996):
> "Tolkien and Lewis were, at the beginning of 1936, largely frustrated authors. [snip Tolkien section] . . . Lewis, in his late thirties, had also been writing all his life yet published very little: only three books (two of them pseudonymously) -- two of poetry and one satire, with a volume of literary history (The Allegory of Love) forthcoming. His philosophical papers, his chief production of the 1920s, had been read by no one except Owen Barfield, and his dreams of fame as a poet had, after the promising start of Spirits in Bondage, vanished after his second book, Dymer, met with a deservedly poor reception. His fictional juvenilia, the Boxen stories, had been lovingly catalogued and then permanently shelved in 1930; there is no sign that he ever seriously attempted to publish such stories as he still occasionally wrote, like "The Man Born Blind," contenting himself with showing them to friends like Tolkien and Barfield. The same holds true for his later narrative poems like "The Queen of Drum," "Lancelot," and "The Nameless Isle" (all of which Hooper dates to the late 1920s or early 1930s). In a poignant passage of self-evaluation, Lewis states: "From the age of sixteen onwards I had one single ambition [i.e., to be a great poet] from which I never wavered, in the prosecution of which I spent every ounce I could, on wh. I really & deliberately staked my whole contentment: and I recognize myself as having unmistakably failed in it" (They Stand Together, p. 378-379) . . . " [TOLKIEN'S LEGENDARIUM, pages 200-201]
> On Jul 19, 2010, at 10:55 AM, David Bratman wrote:
> > Lynn Maudlin wrote,
> >> [JDR wrote:] "Given that Lewis considered himself primarily a philosopher
> >> during the early 1920s, I'd be surprised if he wasn't familiar with
> >> at least some of Whitehead's work."
> >> Did he? I always understood that youngish CS Lewis thought
> >> of himself as primarily a *poet*...??
> > Artistically he considered himself a poet. Professionally, he was planning
> > to become a philosopher. No conflict; it's different roles, like saying
> > that he was both a son and a brother at the same time.