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another CSL reference in an odd context

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  • John Rateliff
    Recently I ve been reading a collection of ghost stories by the late Robert Aickman, PAINTED DEVILS (circa 1979). To my surprise, one of the stories contains a
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 20, 2013
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      Recently I've been reading a collection of ghost stories by the late Robert Aickman, PAINTED DEVILS (circa 1979). To my surprise, one of the stories contains a passing (and not particularly positive) reference to C. S. Lewis. The story in question is "Larger Than Oneself", the next to last in the collection, and the context is in some background description characterizing the character who plays host to the country-house gathering during which the events of the story take place.

      "Coner . . . edited a symposium of modern philosophy . . . and he soon became known for his advocacy of a synthesis between the best of this world and the best of the next . . . Conor's main business in life became more and more an almost paranoiac pursuit of self-integration. He read Berdyaev, Maritain, and C. S. Lewis, and even the first thirty pages of Ouspensky. Almost he believed what he read.  Kirkegaard and Leopardi . . . always attended his bedside . . .  Pascal he was constantly rediscovering with new understanding, gorging on the insane root . . . he was greatly interested in several of the newer spiritual movements competing to offer a deadbeat world metaphysical immunization against its own shadow. He had decided to ask the different leaders to [his country house] for the weekend in order that they might have the chance to exchange views on neutral ground. A symposium . . . might emerge . . ." (p. 184-185)

      Seems to me CSL's name is included just to indicate Coner's flightiness and fickleness, but thought I'd share in case others could see any more significance in it than that. In any case, it's interesting to see CSL appear in such unlikely company as the other names on that list.

      --John R.
    • Margaret Dean
      What, no Barfield? When the setup described sounds rather like the one in *Worlds Apart*, too! --Margaret Dean
      Message 2 of 2 , Jun 21, 2013
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        What, no Barfield?  When the setup described sounds rather like the one in Worlds Apart, too!
         
         
        --Margaret Dean
         


        On Thu, Jun 20, 2013 at 10:17 PM, John Rateliff <sacnoth@...> wrote:
         

        Recently I've been reading a collection of ghost stories by the late Robert Aickman, PAINTED DEVILS (circa 1979). To my surprise, one of the stories contains a passing (and not particularly positive) reference to C. S. Lewis. The story in question is "Larger Than Oneself", the next to last in the collection, and the context is in some background description characterizing the character who plays host to the country-house gathering during which the events of the story take place.


        "Coner . . . edited a symposium of modern philosophy . . . and he soon became known for his advocacy of a synthesis between the best of this world and the best of the next . . . Conor's main business in life became more and more an almost paranoiac pursuit of self-integration. He read Berdyaev, Maritain, and C. S. Lewis, and even the first thirty pages of Ouspensky. Almost he believed what he read.  Kirkegaard and Leopardi . . . always attended his bedside . . .  Pascal he was constantly rediscovering with new understanding, gorging on the insane root . . . he was greatly interested in several of the newer spiritual movements competing to offer a deadbeat world metaphysical immunization against its own shadow. He had decided to ask the different leaders to [his country house] for the weekend in order that they might have the chance to exchange views on neutral ground. A symposium . . . might emerge . . ." (p. 184-185)

        Seems to me CSL's name is included just to indicate Coner's flightiness and fickleness, but thought I'd share in case others could see any more significance in it than that. In any case, it's interesting to see CSL appear in such unlikely company as the other names on that list.

        --John R.


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