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Re: [mythsoc] Re: Novelists influenced by C. S. Lewis

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  • Ted Sherman
    Don, I don t know how many (if any) of the links below are still good, but if so then you ll find interviews with Pullman and reviews of his books at various
    Message 1 of 16 , Feb 4, 2001
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      Don,

      I don't know how many (if any) of the links below are still good, but if so
      then you'll find interviews with Pullman and reviews of his books at various
      of them. Pullman has said in a number of interviews that his "Dark
      Materials" books were written at least somewhat in response to The
      Chronicles of Narnia, which he thought were bad (in terms of content not
      writing style).

      http://teacher.scholastic.com/authorsandbooks/events/pullman/index.htm
      http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0,,20824,00.html
      http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0,,20758,00.html
      http://www.weeklystandard.com/magazine/mag_6_6_00/jacobs_bkart_6_6_00.asp
      http://www.slj.com/articles/articles/20001001_9064.asp
      http://www.slj.com/articles/articles/20001001_9064.asp
      http://www.salon.com/books/feature/2000/10/18/pullman/index.html
      http://www.booksunlimited.co.uk/departments/childrenandteens/story/0,6000,386073,00.html

      http://www.msnbc.com/news/479510.asp?cp1=1#BODY
      http://www.booksunlimited.co.uk/critics/reviews/0,5917,385984,00.html
      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A31236-2000Oct28.html
      http://www.nytimes.com/2000/11/07/arts/07PULL.html
      http://www.cnn.com/2000/books/news/11/10/philip.pullman/
      http://www.nytimes.com/books/00/11/19/reviews/001119.19alderst.html


      Ted

      donmcmaster@... wrote:

      > Hello, Ted!
      >
      > Thanks for the names and titles--can you give me, or direct me to,
      > some more specific information about how these authors have been
      > influenced by Lewis? E.g., have any of them explained this
      > themselves, or have other people (like you, for example) written about
      > how Lewis's influence shows up in any of these authors' works?
      >
      > I know at least a little something about L'Engle and Rowling, but
      > nothing about Pullman. When you say Lewis was a "negative influence"
      > on him, I'm inferring that you don't mean Lewis was a bad influence on
      > the quality of Pullman's writing, but rather that Pullman reacted
      > against something or other in Lewis's writing. Can you give me any
      > details? If so, thanks in advance!
      >
      > Don McMaster
      >
      > --- In mythsoc@y..., Ted Sherman <tedsherman@h...> wrote:
      > > That's a tall order, but at least three would be Madeleine L'Engle
      > (her Time quintet), Philip Pullman (Lewis was a negative influence on
      > him) (his Dark Materials trilogy), and J. K. Rowling (Harry Potter
      > books, of which there will be seven to match the seven Chronicles of
      > Narnia).
      >
      >
      > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
    • WendellWag@aol.com
      It s always a little hard to say who s been influenced by who because often the people whose styles and concepts seems similar to some earlier writer turn out
      Message 2 of 16 , Feb 4, 2001
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        It's always a little hard to say who's been influenced by who because often
        the people whose styles and concepts seems similar to some earlier writer
        turn out not to have read that author at all. Going the other way, some
        authors say that they have been influenced by some earlier author, even
        though you can't find any obvious resamblences in their works. For instance,
        in the following interview

        http://world.std.com/~pduggan/wolfejbj.html

        Gene Wolfe says he's been influenced by C. S. Lewis. I don't think most of
        us would see any clear resemblence there.

        Here's an interview where Neil Gaiman says that he's been influenced by Lewis:

        http://www.gothic.net/archives/non-fiction/gaiman499.html

        (O.K., it's a little dubious if Gaiman should be called a novelist.)

        Here's an interview with John Shirley in which he says that he's influenced
        to some extent by C. S. Lewis.

        http://www.darkecho.com/JohnShirley/jsinterview1.html

        That's a little surprising too.

        Wendell Wagner
      • David S. Bratman
        ... There are many possible causes of similarity besides influence. Some people (not you, I trust) find this concept difficult to grasp. ... Influence need
        Message 3 of 16 , Feb 4, 2001
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          At 03:18 PM 2/4/2001 -0500, Wendell Wagner wrote:

          >It's always a little hard to say who's been influenced by who because often
          >the people whose styles and concepts seems similar to some earlier writer
          >turn out not to have read that author at all.

          There are many possible causes of similarity besides influence. Some
          people (not you, I trust) find this concept difficult to grasp.

          >Going the other way, some
          >authors say that they have been influenced by some earlier author, even
          >though you can't find any obvious resamblences in their works.

          Influence need not lead to similarity, either. Someone can influence you
          to write more like yourself, not necessarily like them. (Dr. Diana Glyer's
          law.)

          It all boils down to, what does Don actually want? Books whose authors
          were inspired by Lewis? If so, inspired in what way? Books that Lewis
          would have liked? Books that resemble Lewis's? If so, resemble in what
          way? Content? Spiritual depth? Style? Quality? None of these lists
          will be the same.

          >(O.K., it's a little dubious if Gaiman should be called a novelist.)

          Why not? He's written novels.

          David Bratman
        • donmcmaster@yahoo.com
          Let me see, what do I want? I ll try eliminating what I *don t* want and see what s left. First of all, I m pretty sure I don t want Philip Pullman--I say
          Message 4 of 16 , Feb 4, 2001
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            Let me see, what do I want? I'll try eliminating what I *don't* want
            and see what's left. First of all, I'm pretty sure I don't want
            Philip Pullman--I say now that I've learned something about him and
            his books! I don't want any other authors who like Lewis's style but
            hate his content, either. I don't want authors who were somehow
            "inspired" by Lewis to write books with content that Lewis probably
            wouldn't have liked, even if their books may be thought to have a lot
            of spiritual depth. I want authors (if they exist) who take Lewis as
            a literary mentor in content at least as much as in style, and who try
            to write books that Lewis would have liked in both respects. (No
            doubt I don't want them if they try but fail abysmally; on the other
            hand, I couldn't reasonably demand that the quality of their writing
            should equal the excellence of Lewis's own!)

            Don McMaster

            --- In mythsoc@y..., "David S. Bratman" <dbratman@s...> wrote:

            > It all boils down to, what does Don actually want? Books whose
            authors were inspired by Lewis? If so, inspired in what way? Books
            that Lewis would have liked? Books that resemble Lewis's? If so,
            resemble in what way? Content? Spiritual depth? Style? Quality?
            None of these lists will be the same.
          • Ted Sherman
            Don, May I ask why you want such a list? That is, is this for personal development and illumination? Is this research for a project? Ted ... -- Dr. Theodore
            Message 5 of 16 , Feb 4, 2001
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              Don,

              May I ask why you want such a list? That is, is this for personal
              development and illumination? Is this research for a project?

              Ted

              donmcmaster@... wrote:

              > Let me see, what do I want? I'll try eliminating what I *don't* want
              > and see what's left. First of all, I'm pretty sure I don't want
              > Philip Pullman--I say now that I've learned something about him and
              > his books! I don't want any other authors who like Lewis's style but
              > hate his content, either. I don't want authors who were somehow
              > "inspired" by Lewis to write books with content that Lewis probably
              > wouldn't have liked, even if their books may be thought to have a lot
              > of spiritual depth. I want authors (if they exist) who take Lewis as
              > a literary mentor in content at least as much as in style, and who try
              > to write books that Lewis would have liked in both respects. (No
              > doubt I don't want them if they try but fail abysmally; on the other
              > hand, I couldn't reasonably demand that the quality of their writing
              > should equal the excellence of Lewis's own!)
              >
              > Don McMaster
              >
              > --- In mythsoc@y..., "David S. Bratman" <dbratman@s...> wrote:
              >
              > > It all boils down to, what does Don actually want? Books whose
              > authors were inspired by Lewis? If so, inspired in what way? Books
              > that Lewis would have liked? Books that resemble Lewis's? If so,
              > resemble in what way? Content? Spiritual depth? Style? Quality?
              > None of these lists will be the same.
              >
              >
              > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org

              --
              Dr. Theodore James Sherman, Editor
              Mythlore: A Journal of J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Charles Williams, and
              Mythopoeic Literature
              Associate Professor of English
              Box X041, Middle Tennessee State University
              Murfreesboro, TN 37132
              615 898-5836 Office
              615 898-5098 FAX
              tsherman@...
            • alexeik@aol.com
              In a message dated 2/4/1 8:43:02 PM, Wendell wrote:
              Message 6 of 16 , Feb 4, 2001
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                In a message dated 2/4/1 8:43:02 PM, Wendell wrote:

                <<Gene Wolfe says he's been influenced by C. S. Lewis. I don't think most of
                us would see any clear resemblence there.
                >>

                That's odd, I've always thought the influence was pretty glaring.
                Alexei
              • WendellWag@aol.com
                In a message dated 2/4/01 9:39:18 PM Eastern Standard Time, alexeik@aol.com ... I defer to your superior knowledge of Wolfe. To be honest, I was going by the
                Message 7 of 16 , Feb 4, 2001
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                  In a message dated 2/4/01 9:39:18 PM Eastern Standard Time, alexeik@...
                  writes:

                  > That's odd, I've always thought the influence [of Lewis on
                  > Gene Wolfe] was pretty glaring.

                  I defer to your superior knowledge of Wolfe. To be honest, I was going by
                  the few short stories I've read and the plot descriptions of the novels I've
                  heard. Clearly you know much more of Wolfe than I do. I did once have an
                  interesting discussion with Wolfe at a con about _The Dark Tower_.

                  David S. Bratman (in a post that everyone except me seems to have received)
                  writes:

                  > It all boils down to, what does Don actually want? Books
                  > whose authors were inspired by Lewis? If so, inspired in
                  > what way? Books that Lewis would have liked? Books
                  > that resemble Lewis's? If so, resemble in what way?
                  > Content? Spiritual depth? Style? Quality? None of
                  > these lists will be the same.

                  There have been a number of books (or series of books) that were published
                  mostly by Christian publishing houses and sold mostly in Christian bookstores
                  which were inferior imitations of _The Chronicles of Narnia_. My impression
                  is that the vogue for these books is past now. It peaked in the early '80's.
                  (In fact, as I wrote on this list a while ago, I wonder if the vogue for
                  Lewis at Christian bookstores is past now.) It would take me a while to come
                  up with the names of some of them. In a clear sense, they were influenced by
                  Lewis. In an even clearer sense, it's not much of a complement to Lewis to
                  say that these books were influenced by him.

                  Wendell Wagner
                • donmcmaster@yahoo.com
                  ... Ted, No project, just admiration for Lewis s writing and interest in finding out about his more nearly direct literary descendants, if he has any. Don
                  Message 8 of 16 , Feb 5, 2001
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                    --- In mythsoc@y..., Ted Sherman <tedsherman@h...> wrote:
                    > Don,
                    >
                    > May I ask why you want such a list? That is, is this for personal
                    > development and illumination? Is this research for a project?

                    Ted,

                    No project, just admiration for Lewis's writing and interest in
                    finding out about his more nearly direct literary "descendants," if he
                    has any.

                    Don McMaster
                  • ERATRIANO@aol.com
                    In a message dated 02/05/2001 5:07:52 AM Eastern Standard Time, donmcmaster@yahoo.com writes:
                    Message 9 of 16 , Feb 5, 2001
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                      In a message dated 02/05/2001 5:07:52 AM Eastern Standard Time,
                      donmcmaster@... writes:

                      << No project, just admiration for Lewis's writing and interest in finding
                      out about his more nearly direct literary "descendants," if he has any. >>

                      Raise your hand if you've been spending years scribbling and aspiring to just
                      that career... lol.

                      Lizzie
                    • Stolzi@aol.com
                      In a message dated 2/4/01 7:08:23 PM Central Standard Time, ... Well, kiddie books or no, I conclude that you should certainly take a look at L Engle s WRINKLE
                      Message 10 of 16 , Feb 5, 2001
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                        In a message dated 2/4/01 7:08:23 PM Central Standard Time,
                        donmcmaster@... writes:

                        > I want authors (if they exist) who take Lewis as
                        > a literary mentor in content at least as much as in style, and who try
                        > to write books that Lewis would have liked in both respects.

                        Well, kiddie books or no, I conclude that you should certainly take a look at
                        L'Engle's WRINKLE IN TIME series.

                        Mary S
                      • alexeik@aol.com
                        In a message dated 2/5/1 6:45:40 AM, Wendell wrote:
                        Message 11 of 16 , Feb 5, 2001
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                          In a message dated 2/5/1 6:45:40 AM, Wendell wrote:

                          <<In a message dated 2/4/01 9:39:18 PM Eastern Standard Time, alexeik@...
                          writes:

                          > That's odd, I've always thought the influence [of Lewis on
                          > Gene Wolfe] was pretty glaring.

                          I defer to your superior knowledge of Wolfe. To be honest, I was going by
                          the few short stories I've read and the plot descriptions of the novels I've
                          heard. Clearly you know much more of Wolfe than I do. I did once have an
                          interesting discussion with Wolfe at a con about _The Dark Tower_.
                          >>

                          Not *all* of Wolfe's abundant output is obviously Lewis-influenced, but the
                          big fantasy novel-cycles ("New Sun", "Long Sun", "Short Sun") certainly are.
                          Like Lewis' s Ransom trilogy, they're theological fantasies expressing
                          orthodox Christian concepts in startlingly unconventional ways. They don't
                          *imitate* Lewis closely in matters of style or imagery, but it would be hard
                          to imagine them being written without Lewis as a basic model.
                          Alexei
                        • jen stevens
                          Don, Not to contradict your point of view, but while I agree that Philip Pullman isn t a descendent of Lewis, I do think that it can be _very_ interesting to
                          Message 12 of 16 , Feb 5, 2001
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                            Don,

                            Not to contradict your point of view, but while I agree that Philip Pullman
                            isn't a "descendent" of Lewis, I do think that it can be _very_ interesting
                            to look at people that reacted to or against other writers. Sort of the
                            "anxiety of influence" thing.

                            (of course, I also just like Pullman :)

                            - Jen Stevens

                            ps John White is one of many writers that admits to having been _very_
                            influenced by Lewis (ok, more than influenced!). His very different
                            treatment of the Spenser image of Goldcoffin's chamber is rather
                            interesting....


                            At 10:07 AM 2/5/2001 -0000, you wrote:
                            >--- In mythsoc@y..., Ted Sherman <tedsherman@h...> wrote:
                            >> Don,
                            >>
                            >> May I ask why you want such a list? That is, is this for personal
                            >> development and illumination? Is this research for a project?
                            >
                            >Ted,
                            >
                            >No project, just admiration for Lewis's writing and interest in
                            >finding out about his more nearly direct literary "descendants," if he
                            >has any.
                            >
                            >Don McMaster
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                            >
                            >
                          • wyspergrove@netscape.net
                            Message 13 of 16 , Feb 6, 2001
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                              <<No project, just admiration for Lewis's writing and interest in finding
                              out about his more nearly direct literary "descendants," if he has any.

                              Raise your hand if you've been spending years scribbling and aspiring to just
                              that career... lol.>>  


                              :raises hand and looks shyly at her feet:

                              -Kat
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