Re: Rowling - an Inkling??
- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Ernest Tomlinson" <thiophene@f...>
> As I see it, the distinguishing characteristics of thestretch
> Inklings weren't so much that they were Christians writing Christian
> books--not all of the Inklings' books were Christian, except if you
> the application of the adjective "Christian" almost tomeaninglessness--but
> that they were by and large academic men, well-read to a degreethat we
> products of American public schools can only dream about, andpossessed a
> profound knowledge and appreciation for the literature and myths ofthe
> past, especially Northern European mythology. I know little ofRowling
> outside of her writings, but I don't see much evidence for that sameInklings'
> profound learning and appreciation for mythology that flavors the
> fiction.I disagree. When I found out Rowling's degree was in Classics and
French, I was not at all surprised. Besides the obvious use of Latin
for spells, many of the characters' names have significance in Latin
or French (Malfoy = bad faith in Old French, unless my memory is off -
- I've been out of academia for some years). Malfoy's name may also
point to Spenser's villain Sansfoy in the Fairie Queene. Some of the
mythical beasts seem derived from medieval bestiaries; the hippogriph
might also come from Orlando Furioso. The revivifying cauldron in
Book 4 comes from the Mabinogion. She's obviously studied British
folklore, too -- the Grim comes from a common English legend alluded
to in Jane Eyre as the gittrash. The house-elves are brownies (they
disappear if you clothe them).
- Thank you, David, for putting this so aptly.
From: David S Bratman <dbratman@...>
Date: Sat, 01 Mar 2003 09:33:14 -0800
Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Rowling - an Inkling??
Lizzie, what do you mean? That writing in the spirit of the Inklings
should be currently pertinent? Lewis wouldn't think so. He says somewhere
that nothing goes out of date faster than that which tries hardest to stay
up to date. (My own phrasing of this, conceived independently, is "Those
who live by the cutting edge die by the cutting edge.") The Inklings were
in search of what was eternally up to date, and that is why their 40 to 70
year old novels are still meaningful and read today. LOTR in particular
was considered by many to be ludicrously out of step with the current
concerns of the 1950s, but the Inklings suspected it would wear better than
many of the more typical cultural artifacts of the era, and they were
right. Those who admired it when it was new thought it would be a
masterpiece at any date.
That spirit is part of what I'm looking for when I'm searching for new
books in the spirit of the Inklings. I want books that would have been
just as good if they were published 50 years ago as they are now, because
those are the ones that will be just as good 50 years from now.
- David Bratman
At 07:23 AM 3/1/2003 -0500, Lizzie Triano wrote:
>I think it is worth discussing. I don't know what my opinion is on theYahoo! Groups Sponsor ADVERTISEMENT
>specific Rowling question, but I have long been developing the opinion that
>the Inkling Spirit today would be perhaps unrecognizable to the Inklings
>Then. After all, the churches probably are, post-Vatican-II and ordaining
>women priests, arguing the various sex and social justice issues, and all
>sorts of such things. There is surrealism and spirituality in the
>non-churched (which was of course true in the Victorian era), and there
>needs must be practicality and stuff in the church (which I would imagine
>there was among veteran Christians such as Tolkien, more than among today's
>peace-raised peoples). We are not hungry enough, we are too content. What
>would the Spirit tell stories about today?
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