Monday, October 18, 2021

"The Neglected C. S. Lewis"

So, the new issue of THE JOURNAL OF ENGLISH STUDIES has just arrived, and my eye was drawn to their review of a new book out by Mark Neal and Jerry Root, called THE NEGLECTED C. S. LEWIS: EXPLORING THE RICHES OF HIS MOST OVERLOOKED BOOKS".  I found their list interesting, if unnecessarily limited by their decision to focus entirely on his academic works. The eight books they chose are as follows:


2. THE PERSONAL HERESY (Lewis vs. Tillyard)


4. O.H.E.L  (I admit I've never read this one myself)

5. STUDIES IN WORDS (the second of these eight I haven't read. perhaps best summed up as 'Lewis does a Barfield'. a book Tolkien disliked)

6. AN EXPERIMENT IN CRITICISM (probably the most controversial of all these eight)

7. THE DISCARDED IMAGE (which gets my vote as by far the best of the books they cover)

8. LETTERS TO MALCOLM (which doesn't seem to fit in their theme or thesis at all).

If I were to recommend any of Lewis's books as 'neglected', I'd opt for THE DISCARDED IMAGE (a little gem that shows off Lewis the lecturer at his best) and SPIRITS IN BONDAGE (the only relic of his early Yeatsian period). And then of course there's THE DARK TOWER, which a lot of Lewis scholars like to pretend doesn't exist as the simplest way to avoid dealing with it.

--all in all, sounds like a worthwhile project with some quirks. 

--John R

--current reading THE NATURE OF MIDDLE-EARTH. Still (Again).

*it's interesting to see that biographical revelations about Wms are having a trickle-down effect -- in this case on the part of the reviewer

No comments: