Sunday, June 30, 2013

Kenny on McGrath on Lewis

I like this quite a lot, and I didn't know about it, so thanks, Crude.


B. Prokop said...

As to how Lewis will be remembered in a century or so from now, that's impossible to say.

I recall how one day Joe Sheffer (mutual friend of Victor and myself) startled me when I asked him his opinion of what works of science fiction would eventually make it into the "literary canon" (we were both huge SF nerds back in the Nineteen Seventies). Joe answered without any hesitation at all, "Jules Verne and H.G. Wells - everybody else will be forgotten!" We argued about this for days, but over the years I've come round to his point of view.

So the real question is "did Lewis make any unique and indispensable contribution to the conversation?" and I think the answer is yes - in his fiction. Lewis's Space Trilogy is unquestionably Great Literature (which, in and of itself, does not guarantee longevity - many amazingly good books, such as Eddison's The Worm Ouroboros, fall by the wayside more quickly than you'd think), and Narnia will be around as long as young people read books.

Now, whether anybody will actually be reading books of any sort within a generation or so is another question altogether!!!

Kathen said...

Did Lewis die of cancer? If he did he seems to have been quite unaware of it himself. He died of organ failure brought on by an untreated prostate problem but the problem was not cancer but an enlarged prostate, which is very common in middle-aged men (ironically due to bad design).

Did Wilson say that the White Witch was based on Anscombe? I have not been able to find that in his biography. He did say that the confrontation with the GREEN witch was based on the debate with Anscombe. Still nonsense of course but McGrath (or Kenny) ought to get the right witch.

B. Prokop said...

"Did Wilson say that the White Witch was based on Anscombe?"

This is not the first time I've come across this assertion, but have yet to see anyone cite the slightest bit of evidence for it. I suspect what we're dealing with here is some sort of scholarly analog to an urban legend. If true, it has a whiff of delightful scandal, so some people just want to believe it.

And if it does turn out to be based on fact, so what? T.S. Eliot made not-so-veiled references to many of his acquaintances in The Waste Land, and Dante threw half the people he knew into the Inferno.

Victor Reppert said...

My essay from The Chronicles of Narnia and Philosophy refutes the (to my mind idiotic) Green Witch/Anscombe identification.

Here's another famous legend to which a good deal of BS has been attached.