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I have passed this guy up numerous times.  It seems he teaches many of the books I read.  He is Dr. Ted Sherman at Middle Tennessee State University and he seems to have an interest in "Inkling" authors.  These 2 lectures for Phantastes were worth the almost 3 hours.

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I am pretty sure I have not posted a MLK Day post.  I did not have time to look through the Lewis letters for any possible comments by Lewis on Martin Luther King.  I decided on the easy way and performed an internet search and came up with the following blog post from the official C.S. Lewis Blog:

C.S. Lewis and Pacifism: A Failure of the Imagination by Tom Arthur

Sorry, I did have the text here, but I had some formatting issues.  The link will have to suffice.


News recently came out that Christopher Tolkien died a few days ago.  Christopher was the son of J.R.R. Tolkien and an important figure in the Middle-Earth world.  We would probably not have all that we do in Tolkien Studies without Christopher's work.  He is the Walter Hooper of the Tolkien world.

He was also a friend of C.S. Lewis and attended Inkling meetings.

C.S. Lewis wrote a letter to J.R.R. Tolkien on October 28, 1958:

My dear Tollers

. . . It's nice to see Christopher again regularly on Mon. mornings.  It wd. be nicer still if he were accompanied by his Aged P.

On November 10, 1958, Lewis wrote again to the elder Tolkien and mentions a new book by E.R. Eddison.  Lewis says that "Christopher has my copy at present."

Almost a year later Lewis wrote to George Sayers (Aug 3, 1959) and he mentions that "I've lent my copy to Christopher Tolkien and it is high time he returned it."

I am not sure if this is the same book and I wonder if Lewis ever received it…



Our next meeting is quickly approaching - Monday, January 27th at 6:30 pm, meeting in the Trust Conference Room at the library.  We will be discussing Phantastes by George MacDonald. 

Why this book?  The short answer: C.S. Lewis loved it.  

A Lewis Quote:

It must be more than thirty years ago that I bought - almost unwillingly, for I had looked at the volume on that bookstall and rejected it on a dozen previous occasions - the Everyman edition of Phantastes.  A few hours later I knew that I had crossed a great frontier . . . What it actually did to me was to convert, even to baptize . . . my imagination . . . The quality which had enchanted me in his imaginative works turned out to be the quality of the real universe, the divine, magical, terrifying, and ecstatic reality in which we all live.  I should have been shocked in my teens if anyone had told me that what I learned to love in Phantastes was goodness.  But now that I know, I see there was no deception.  The deception is all the ot…


Ten years ago we read the Lewis essay "On the Reading of Old Books" and if you search this blog with "ON THE READING OF OLD BOOKS" you will find a number of posts - mostly my personal attempts to read old books.  As a group we have, fairly recently, attempted to read an old book every year.  I am counting old books as books published at least 100 years ago.  In October we readThe Pilgrim's Progress and this month we will be discussingPhantastes.  We have read St. Athanasius, Boethius, and Shakespeare.  I think Chesterton counts.
   It has been suggested we look at Paradise Lost by John Milton.  I recently read the first 10 pages of this epic poem and I do not think we will be reading this.  I attempted to read the poem because I will be seeing a stage production in NY at the end of the month, performed by the Fellowship of Performing Arts - the CS Lewis on stage folks.  Instead, I listened to an audio version of the poem and will probably listen again and this t…