A Night of the Word

12 07 2007

The front lawn of Cat’s, the college in which I’m staying.

The plenary lecture was especially interesting this Wednesday. The subject was “C.S. Lewis, Anglo-Irish critic.” You may not know Lewis beyond his best known books, the Chronicles of Narnia. However, Lewis is quickly gaining recognition in the United States for his writings on Christianity as well. The speaker, one Dr. Stephen Logan, presented a view of Lewis that seems entirely unknown by the public in the states. Lewis was, aside from his extensive fantasy and sci-fi writings, a frequent literary critic. Lewis had always wanted to write poetry, explained Logan, something he did not do very well in, which colored a number of his other writings and reviews.

Most interestingly, I had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Logan after the lecture and asked him what he thought about the sudden resurgence of Lewis’s Christian-based writings in the US. He explained that Lewis colored his critiques and written works with his Christianity, and was outspoken in arguing that a loss of bible study meant a loss of understanding of a number of references based in religious texts. As well, Lewis was well known for criticizing non-Christian critics for their writings against Christian texts. However, Logan continued, Lewis, who was widely believed to have lived in (what some might call) sin with the widowed mother of his war buddy, was hardly the figure many Christians in the US seemed to see him as. In fact, Logan told me, it was most likely that Lewis would be against the religious groups in the US who follow his work most reverently. Lewis would be, in fact, against the more extreme and fundamentalist versions of Christianity.

Something to think about eh?

All this was followed by lunch on the Sidgwick Site, at the inexpensive, though merely ok, Buttery cafe. After that was the second subject course. Then I hit up some gift shops and book stores, picking up a few things back home. I have yet to visit the really interesting bookstores, instead having checked out Boarders and a large British chain. However, I intend to remedy that. Afterwards we visited a bar for drinks before dinner. This one was distinguished by it’s two large parrots.

After dinner, I headed back upstairs and worked on Shakespeare, I’m finally catching up, so I’m pumping a bit more time into it. I reinforced myself via Tea from the sorta-kettle that had been included with the room.
It smelled a little odd, I think due to the heating element; but it got the job done. I was awake long enough to finish a good chunk of the Bard.