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Into the Wardrobe A Community of Wardrobians 2010-09-23T19:10:17+00:00 2010-09-23T19:10:17+00:00 <![CDATA[Apologetics & Other Works • Re: Quote Dilemma Seasons and Cycles]]> Screwtape Letters #s 15 & 25.

Statistics: Posted by Sven — 23 Sep 2010, 19:10

2010-09-23T14:06:39+00:00 <![CDATA[Apologetics & Other Works • Re: What Lewis would have thought of the Food Network]]>
Karen wrote:
Indeed. Have you ever heard the phrase 'food porn' ?

HA! I thought the same the instant I saw this post. While certainly not appropriate for children, or maybe adults for that matter, the Anthony Bourdain Season 5 episode about food porn came to mind. I won't link here lest anyone be offended, but you can google it if you want. Funny to a foodie with a sense of humor, maybe not as much to someone watching with children or a tighter rain on questionable humor.

Statistics: Posted by sunbear — 23 Sep 2010, 14:06

2010-09-23T13:52:32+00:00 <![CDATA[Apologetics & Other Works • Re: Just how ugly was Orual in TWHF?]]> Statistics: Posted by sunbear — 23 Sep 2010, 13:52

2010-09-23T13:39:28+00:00 <![CDATA[Apologetics & Other Works • Quote Dilemma Seasons and Cycles]]>
But firstly, wow. I log in here every few months and am always so happy to find such a strong presence of diverse people all interested in sharing and debating Lewis. I have led small groups and book discussions focused exclusively on Inklings-esque writers (Lewis, Tolkien and MacDonald) for the last 4.5 years and frequently refer people here to either exchange further ideas or to read up on what other people are saying. So, of course, I was blown away to read the announcement posted on September 7th about the forums closing. A sad day surely.

Perhaps before the doors shut this wonderful community would be able to help me one more time?

I'm doing research about the different experiences of the seasons by different religions and cultures and I have tucked somewhere away, in the recesses of my mind, a memory of having read something by Lewis, I thought, where he talked about seasons and about how the seasons gave us enough experience of change to have a sense of things in motion, but that the cyclical nature of them also gave a sense of things returning or staying the same. I don't remember enough of the quote to have had success googling it, and he expressed this so much better than I can. It's killing me trying to remember.

Anyone who recognizes this sentiment from some of the Lewis they've read and can point me in the right direction would be so greatly appreciated. I have a feeling it may have been from an essay in Weight of Glory, or God in the Dock, so I'll be reviewing both of those again but would still love any input any of you may be able to contribute.


Statistics: Posted by sunbear — 23 Sep 2010, 13:39

2010-09-20T16:46:09+00:00 <![CDATA[Apologetics & Other Works • Re: Just how ugly was Orual in TWHF?]]> Statistics: Posted by Mornche Geddick — 20 Sep 2010, 16:46

2010-09-08T23:15:00+00:00 <![CDATA[Apologetics & Other Works • Re: The Screwtape Letters, by Focus on the Family]]>

Different sides of my brain are shouting at me to say completely different things about this position of yours. I can't seem to settle in my mind whether I agree or disagree and logic doesn't permit me to do both, but I think I might try and say them all anyway.

I’ve got an unresolved set of layers going too. There are no final resolutions to these sorts of questions. My previous article expresses fierce certainty because when swimming upstream against a flood of received wisdom, one has no chance at all unless one becomes fierce and streamlined and pointy-nosed -- but my thoughts are, in fact, still work-in-progress. The feeling I've got is definite enough, though, and it’s just this: at least 10 years ago I got fed up with the cheated, cheapened sensation I’ve received from almost all (not all, not all) book-to-movie projects over my lifetime. I’ve gone eagerly to see such things again and again since the 1970s and eventually, after a long string of dreary, suspiciously similar let-downs, decided that parade-spoiling “purism” was the way to go, despite the razzing I would predictably receive from friend, foe, and total stranger alike. I just got sick of what I was seeing and how I was feeling about what I was seeing. So if there’s any snobbery involved, it’s grown naturally in my gut, and is not being sent down from my left-wing-elitist brain centers. Which, by the way, if they exist at all, do a remarkably bad job of preventing me from being an avid fan of many popular things, from pizza to Star Trek to comic books to -- of course -- C. S. Lewis. (Maybe I lost my Cultural Elite honorary membership when I walked out of the unbearably pretentious and unpleasant “The Thief, The Cook, His Wife, and Her Lover” a third of the way through, and dove joyously into the nearest bar.)

The totally biased political Free Market Capitalist running dog lackey Mr. Politics in me says, "This guy is a snob. One of those useless critics who never creates anything of real value himself and wants Hollywood to keep on producing crappy left-wing movies that nobody wants to see cause they're boring and then give them academy awards and ignore the really great movies that everyone wants to see, as evidenced by ticket sales, etc. because we all know the free market sorts out what people want from what people don't want better than anything else ever does. Free markets FTW."

I stare, fascinated but (almost) speechless, at this being Mr. Politics. Is it possible that anybody, even an imaginary, fragmentary somebody, even (shudder) an economist, really imagines that they live in a world where free markets (a) exist and (b) produce or even approximate a universal meritocracy in art or anything else? Just to take one point of contact with reality, for what, then, would the marketing industry exist? Marketing permeates our entire culture. We are soaked in artful persuasions from cradle to crematorium. Our minds are not in fact free, given, above-the-fray, independent agents shaping the "market" for movies or anything else, but a commodity explicitly bought, sold, and manipulated on the market all day, every day (collectively and on average, but still quite effectively). Is it snobbish or elitist to acknowledge these simple facts? Regardless, in bare logic, if people love something in droves, it doesn’t prove a thing about that something except that they love it. They might love it for excellent reasons or for awful reasons or for no reasons. Like Mr. Objective Logic says,

" . . . Defending the artistic merits of a product based on it's sales is a non-sequitor. I can prove this in two words: Britney Spears."


Most everyone except Mr. Politics agrees, and then Judge Justice bangs his gavel and weighs in saying, "On the other hand, this guy seems to be making a statement about the general inadequacy of film as a medium and then blaming the makers of a particular film for this inadequacy.”

Ah, but Judge Justice must read Left-Wing Anti-Capitalist (me) closely enough to divine the actual argument being made. I've never said that print is simply better than film. I’ve been saying that it does things film can’t do, and that in a great many books, those things matter a lot, and in those cases a film “made from” a book by simply filming the sequence of events described therein is almost always a ghastly prancing parody or shell of the book. The thing works the other way, too: film and print are two very different art forms, with very different intrinsic powers, so a great work in one will very often turn into something mediocre or awful when transliterated into the other. This does not amount to a claim that one medium or the other is simply “inadequate.” Novelizations of movies suck as frequently and as badly, in my experience, as “movie versions” of books. Star Wars, for an example, was a great movie and a crappy book.

So what I’m actually doing is making a statement about the general (not absolute) inadequacy of radically distinct media (e.g., film, print) as vehicles for each other, then holding up a class of films and other adaptations (e.g., Screwtape --> Twitter, Tolkien --> big screen) as exemplary of this inadequacy.

Mr. Objective Logic says, "I think what Mr. Aesthetic Appreciation is trying to say is that while Mr. Philosophy may be right that beauty isn't really in the eye of the beholder but is an objective quality, this doesn't mean that all beauty is of the same kind. There may be different kinds of beauty which different people appreciate differently, none of which are ugly but which are all different."

Pretty much my view. The mind-rotting phrase “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” gets most of its apparent obviousness, I think, from its implicit equation of “beauty” with sexual attractiveness.

Mr. Aesthetic Appreciation is convinced to echo what Judge Justice pointed out earlier saying, "This guy doesn't seem to like movies, and" (breaking away from what Mr. Politics wanted him to say) "movies ought to be judged by the people who really love movies."

But if “really love movies” had to mean “loves _all_ movies,” then the only admissible movie critic would be a person who never panned movies. Which is to say, the only admissible movie critic would not be a movie critic. Contradiction. So I cannot be ruled out as a movie critic because I dislike some movies, or even lots of movies. In fact, I do like many movies -- and dislike many movies. In any case, I have no grudge against movies as such.

Mr Politics, now feeling that he would have done better to shut Mr. Aesthetic Appreciation up rather than encourage him to speak up, tries to argue, "He probably only likes movies he agrees with." . . . sounds unkind and possibly hypocritical.

Anyway, how can one agree or disagree with a movie -- a storytelling movie, at least (not a documentary)? How could one agree or disagree with Key Largo or Fanny and Alexander?

My thesis in short form:

Transliteration from one art form to another usually produces a work inferior to the original when the two arts in question are very different and the original work's virtue depends greatly on the powers of its home art.

Statistics: Posted by larry gilman — 08 Sep 2010, 23:15

2010-09-07T15:51:00+00:00 <![CDATA[Apologetics & Other Works • Re: Just how ugly was Orual in TWHF?]]> I believe that part of the conflict in Orual's character was that she was continually having to discover the beauty within herself and that in the end she only partly succeeded. In a way, Lewis was far ahead of his time in the sense that he doesn't make her the conventional female character. He directly challenges the beauty = goodness template that exists in many myths and folklore.

I almost wish he had written it from a male perspective instead of trying to see the world through a girl's eyes. I don't think he captures the female voice nearly as well. That may be why I had a hard time with the story.

Statistics: Posted by paminala — 07 Sep 2010, 15:51

2010-09-07T13:39:00+00:00 <![CDATA[Apologetics & Other Works • Re: Just how ugly was Orual in TWHF?]]>
paminala wrote:
OK, I finally read the whole thing.
My take on her appearance is that she looks very different from the other women around her. Those considered beautiful are all described as golden haired with curls and probably small in stature (the stepmother particularly is remarked on as being quite small.) By contrast, she seems to have straight dark hair and is stronger so, presumably more muscular.
The only description of her is that she is ugly, and that from a person who is comparing herself to a fairly narrow standard. I think that it is very possible that she is not ugly at all so much as that she is simply a different physical type. This would make her stand out and, in that society, not in a good way. That she falls short of what her culture calls beautiful does not mean that she is some sort of freak but I'm sure she would have been made to feel like one.

Wasn't that an episode of The Twilight Zone? :wink:

Statistics: Posted by archenland_knight — 07 Sep 2010, 13:39

2010-09-03T23:18:03+00:00 <![CDATA[Apologetics & Other Works • Re: Just how ugly was Orual in TWHF?]]> Statistics: Posted by jo — 03 Sep 2010, 23:18

2010-09-03T18:39:44+00:00 <![CDATA[Apologetics & Other Works • Re: Lewis' thoughts on other major religions?]]> Cyranorox said

Perhaps a view with respect to the Fall will clarify at least my side. Passions are post fall; the primal state was passionless. The final freedom of the sons of God will also be passionless, because perfect freedom would exclude compulsion, and the essence of passion is that it is experienced as compulsory.

Milton has a comment on this: in PL, Adam, who has been in voluntary control of his sexual appetites before the fatal apple, finds himself 'ripe for play' after some conversation with Eve. It's the "finds himself", the status of recipient instead of commander, that is passionate.

I understand. Augustine got quite carried away on this theme. He speculates that prior to the fall getting an erection would have been voluntary. However he knows this will seem hard to believe so he backs up his claim with a list of other actions not normally under the control of the will that sometimes are; this includes people waggling there ears and musical farting without making a stink. The trouble with this is that we now know much more about the involuntary nervous system and how it works and given how human beings probably evolved it seems more than unlikely that there was ever a time in history when we did have voluntarty (I meant to write voluntary and I am sure that was not a Freudian slip t being so close to r) control. I can image a pre-fallen or redeemed man however as being more in harmony with his sexuality, neither being controlled by it nor controlling it. There's a story about two Zen monks who meet a girl and one picks her up to help her through the mud. They walk on in silence and then later when they rest the other says, 'Why did you carry the girl when we are forbidden to touch women?' The other replies, 'Are you still carrying the girl, brother? I put her down long ago.' I think a lot of girls would prefer a man who was less governed by his passions, for example one who could cuddle without always wanting 'it'; but how many would want a man who had no passion and had to will himself to get aroused?

This view marches with stoicism some way, but the good in view is rather different. Without the Christian virtues and the Spirit, indeed passionlessness is the equipment of a villain or a conqueror, no more. It can look cold because it's a space cleared and awaiting content.

That's what I was wondering. Stoicism redeemed rather than aped.

Lewis pointed out somewhere, I think it was in "Beyond Personality" that God having no passions suggests we have experiences of real value which He lacks. Lewis suggested it would be better to think of God as being superpassionate or transpassionate rather than nonpassionate. Like, God can't "fall in love" because He IS love.

He says something similar at the start of one of the space books, either the second or the third where he says that in heaven we will be trans - all kinds of things. Reminds me of an old joke. Religious education teacher asks the class to ask any questions about religion they want her to answer. One boy says, 'Is there sex in heaven?' A second boy says, 'Is there ----in' hell!' and the teacher says, 'One question at once please!'

Statistics: Posted by postodave — 03 Sep 2010, 18:39