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Into the Wardrobe A Community of Wardrobians 2008-08-27T23:18:36+00:00 2008-08-27T23:18:36+00:00 <![CDATA[The Discarded Image • ]]> Elizabethan World Picture. Interesting how its content parallels The Discarded Image. Tillyard and Lewis co-authored The Personal Heresy.

Statistics: Posted by Tuke — 27 Aug 2008, 23:18

2008-08-26T19:36:49+00:00 <![CDATA[The Discarded Image • ]]>

I found a disquieting contrast between the whole circle of ideas used in modern criticism and certain ideas recurrent in the New Testament. . . . . What are the key-words of modern criticism? Creative, with its opposite derivative, spontaneity, with its opposite convention; freedom, contrasted with rules. Great authors are innovators, pioneers, explorers; bad authors bunch in schools and follow models.

He then goes on to outline various passages from the NT that show a hierarchical worldview where we copy those above us, e.g. Christ saying that he watched the Father and did what he did.

Applying this principle to literature, in its greatest generality, we should get as the basis of all critical theory the maxim that an author should never conceive himself as bringing into existence beauty or wisdom which did not exist before. . . . . Our criticism . . . would have . . . remoter affinities with . . . the Augustan doctrine about the imitation of Nature and the Ancients.

He goes on to clarify that Christian lit could indeed be original, in that it did not have to come from copying prior poets/authors, but that it should seek to embody some external beauty or truth, not just the interior of the author. However, I think the medieval view of drawing on prior poets certainly fits into his view of Christian lit much better than the modern criticism he discusses.


Statistics: Posted by bruce n h — 26 Aug 2008, 19:36

2008-08-25T19:10:07+00:00 <![CDATA[The Discarded Image • ]]>
For now I guess I'll work my way through the first four chapters and add my comments and then we'll see where that goes. I agree, though, The Heavens is my favorite part as well. I remember not liking the last chapter very much; it felt like a series of lists. The Heavens would be good to revisit before entering THS (looking forward to that study as well).


Statistics: Posted by bruce n h — 25 Aug 2008, 19:10

2008-08-25T14:05:39+00:00 <![CDATA[The Discarded Image • ]]> As you may notice from the chapter titles of the threads, I never finished going through the entire book but only got up to chapter four (just before my favorite chapter of all, chapter 5, The Heavens). Except for maybe the very beginning, the study never really generated a lot of discussion, less and less so as it went along (though liriodendron seemed to keep up with it of course). It got more and more of a feeling (to me) of me just spouting off my ideas, and what I enjoy more is seeing comments and discussion from others (since I already pretty much know what my own thoughts are:-). So I kind of let it fizzle out.

And of course part of the reason for lack of activity might be because the book is not as easy to find as some of Lewis' other works, so simply lack of access and my picking one of Lewis' more obscure book -- though it is my favorite non-fiction of his -- may be the culprit here. In any case, I'll be fascinated to see any comments you may have, and perhaps I can start back up where I left off (though with the prospect of a THS study appearing to make its start soon, perhaps continuing this one at the same time would be crowding a bit -- on the other hand, they fit together so neatly, that they could compliment each other. Not sure -- we'll see.)

So what do you think, Bruce? Do you want to make comments on the sections already covered, or jump to the previous ending point at chapter 4 and take off from there again? Or just wait for a bit and see how it feels?

Statistics: Posted by Stanley Anderson — 25 Aug 2008, 14:05

2008-08-24T19:23:52+00:00 <![CDATA[The Discarded Image • ]]>
A couple of thoughts on pages 1-5. Perhaps this better belongs later on when we get to the discussion of the divisions of the solar system, but I remember being quite excited after reading DI when I was in Ephesians and ran across:

Eph 2:2 - in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.

Perhaps I'm reading this incorrectly, but I think that Paul is here reflecting his knowledge of Greek scholarship and an Aristotelian view of the solar system, where this world, the changeable one, is the kingdom defined by the air, where Satan holds sway, in contrast with sky above.

On the divisions between science and religion, I know we'll come more to this later, but I was just reading the Wikipedia entry on the flat earth myth, and they made the point that it was really in the nineteenth century that the division got emphasized (Darwin etc) and people now mistakenly feel that the division in the middle ages and later was greater than it actually was. I'm reminded of Tycho Brahe, who wore his best court robes when he looked through his telescope, because he felt he was entering into heavenly courts (the heavens and earth declare the glory of God).


Statistics: Posted by bruce n h — 24 Aug 2008, 19:23

2008-08-24T18:21:22+00:00 <![CDATA[The Discarded Image • ]]>
As I noted over in the introductions thread, I'm new to this forum but used to be heavily involved in MereLewis, so I recognize some names, such as Stanley. Anyway, this group study prompted me to pull my copy of DI off the shelf and start rereading so I can join in. I realize this study is over a year old, so this may well just be a monologue for me, but if it gets me to reread and think about DI, all for the good.

The preface lays out that DI is meant as an intro before reading medieval lit. I wonder how many use it as such? On the one hand, we have Lewis fans, who may just read this because it is Lewis. I've read DI several times, for instance, but not much medieval lit (except the Divine Comedy - I have read that a few times and used DI as a reference to understand some of where Dante was coming from). On the other side we have students and scholars of medieval lit. I wonder if they read Lewis much. Or do he (and Tolkien) suffer in current scholarly reputation because people associate them with more "frivolous" works. I know Lewis encountered some of that from his colleagues.

On the fractal discussion above, of course the whole last part of the Last Battle is the best example of this, where they go into the stable and find a whole world, then within that world they go into the garden and find still a greater world. I actually think the example of Hell given by Leslie is rather the opposite. While both Hell and the True Narnia inside the stable seem vast when you are in them, the objective reality is that the True Narnia really is infinitely more than its "real world" reflection (and presumably as you go further up and further in gets more and more so), but Hell is infinitely less (and, again, presumably as you go further and further in gets even less and less). The discussion, btw, reminds me of the line "the universe in a grain of sand". --Searches-- oops, not quite right, it's from Blake:
To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour.

The tourists who carry their Englishness with them reminds me of a Monty Python sketch --searches-- ah, here it is -- where Eric Idle goes on and on about what the tourists say.


BTW, isn't Google grand? A half-remembered line of poetry and a comedy bit I haven't seen in ten years and in a few clicks I can find both. A great blessing for those of us with porous memories.

Statistics: Posted by bruce n h — 24 Aug 2008, 18:21

2008-06-22T02:48:37+00:00 <![CDATA[The Discarded Image • ]]>

quod quidem in terris fiat something along the lines of "...of all that one does [of all that is done?] on earth."

"Fio," the verb in that sentence, can mean a lot though. It can also mean something like "come into existence" or "happen" too, so you might be able to translate that phrase "...of all that exists on earth" or "of all that happens on earth."

...which is basically what Lewis says right before that, "[of that which] goes on on earth."

Statistics: Posted by Cet — 22 Jun 2008, 02:48

2007-08-17T02:02:30+00:00 <![CDATA[The Discarded Image • Ch 4g: pp 63-69]]>

Sorry for the long delay since the last section

I should make the same apology; I have had projects due and then a beach vacation.

I don't have much to say about the dreams. In fact I get really impatient at people talking about dream interpretations - probably because my dreams are so mundane. But I can see their advantage as a literary tool.
Do you think the adverage adverage person at that time put a high importance on dreams? I can see why, if they felt the 3 higher level of dreams were comunications from higher beings. Our outlook is so materialistic now. The brain is seen as a computer, and dreams are of interest only as revealing what the computer might be working on behind the scenes.

What is Lewis' definition of allegory?

I don't think of Narnia or the Space Trilogy as allegory, but rather as fiction experimenting on how a Christian worldview might play out more clearly in another situation.

Your other references make me realize how few CS Lewis books I've read.

“Apparently it was to leave room for all this that Cicero wrote the five words quod quidem in terris fiat” leave me wanting to hear more:-) It’s been too long since my four years of Latin in high school to be able to accurately translate anything anymore except “et cetera” and “E pluribus unum”:-), so I can only guess that those mysterious five words mean something like ‘that indeed which is to be on Earth”? (any Latin scholars out there who can correct that?)

I think Lewis translated them himself as "Nothing - nothing anyway that goes on on earth"

The way Macrobius lauches off in his own direction from Cicero's writing reminds me of the way preachers and Christian writers can launch of or some scripture in a random direction and then call their conclusions bibical. I guess that's human nature to see what is important to you in authors that you admire.

Statistics: Posted by liriodendron — 17 Aug 2007, 02:02

2007-08-03T16:39:55+00:00 <![CDATA[The Discarded Image • Ch 4g: pp 63-69]]>
(pp 63-64, Six paragraphs beginning with "To a modern reader..." and ending with "...of Dionysius Cato")

This section describes Macrobius’ scheme of dream species. I wonder what categories the dreams in Lewis’ works would fall into? Jane’s seem to be clearly visio. I suppose The Pilgrim’s Regress must be somnium as well as Orual’s dream/vision in TWHF, and the Great Divorce is possibly oraculum. The Dark Island visions would seem to fall into the visum category, and some of the dreams Ransom has on Perelandra (and in Out of the Silent Planet – I think) could fall into the insomnium category. Any others?

(pp 64-66, Three paragraphs beginning with "A dream may combine..." and ending with "...transmuted into theology")

Macrobius’ different kinds of “figmentum” brings to mind Lewis’ insistence that Narnia is not allegory (along with his disclaimer in Perelandra that none of the characters are allegorical). Of course the modern usage of the word allegory has been watered down and corrupted from the meaning that Lewis applied to it. And “symbolism” and “metaphor” don’t seem to exactly get what Narnia does either. I wonder if Lewis would not object to item 2A “the argument is grounded in solid truth but that truth itself is exhibited by means of fictions”, along with “The knowledge of holy things is here hidden under ‘a pious veil of figments’” as good descriptions of what the Narnian stories encompass?

The third paragraph about the change in the spiritual atmosphere, where Lewis says of Macrobius at the end, that “mythology and philosophy have both been transmuted into theology” reminds me a lot of what Lewis accomplishes in Till We Have Faces – the raw pagan rites and images of Ungit and the god of the mountain gradually transform, in the course of the book, into more purely theological and moral concepts.

(pp 66-69, Three paragraphs to finish the Macrobius section beginning with "The God and Mind mentioned..." and ending with "...enable us to predict them ")

I found the four levels of the four virtues fascinating. The transcendent forms of the highest level and their lack of description along with Lewis’ comment “Apparently it was to leave room for all this that Cicero wrote the five words quod quidem in terris fiat” leave me wanting to hear more:-) It’s been too long since my four years of Latin in high school to be able to accurately translate anything anymore except “et cetera” and “E pluribus unum”:-), so I can only guess that those mysterious five words mean something like ‘that indeed which is to be on Earth”? (any Latin scholars out there who can correct that?)

The part about the Neo-Platonism view of the world that “seeps, as it were, into existence at those moments when Mind is not perfectly ‘waiting upon’ God”, gives one (as a Christian) a rather creepy view of creation:-), but it is probably a pretty good description of sin itself. Curiously, the reverse of that image is sort of what one sees in Prince Caspian when the children are journeying to the rescue and they gradually each see more and more of Aslan as they increasingly attend to him – he sort of “seeps” into their recognition gradually.


Statistics: Posted by Stanley Anderson — 03 Aug 2007, 16:39

2007-07-21T03:40:17+00:00 <![CDATA[The Discarded Image • ]]>

That is the sense in which our universe is romantic, and theirs was classical.

That's kind of funny because we usually think of the middle ages as romantic and ourselves as practical (which may or may not be the same as classical).
The "trackless forest" vs. the "great building" imagery is very apt.

Statistics: Posted by liriodendron — 21 Jul 2007, 03:40