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Ch 0b: Preface to TDI

For the Medieval Dinosaur in all of us.

Postby bruce n h » 24 Aug 2008, 18:21

Hi all,

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.

Bruce

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.
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Postby Stanley Anderson » 25 Aug 2008, 14:05

Hi Bruce,
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?
…on a night of rain Frodo smelled a sweet fragrance on the air and heard the sound of singing that came over the water. And then it seemed to him that as in his dream in the house of Bombadil, the grey rain-curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back, and he beheld white shores and beyond them a fair green country under a swift sunrise.
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Postby bruce n h » 25 Aug 2008, 19:10

Hey Stanley,

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).

Bruce
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