This forum was closed on October 1st, 2010. However, the archives are open to the public and filled with vast amounts of good reading and information for you to enjoy. If you wish to meet some Wardrobians, please visit the Into the Wardrobe Facebook group.

"Tolkien's friend"!

The man. The myth.

Re: "Tolkien's friend"!

Postby A#minor » 20 Jan 2006, 15:52

wood-maid wrote:[
I don't know as much about Tolkien as Lewis, but sometimes he strikes me as a bit...eccentric? Maybe narrow-minded is too strong, but...having a hard time letting people be different? (Don't want to sound too harsh here... :) )

Yes, I think that is a fair description. Of course, he was the sort of person who doesn't want things to change. It's too unsettling. So when Lewis changed, he was hurt by it.
Look at Tolkien's relationship with Edith when they were young; no matter how long he had to wait for her, he just did, b/c he wasn't going to change.
I think he described himself well when he likened himself to an old tree, largely immovable.
"My brain and this world don't fit each other, and there's an end of it!" - G.K. Chesterton
Image
User avatar
A#minor
Wardrobian
 
Posts: 7319
Joined: May 2005
Location: Georgia, USA

Re: "Tolkien's friend"!

Postby Hrosskell » 09 May 2009, 04:58

Yes, I made a forum account just to respond to this.

The first topic I'd like to address is "prolific(ity, ness?)." I'm wondering if I missed out on some of Lewis's work--given, I am American, and British literature is not as easy to come by as copies of Hemingway and Faulkner, or even Fitzgerald--that being said, I think there's a slight discrepancy between "work published" and "works composed". Tolkien's son later dropped all of Tolkien's written backstory, giving us books like the (pardon my spelling, I'm too lazy to look it up at the moment) Silmarillion and innumberable "Untold Tales" volumes. In addition to these were various Old English stories translated and published (seen in America only under academic light, otherwise not readily available) by Tolkien, including Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the Pearl, etc.

The second is "credibility". While Lewis did write various essays themed outside of fiction, and worked allegory into the Chronicles, I do not feel he was as devoted to storytelling as Tolkien was. All of Tolkien's books come in the style of a well-versed oral tradition; he was, and intended to write as, a storyteller only. Lewis, like has been noted, was whimsical in his pursuit of a coherent/cohesive storyline, but expressed himself magnificently in his essays/letters. I think that to compare them in each field in a "who's better" manner is silly. It's like comparing Bradbury and Vonnegut--both are going for two very different goals, even though they use the same genre and similar style.

The third and final issue I would like to speak on is "friendship". They were bros. Sure, bros grow apart, but all bros do.
And we, as educated and thoughtful individuals, can remember them as bros, even if we know that like all other bros, they fell apart towards the end.
Hrosskell
 
Posts: 1
Joined: May 2009

Re: "Tolkien's friend"!

Postby A#minor » 09 May 2009, 18:12

Well said, Hrosskell! I like your insight.
"My brain and this world don't fit each other, and there's an end of it!" - G.K. Chesterton
Image
User avatar
A#minor
Wardrobian
 
Posts: 7319
Joined: May 2005
Location: Georgia, USA

Re: "Tolkien's friend"!

Postby Tuke » 09 May 2009, 23:55

Hrosskell wrote:.... The second is "credibility". While Lewis did write various essays themed outside of fiction, and worked allegory into the Chronicles, I do not feel he was as devoted to storytelling as Tolkien was. All of Tolkien's books come in the style of a well-versed oral tradition; he was, and intended to write as, a storyteller only. Lewis, like has been noted, was whimsical in his pursuit of a coherent/cohesive storyline, but expressed himself magnificently in his essays/letters. I think that to compare them in each field in a "who's better" manner is silly. It's like comparing Bradbury and Vonnegut--both are going for two very different goals, even though they use the same genre and similar style....
Your point is well taken, with one proviso. This is the age of Tolkien. He has sold more books than Lewis in the last five decades. However, during the '40s & '50s Lewis was wildly popular and on the cover of Time Magazine twice while Prof. Tolkien was an obscure hobbit.
"The 'great golden chain of Concord' has united the whole of Edmund Spenser's world.... Nothing is repressed; nothing is insubordinate. To read him is to grow in mental health." The Allegory Of Love (Faerie Queene)

2 Corinthians IV.17 The Weight of Glory
User avatar
Tuke
 
Posts: 966
Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Florida

Re: "Tolkien's friend"!

Postby msd1835 » 10 May 2009, 21:27

I read and fell in love with Tolkien's Lotr before I had really even heard of Lewis (yes because of the movies). But I have to say that I find Lewis's works far more interesting and entertaining. I believe Lewis had a better method of "trimming the fat." I find that Tolkien has times in Lotr the storytelling seems to stop. Many chapters don't support the rest of story, and inspire me now to just skip them. Lewis's works seem to be crafted like a symphony composed by a master composer. There is not one note in the Chronicles, or other works, that Lewis did not create for a specific reason. This is why Lewis is my favorite compared to J.R.R.. I don't mean to take anything away from the Lotr I think they are awesome; they just did not change my life the way Lewis's works have. Now I am sure that there is something Lewis probably would've rewrote if he could, but I would not change a thing.
User avatar
msd1835
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Feb 2009

Re: "Tolkien's friend"!

Postby ladysherlockian » 26 Feb 2010, 10:47

"Tolkien's friend" - well, many people, including myself, would not be evan aware of the existence of CS Lewis, if they had not learned about him through Tolkien. I would not know about Tolkien either, had it not been for the films by Peter Jackson. Yes, I heard about the guy, but what I heard did not interest me enough to find out more. Only after the films did I became a Tolkien fan. And this is how I got to Lewis. Now I do not really remember how I learned that Lewis was Tolkien's friend, perhaps it was somewhere on Tolkien forum. But then I thought "Wow, Tolkien's friend, I must read something about him. His books are probably very interesting. Let's look into this matter." Maybe I would not be interested in Lewis if I had not read Tolkien first, and what I would be missing... Like msd1835, I am now interested more in Lewis than in Tolkien, but this changes constantly, sometimes I focus more on Tolkien and sometimes more on Lewis in my reading. But they both are always important for me.

Perhaps the authors of the article wanted to esablish some connection in the reader's mind, introduced something they could relate to? Before the Narnia films, maybe Lewis was not so well-known? Nowadays most people are aware that Lewis is the author of Narnia, but then? Maybe writing of Lewis as "Tolkien's friend" is not fair, as he was a great author in his own right, but on the other hand...any way to make more people interested in Lewis is something good, isn't it?
ladysherlockian
Wardrobian
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Dec 2009

Re: "Tolkien's friend"!

Postby agingjb » 26 Feb 2010, 11:26

Tolkien's friend? Betjeman's enemy? Eliot's adversary? Hmm.

(And I first became aware of Lewis in 1955, Tolkien in 1956, and knew they were friends for the sufficient reason that my English teacher was at Oxford in the 1930's. She lent me The Hobbit and Perelandra and entrusted me with collecting her pre-ordered copy of one volume of LOTR from the local bookshop.)
agingjb
Wardrobian
 
Posts: 100
Joined: Sep 2008

Re:

Postby Mr Hooper » 27 Feb 2010, 22:57

A#minor wrote:Actually, it would be more appropriate to call Tolkien "Lewis's friend." Especially when they were alive, b/c Lewis wrote and published so much more than Tolkien did, and he acquired his fame and recognition as an author long before Tolkien did. Even when Tolkien did put his mark on the world of fiction, he was still looked upon by many of his colleagues as a writer of children's stories, not a contributor to the intellectual essays of their time. He hadn't written any big intellectual theological papers like Lewis had, which contributed to his slight jealousy of Lewis.


I know far less about CSL than many here, but is it true to say that he wrote "big intellectual theological papers"? Of course he wrote Christian books and essays that had a major impact on the public, but in the academic world, and perhaps also within the Anglican Church(?), was he thought of as on original and significant theological thinker? I do not mean that I do not value his theology - I value it very highly indeed. I just had the picture that the elitists in both the Academic world and the Church were a bit embarrassed by him. They would have seen the value of his Allegory of Love and his OHEL just as they recognised the importance of Tolkien's Beowulf paper. But as for all that populist theology, wouldn't it have caused almost as much embarrassment as the fantasy stuff the two were writing?

Of course both Tollers and CSL were extremely prolific, but Lewis published regularly whereas T. kept refining and storing up pieces of his unpublished mythology.
User avatar
Mr Hooper
Wardrobian
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Apr 2008

Re: "Tolkien's friend"!

Postby maralewisfan » 28 Feb 2010, 00:32

I read The Hobbit while in junior high, well before the movies. I am one of those people who watch the movies and realize where the differences are between the books and the movies. I also do this with CON. I read Lewis long before the movies came out also. I prefer the apologetics and have been re-reading the CON and reading the space trilogy for the first time (my son got them for me for Christmas about two years ago).

Considering as how Lewis died the year I was born, I must say that it makes no difference to my desire to find and read as much as I can. I recommend his books as often as I can.

Now on the subject of friendships...unfortunately things happen in life that separate us from our friends, sometimes for a short time and sometimes for the duration, however I would still consider those that I am separated from as my friends because of the relationship we did have even though we do not have that same relationship now.
maralewisfan
 
Posts: 51
Joined: Oct 2009
Location: Oklahoma

Previous

Return to C. S. Lewis

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered members and 1 guest