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Re: What was Lewis's best book?

PostPosted: 17 May 2010, 13:45
by Warrior 4 Jesus
I really struggled in reading and trying to understand the Abolition of Man. I didn't get far. It was very high-concept thinking and what I understood was interesting but I found the writing dry and archaic. I found similar themes in his book - That Hideous Strength and enjoyed that much more. But then again, I do generally prefer fiction over non-fiction.

Re: What was Lewis's best book?

PostPosted: 17 May 2010, 15:49
by Nerd42
Warrior 4 Jesus wrote:I really struggled in reading and trying to understand the Abolition of Man. I didn't get far. It was very high-concept thinking and what I understood was interesting but I found the writing dry and archaic. I found similar themes in his book - That Hideous Strength and enjoyed that much more. But then again, I do generally prefer fiction over non-fiction.
Well as long as you get the point somehow, that's the important thing :) You know it's not just about science vs magic vs religion - the moral law and absolute truth are the real main point(s).

i had trouble paying attention to Till We Have Faces and eventually gave up. Someday I'm gonna need to try and read that again

Re: What was Lewis's best book?

PostPosted: 18 May 2010, 00:20
by Warrior 4 Jesus
You know it's not just about science vs magic vs religion - the moral law and absolute truth are the real main point(s)

Very true. Yes, I understand that is the case. Thanks

Re: What was Lewis's best book?

PostPosted: 18 May 2010, 22:05
by JDMalament
Nerd42 wrote:i had trouble paying attention to Till We Have Faces and eventually gave up. Someday I'm gonna need to try and read that again

You should! Lewis has noted in many of his letters that he considers it his best book. And if you haven't already, I would recommend reading beforehand: Lewis's The Four Loves. Lewis uses Till We Have Faces to explore these different loves, and especially to differentiate between Agape (gift-love) and selfish, need-based love. Additionally, it would be helpful to have a knowledge of Plato's ideal society, which involves proper relations between Guardian/Philosophers, Knights, and Tradesmen. These three roles are also known as the Head, Chest, and Stomach, which is where the first chapter of The Abolition of Man, "Men Without Chests," gets it's title from.

- Jared

Re: What was Lewis's best book?

PostPosted: 18 May 2010, 23:17
by Nerd42
JDMalament wrote:
Nerd42 wrote:i had trouble paying attention to Till We Have Faces and eventually gave up. Someday I'm gonna need to try and read that again

You should! Lewis has noted in many of his letters that he considers it his best book. And if you haven't already, I would recommend reading beforehand: Lewis's The Four Loves. Lewis uses Till We Have Faces to explore these different loves, and especially to differentiate between Agape (gift-love) and selfish, need-based love. Additionally, it would be helpful to have a knowledge of Plato's ideal society, which involves proper relations between Guardian/Philosophers, Knights, and Tradesmen. These three roles are also known as the Head, Chest, and Stomach, which is where the first chapter of The Abolition of Man, "Men Without Chests," gets it's title from.

- Jared
OK. Am still reading Plato. Will try and get to "The Four Loves" when possible.

Re: What was Lewis's best book?

PostPosted: 19 May 2010, 05:45
by Warrior 4 Jesus
I've read Till We Have Faces and I didn't like it at all. I may have to go back and read it again sometime. But I'm in no hurry.
As for The Four Loves, I can't seem to find it. Interesting point about Plato. His teachings were very interesting.

Re: What was Lewis's best book?

PostPosted: 26 May 2010, 23:17
by equustel
Till We Have Faces is far and away my favorite Lewis; in fact, it is probably my favorite piece of fiction ever. I completely understand why some people have trouble getting through it. Not the most accessible thing Lewis ever wrote, and a big departure from his signature voice and style. But when I first read it, something in me changed. No book before or since has spoken to me on such a level.

Besides the personal significance, I also love how it reflects Lewis's growth as a person. The first part of the book was written before he had become a Christian, which gives it so much added weight (as well as everything that follows). And then there's the way he writes Orual - I think his relationship with Joy is part of what made him able to flesh out such a real, three-dimensional female perspective, with such a geniune voice. Amazing character.

I quote the ending lines all the time, whenever I become too distracted in my pursuit (and occasional demand of) answers to the Big Questions.

Re: What was Lewis's best book?

PostPosted: 12 Jun 2010, 03:04
by nomad
equustel wrote:The first part of the book was written before he had become a Christian, which gives it so much added weight (as well as everything that follows).


Interesting. I did not know that. But I think you are right - that is probably what gives it so much weight. Fascinating that he would come back to it so many years later. Your feelings about the book echo my own, equustel.

Re: What was Lewis's best book?

PostPosted: 12 Jun 2010, 14:06
by galion
equustel wrote:The first part of the book was written before he had become a Christian


I'm not sure that that is strictly the case. As I understand, he had been interested in, if not obsessed by, this myth, and made various attempts at re-telling it. I believe that in the draft for an earlier version from his pre-Christian days, the conclusion would have been that Orual was right, and the Gods wrong. However, the version we have was apparently written very quickly - it would certainly have been influenced by earlier versions, but I believe that this final version was all of a piece, written from scratch.

And yes, the way Lewis writes about women has changed radically in this book - to take a worst case comparison, look at The Shoddy Lands! :rolleyes:

Re: What was Lewis's best book?

PostPosted: 12 Jun 2010, 18:39
by Matthew Whaley
Yes, The Shoddy Lands is certainly the worst, but it is kind of funny and I think it was meant to be.

Re: What was Lewis's best book?

PostPosted: 12 Jun 2010, 19:05
by galion
The reason I picked it was that it gives an insight into the unregenerate Lewis's idea of what women really think about! - answering Freud's famous question "Was will das Weib??"

Re: What was Lewis's best book?

PostPosted: 12 Jun 2010, 19:32
by Matthew Whaley
If Lewis had written little else, one could by todays standards label him a sexist based on that story, but what could he have said about what all young men really think about; would it not have been much worse! (speaking for myself of course!)

To me, aside from his English Literature In The Sixteenth Century Excluding Drama, my favorite is still TWHF.

Re: What was Lewis's best book?

PostPosted: 12 Jul 2010, 11:49
by Lucys_Wardrobe
I love all of C.S. Lewis's works, and they are all the best in my opinion for different reasons, because a lot of them are deep and make you view things differently after reading them, but I would have to say all the Narnia books are my favorite, because when I read I love to go to a different place, become the characters while reading and escaping the real-world around me. What better place for that to happened than in a fantastic series of books like The Chronicles of Narnia.

Re: What was Lewis's best book?

PostPosted: 18 Aug 2010, 03:29
by Mavramorn
The Silver Chair ... nuff said

Re: What was Lewis's best book?

PostPosted: 18 Aug 2010, 04:35
by Matthew Whaley
Mavramorn wrote:The Silver Chair ... nuff said


I think that is my favorite in the Narnia series because in spite of all the mistakes Jill and Eustice make, (and they make a lot!) they manage to accomplish their mission. And Puddleglum is one of my favorite characters as well.