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Lewis never published in an academic journal?

The man. The myth.

Lewis never published in an academic journal?

Postby mgton » 30 Jun 2009, 15:30

I don't know of any. The only one I can think of that is even close is his talk on Hamlet that, along with all the other talks in that series, was turned into a little book that appears in most university libraries alongside the journals. Certainly he would not publish any of his theological writings in this way, since he was an English professor; but does anyone have any more info on whether anything like his Preface to Paradise Lost (perhaps a chapter of he book or a paper-length version of the entire book) first appeared as a paper in a journal? Some of the chapters in An Experiment in Criticism could have made an interesting paper.

His book on English Lit in the 16th century was probably his major professional contribution, right? I wonder if he ever published any of those chapters in a journal. Or what about The Discarded Image? I'm just curious. :smile:
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Re: Lewis never published in an academic journal?

Postby Hnuff » 30 Jun 2009, 18:28

During Lewis' heyday as a don (30's-50's), scholars were published nowhere nearly as frequently as they have been since the sixties; if you look at the bibliographies of most scholars from this period (and earlier), you see a seemingly thin list of journal publications. In those days, when you published, it was usually after a number of years' experience in studying or (more profitably) teaching the work that you were writing about, and because you had something genuinely worth saying, not to build up a publications list for the v.c. and to get tenure.

Lewis' critical works were books published by Oxford and Cambridge University Presses. Any single one of these is worth a coule of dozen articles in Speculum. Bottom line: I just don't think that scholars in his day thought all that much in terms of frequent journal publication. But I'm sure a thorough bibliography of his publications could tell you.
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Re: Lewis never published in an academic journal?

Postby mgton » 30 Jun 2009, 18:36

Yeah, I suspected that might be the case. I'm coming from a different perspective, philosophy, and there were plenty of great philosophy papers in the 50's (and before). It may be that it is just a different story when it comes to English. Does anyone else know if this is the case?
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Re: Lewis never published in an academic journal?

Postby Adam Linton » 06 Jul 2009, 02:19

mgton wrote:His book on English Lit in the 16th century was probably his major professional contribution, right?

I'd say that The Allegory of Love: A Study in Medieval Tradition (1936) was/is at least as important in this sense as the OHEL volume--maybe more so. To take nothing way from OHEL, of course.

In terms of the thread's topic, the fact that Lewis was a Fellow at Oxford, and thus dealing there with the very time consuming responsibility of tutorials may be relevant. He did, after all, publish somewhat more professional material during his Cambridge years (at which he was a Professor), from 1955.

You might want to check the Bibiography of Lewis' writings in Hooper's Complete Guide.
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Re: Lewis never published in an academic journal?

Postby mgton » 06 Jul 2009, 21:43

Thanks for the response. I'll check out Hooper's book. That's a good point about Lewis' exhausting teaching schedule. I remember reading that Tolkien (I think it was Tolkien) commented on how awfully tired Lewis was after his years of tutoring ,and with little professional advancement, at Oxford. That was when Tolkien was trying to get Lewis to go to Cambridge.

It's probably true, though, that English professors just didn't publish much then. For all I know they don't publish much now. I wish someone who is in the field could comment. And this isn't an important topic in any way; I was just curious. I couldn't care less that Lewis didn't publish in some academic journal. We get to read his works no matter where they were published.
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Re: Lewis never published in an academic journal?

Postby Sven » 10 Jul 2009, 15:10

An alternative that you might find of interest was mentioned by Wardrobian a_hnau in a post here about three years ago. It's a list of the topics of the lectures that Lewis gave during a several year period. While publishing in a journal would be the academic thing to do these days, back then live lectures were the way to report research and thought.

a_hnau wrote:Lewis lecture topics, 1929-1932

Hilary Term, 1929
Elyot, Ascham, Hooker, and Bacon

Michaelmas Term, 1929
The Romance of the Rose and its Successors

Trinity Term, 1930
The Text of Milton's 'Comus' [a course for BLitt students]

Michaelmas Term, 1930
Elyot, Ascham, Hooker, and Bacon

Hilary Term, 1931
Textual Criticism [class for BLitt students]

Trinity Term, 1931
The Age of Shams (1760-1765), and its Origins Textual Criticism: The First Quarto of 'Hamlet' [class for BLitt students]

Michaelmas Term, 1931
Textual Criticism [class for BLitt students]

Michaelmas Term, 1932
Textual Criticism [class for BLitt students]

Hilary Term, 1932
Prolegomena to Medieval Poetry
Textual Criticism: Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde [class for BLitt students]

Trinity Term, 1932
Prolegomena to Medieval Poetry (continued) Textual Criticism: The First Quarto of 'Hamlet' [class for BLitt students]

from the (Oxford) ‘University Gazette’
Rat! he found breath to whisper, shaking. Are you afraid?
Afraid? murmured the Rat, his eyes shining with unutterable love.
Afraid! Of Him? O, never, never! And yet -- and yet -- O, Mole, I am afraid!
Then the two animals, crouching to the earth, bowed their heads and did worship.
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Re: Lewis never published in an academic journal?

Postby a_hnau » 10 Jul 2009, 16:20

Well remembered, Sven. To follow up on this, not quite on topic but interesting I hope; one of my treasured legacies from my departed and sorely missed friend A K (Jake) Barton, is that he left to me his Oxford notebooks from almost this exact period of time when he studied under Lewis; I have them in front of me now. I don't think they are verbatim lecture notes, but appear to me more like revision work. I did begin to transcribe some of the more salient portions, here are some excerpts with one or two of my editorial comments.

The notes are obviously textually related to Lewis’s essay “What Chaucer really did to Il Filostrato”, published in Essays and Studies, XIX, 1932.

The massively interesting question is, did AKB get his notes from Essays and Studies, or – my hope – did he get them from a lecture by Lewis on the topic which Lewis gave while the published essay was in preparation?

(seems that I actually went back to Lewis's published essay and did a line-by-line comparison with these notes; the plain text is transcribed directly from the notebooks, while italicised passages are from the published work.)

1931?2 Il Filostrato & Troilus & Creseyde C.S.Lewis

At this time Chaucer not yet the Chaucer of the Tales. The author of the translation of R de la R & Duchesse the greatest English interpretation of l’amour courtoise.

He was not yet the Chaucer of the Canterbury Tales: he was the grant translateur of the Roman de la Rose, the author of the Book of the Duchesse, … In other words he was the greatest living interpreter in English of l’amour courtoise.

Majority of Chaucerian modification = rectification of errors committed by Boccaccio ?re courtly love.

The majority of his modifications are corrections of errors which Boccaccio had committed against the code of courtly love.

I. Constantly refers to his authorities or to authors where further information may be found;

[Roman numeral I] For the same reason they will want to know his authorities. … [he] adds what is almost a footnote to tell his audience where they can find that missing part of the story – ‘in Omer, or in Dares, or in Dyte’.

“… in Omer or in Dares or in Dyte” [Book I, line 146]

Inserts into speech of Calchas an a/c of battle between Phoebus, Neptune, and Laomedon [Book V, line 71ff]

Thus again, in IV, 120 et seq., Chaucer inserts into the speech of Calchas an account of the quarrel between Phebus and Neptunus and Lameadoun [sic].

II. “Amplified” Boccaccio in his “rhetorical” style

[Roman numeral II] … a cursory glance shows that Chaucer found his original too short and proceeded in many places to amplify it.

(a) substituted invocation to Thesephone for Muses []

He began by abandoning the device – that of invoking his lady instead of the Muses – whereby Boccaccio had given a lyrical instead of a rhetorical turn to the invocation, and substituted an address to Thesiphone.

(b) inserted a description of the month of May

Almost immediately afterwards he inserted a descriptio of the month of May.

(c) inserted 16 lines to Night in a short speech of Criseida expressing her sorrow at coming parting

… he found a short speech by Criseida, expressing her sorrow at the parting which dawn necessitated: but this was not enough for him … He therefore inserted sixteen lines of address to Night.

III. Poet of “doctrine”

[Roman numeral III] Chaucer approached his work as a poet of doctryne and sentence.

Boethian discussion is followed in act iv.

The example which will leap to everyone’s mind is the Boethian discussion on free will (IV, 946-1078).

NB. The edification of the reader by Chaucer’s doctrine and amusement by Pandarus’ platitudes.

His readers were to be, first of all, edified by the doctrine for its own sake, and then (slightly) amused by the contrast between this edification and Troilus’ obstinate attitude of the plain man … a loquacious and unscrupulous old uncle talks solemn platitude at interminable length.

IV. Poet of courtly love

[Roman numeral IV] Finally, Chaucer approached his work as the poet of courtly love.

(a) makes Troilus a ?mere member of the courtly world smitten by love. No lady-killer like B. Like the Dreamer he plays “along full merily” until he looks into the fatal well.

Troilus, an unattached young member of the courtly world… is smitten with Love. In the same way the Dreamer having been admitted by Ydelnesse into the garden goes ‘Pleying along ful merily’ until he looks in the fatal well.

(b) inserts a moral tone emphasising the dangers of hubris v love and the certainty of failure. Exhorts his readers to avoid T’s error, because a) irresistible b) ‘vertuous in kinde’.

In strict obedience to this tradition Chaucer inserts his lines 214-31, emphasising the dangers of hubris against Love and the certainty of its ultimate failure. … He adds four stanzas more (239-66) in which he directly exhorts his readers to avoid the error of Troilus, and that for two reasons: firstly because Love cannot be resisted (…); and secondly because Love is a thing ‘so vertuous in kinde’.

(c) alters the scoffing attitude of Troilus

In lines 330-50 Chaucer again returns to Troilus’ scoffing.

B.’s based on contempt of women.

Boccaccio’s is based on contempt for women.

C’s [based on] hardships of love’s cult.

Chaucer’s is based on the hardships of love’s lay or religion.

(d) difference between B&C Troilus’ revelation of name of his lover.

[long example of both dialogues]

(e) difference in character of P after the revelation.

[discussion of the responses of Boccaccio’s Pandarus vs. Chaucer’s]
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Re: Lewis never published in an academic journal?

Postby a_hnau » 10 Jul 2009, 16:25

Similarly there's a later section in the notebooks headed something like "Lewis on Chaucer 'gobbets'" which again I went to some effort to try and follow in Lewis's published work. Again, the interesting chronological question is whether AKB was taking notes from The Discarded Image, or from the lectures Lewis gave which constituted the material from which he wrote the book. I think the latter is highly likely.

1931?2 C.S. Lewis on Chaucer Gobbets

House of Fame

“Natural thing a natural place”

Universe results from anti- and sympathies inherent in matter.

[can’t find]

7. “and this a revelacioun, why this a dream”

referring to dreams. not found elsewhere except Chaucer

Discarded Image, p. 54

985. “and also about [Anticlaudia]???”

written by Alanus ab Insulis on the xxxxxxx of a xxxxx good man by council of virtue???

Discarded Image, p. 81

Parlement of Fowles

374. “nature the vicaire of the almighty Lord etc”

Chaucer adds ‘heavy and light’ to the four usual elements Hot, Cold, Wet, Dry.

[can’t find]

99. “the wery hunter”

mere repetition of xxx the characteristics of Insomnium one of the two kinds of dreams that come from fancy.

Discarded Image, p. 64 – ‘merely repeats working preoccupations’

316. “Aleyn in the Pleynt of Kynde”

Discarded Image, p. 35-36

Troilus and Criseyde

1. “avise this little spot of earth”

med. poets were impressed with the minuteness of earth cf. the universe. NB Aristotle estimated the earth too large.

Discarded Image, p. 23, 86, 97 [not specific to Chaucer]

2. “Repaireth home from worldly vanity”

soul comes from God & therefore tries to get back home. applicable to lovers returning to their beloved.

[can’t find]

3. “O weary soul that fliest to and fro”


4. (a) “For how mynte sweetness has been xxxxx”

Pandarus refers to Vincent of Beauvaise’ Speculum

[can’t find]

4. (b) “Since thus of two contraries is one knowledge”


responsible for a passage in xxxxx xxxxxx.

5. “he laugh right at the wo”

obvious influence of Lucan’s death of Pompey in his Pharsalia [[Latin quote]

6. “or artow lyke an asse to an harp”

Direct ‘flu’ of Boethius Consolation Book I

Discarded Image, p. 80

7. “Love that of earth & sea hath governance”

Direct ‘flu’ of Boethius Consolation Book II

Discarded Image, pp. 75-90 [need to read to find if ref exists]

8. “But only that you make him better chere”

obvious reference to Bialacoil “general friendliness”

[can’t find]

Book of the Duchesse

“Argus the noble reckoner”

Argus corruption of Algus thought to be the inventor of algebra ME form for calculation, due to corruption of al-Khuwarajmi (Ben Musa) the introducer of Indian numerals.

Discarded Image, p. 197


“a fiery red face like a cherub”

Remaining 9 tribes of angels divided into 3 equal groups. Cherubim one of the classes in group 1. Characteristic is on fire for love of God.

Discarded Image, pp. 71-4
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