Saturday, August 31, 2019

A recommendation

A very good review of C.S. Lewis: A Very Short Introduction, a book I've mentioned here before. Read it all if you have time. The review is a good introduction to the Introduction.
‘The lecturer, a short, thickset man with a ruddy face and a big voice, was coming to the end of his talk.” That was the opening sentence of the Time magazine cover story for September 8, 1947. The subject of the story, who swiftly exited the classroom for the nearest pub, was the Oxford University don and best-selling author Clive Staples Lewis. How did a scholar of medieval literature, with no formal theological training — a strident atheist in his youth — become, in the words of Time, “one of the most influential spokesmen for Christianity in the English-speaking world”?

This is one of the questions taken up by James Como in C.S. Lewis: A Very Short Introduction, a recent title in the Oxford University Press series of compact introductions to wide-ranging topics. Como’s unlikely achievement is to deliver a brief (under 200 pages) yet compelling literary survey of Lewis’s works, which include over 40 books, 200 essays, 150 poems, short stories, a diary, and three volumes of letters. I can think of only a handful of authors qualified to take on such a project, and Como is among them. A professor emeritus of rhetoric at York College (CUNY), a founding member of the New York C.S. Lewis Society, and the author of Branches to Heaven: The Geniuses of C.S. Lewis (1998), he is a leading Lewis scholar.

Nevertheless, the task is daunting. Lewis’s writings — his fantasy, science fiction, apologetics, and theological essays — were as diverse as his public personae. He excelled in his roles as a university lecturer, literary historian, broadcaster, debater, preacher, and public intellectual. His series of children’s books, The Chronicles of Narnia, has sold over 100 million copies in over 40 languages. Though he was a lifelong Protestant (Anglican), his works could be found at the bedside of Pope John Paul II. .... (the rest)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated. I will gladly approve any comment that responds directly and politely to what has been posted.