Tuesday, November 24, 2020

"He had to have a story"

Walter Hooper became C.S. Lewis's secretary for a time before Lewis died and has become one of the foremost scholars on all things CSL. He edited, compiled, and explained Lewis in one publication after another. From "Preserving the Legacy of C.S. Lewis":
The cataclysm of World War I helped to bring Lewis and the Inklings together in the postwar years. “I can’t think of anybody who was a dedicated member of the Inklings who was not in the war,” he says. “It caused you to really love these remainders, these friends who got through.” Chief among them was Tolkien, who shared Lewis’s taste for fantasy and mythology.

Mr. Hooper once found a letter in which Lewis recounts Tolkien reading him a story about “Middle-earth.” The letter was dated 1929—nearly 20 years before Tolkien completed the “The Lord of the Rings.” Lewis never stopped encouraging Tolkien to turn his “mad hobby” into an epic romance. “I never had any inclination to write a story. What I liked was building up languages,” Mr. Hooper remembers Tolkien telling him. “But you know what Jack Lewis was like. He was such a boy. He had to have a story. And that story, The Lord of the Rings, was written to keep him quiet!” ....
Preserving the Legacy of C.S. Lewis

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