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Tolkein and Lewis

Friends of Jack (C.S. Lewis)

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1DeusExLibrus
May 18, 2009, 3:34pm Top

I'm writing a paper on the relationship between CS Lewis and JRR Tolkein for the seminar I'm taking on Lewis this semester. I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations of good books to read?

2cpg
May 18, 2009, 9:32pm Top

There are 3 relevant books that I own but haven't read: Mere Humanity by Donald T. Williams, Tolkien and C.S. Lewis by Colin Duriez, and The Company They Keep by Diana Pavlac Glyer. Glyer's book appears to be narrowly focused on the two as writers but also appears to have received the most critical acclaim. Maybe other LTers have read these books and can provide some insight.

Lewis's review of The Lord of the Rings is definitely worth reading, his review of The Hobbit less so. There are lots of references to the other in each man's collected letters, though (for obvious reasons) they rarely wrote to each other. I'm currently reading Volume 3 of Lewis's letters, and last night I read the note Lewis wrote to Tolkien after reading the printed copy of The Fellowship of the Ring:

"I have been trying--like a boy with a bit of toffee--to take Vol. I slowly, to make it last, but appetite overmastered me and it's now finished: too short for me. The spell does not break. The love of Gimli and the departure from Lothlorien is still almost unbearable. What came out stronger at this reading than on any previous one was the gradual coming of the shadow--step by step--over Boromir."

3DeusExLibrus
May 19, 2009, 12:24am Top

I borrowed Tolkien and Lewis from my professor and am reading it at the moment. Its certainly an interesting read, but I'm having trouble coming up with any kind of a thesis for the paper from it. I'll have to take a look at the others you mentioned. I wonder if Walter Hooper wrote anything about the two?

4Goldengrove
Jan 9, 2010, 5:41am Top

The Inklings has a lot of good material that you might find helpful. Personally I think the most interesting angle would be to look at the different ways they approach myth-telling. Their worlds are so different - think how much more Lewis tells us about the little details of life, I don't think this is just because he was writing for children, it's because his view of life, and God, is more hopeful than Tolkien's. Anyway, just a suggestion for an angle...
Good luck with your paper.
GG

5DeusExLibrus
Jan 9, 2010, 4:32pm Top

Thanks GG, but I actually finished the paper months ago. Although i might still take a look at that book, sounds like a good read.

6Goldengrove
Jan 11, 2010, 7:34am Top

So sorry, I didn't look at the date!

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