Saturday, October 25, 2014

C. S. Lewis's First and Final Short Story (A Review of Light by Charlie W. Starr)

A brief review of Dr. Charlie W. Starr's book: Light: C. S. Lewis's First and Final Short Story:
Every C. S. Lewis fan should read this book. Not only do you get to read a previously unpublished short story by C. S. Lewis himself, but you also get a fun, engaging analysis of the mystery surrounding the "Light" manuscript, as well as a section diving into the possible meanings of the story which delves into Lewis's epistemology.

Obviously, I am more than the casual admirer of C. S. Lewis and his writings. I've also done my fair share of academic reading. I think it is unfortunate that most of the time "academic" in this context tends to be synonymous with "boring", "dull", or "uninteresting". Fortunately, Starr's book manages to be both scholarly and entertaining as he takes us on his journey to solve the mysteries surrounding the Light manuscript.

Charlie W. Starr
My favorite section, other than the story itself of course, is part three: "The Meaning of Light". Here we explore how Lewis was doing what he did best in this story: talking about philosophy, epistemology, and theology though story and imagination. Starr helps us look at different possible interpretations here. The chapter titles in this section are, "Contemplation, Enjoyment and War", "Toolsheds, Truth and Knowledge", "Beyond Reason and Imagination", and "Earthly Longing, Heavenly Light".

I love the way Starr brings in so much of Lewis's work, showing us yet again that Owen Barfield was correct when he said that "what Lewis thought about everything was secretly present in what he said about anything".

I also enjoy the parallel publication of "The Man Born Blind", with "Light," which allows the reader to see the changes and understand more about the nature of Lewis's revisions.

Buy it on Amazon
Winged Lion Press

In response to the 31 Day blogging challenge, I will be posting every day in October. You can read previous posts HERE. Follow me on Facebook and/or Twitter to be notified of new posts. You can also Subscribe to get posts sent to you by email. (There is a simple form towards the top on the right where you can do this.)

Feel free to comment with your own thoughts and questions!

Index of Posts (Highlights):
Day 2. C. S. Lewis on Longing (In "The Weight of Glory")
Day 3. C. S. Lewis on Sehnsucht (Longing and Desire in The Weight of Glory)
Day 6: C. S. Lewis: The Intolerable Compliment (The Problem of Pain)
Day 7: C. S. Lewis: What is "The Weight of Glory"?
Day 8: C. S. Lewis: The Great Divorce and The Weight of Glory
Day 9: C. S. Lewis: A Grief Observed
Day 12: C. S. Lewis and Postmodernism (Part 3 - Conclusion)
Day 13: C. S. Lewis: The Grand Miracle (Myth and Allusions)
Day 14: C. S. Lewis: Is Theology Poetry? (Part 1: More on Myth)
Day 19: C.S. Lewis: Brief Biography: Did you know? (Part 2)
Day 20: C. S. Lewis: The Chronicles of Narnia Correct Reading Order
Day 21: C. S. Lewis: Why The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is my Favorite Narnia Book
Day 22: C. S. Lewis: The Undragoning of Eustace
Day 24: C. S. Lewis: The Silver Chair - Hope in Darkness

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