Written in a ruled school notebook the kind that Lewis favoured and possibly intended for publication by TS Eliot in the Criterion, the title essay "Image and Imagination" is an extraordinary rumination on the relationship between art and truth, literature and the imagination. The following is an extract: What we do when we imagine is to suppose a reshuffling of universals taken from the actual world. When we imagine Britomart we take our idea of "a girl", which is part of our general knowledge, and our idea of "medieval knight", which is another part of our general knowledge, and put them together.
Fantasy writers carefully construct these fictional universes, and a sophisticated world like Middle Earth or Discworld or Arbol or Cthulhu, with its own maps and languages and sentient races and tax offices, is worth studying.
Lewis was a literary critic as well as a fantasy writer, he thought critically and academically about writing, so it is only natural to turn to his own thoughts about creating these fictive worlds. The result is a highly readable and remarkably early primer on developing and enjoying fictional universes.
Besides being the theoretical roadmap for constructing speculative worlds, it is a defense of reading for Pleasure and thus writing in order to give Pleasureand the beginning of an apology for the value of fantasy what he calls Fairy-tales or Scientification.
Then the pictures begin to form the story, and then the story needs a genre, a Form. Lewis was never married to one genre, but tried science fiction, epistolary fiction, romance, time-travel narratives, short stories, epic and short-form poetry, dream sequences, allegorical travelogues, and classic novels.
Pieces like these give us the rare and pleasurable peak into C. None of the pieces require a high technical level, but the best of them require concentrated thought.
The persistent reader is rewarded in a number of ways. Brian Aldiss, a leading 20th century SciFi writer, and Sir Kingsley Amis, a celebrated author who dabbled in the genre. The result is a generous conversation between colleagues that demonstrates their concern for an evolving Form and shows us how very well read they really were—they mention dozens of authors in as many pages, and each knew them all well.
Their off-the-cuff reading list is a challenge to us slower readers, and some of their expectations were quite. While one might expect a line up of beautiful women who would like to be whored out to space engineers for the sake of the common good and a free trip to outer space, only two women step forward: The result is a brilliantly cutting satire of a particular idea that was actually current in his day.
Though the typeset is archaic, I love the soft cover Harvest Book series of which this book is a part.
For the aficionado of fantasy, science fiction, and faerie writing, however, Of Other Worlds is a great bookshelf addition. My only complaint is that J. Indeed, he references Tolkien at least six times. Overall, my goal of reading Of Other Worlds was met in that I observed some ways that Lewis thought about constructing fictional universes.
As a whole, though, the book exceeded my expectations, and gave me a unique peek into C.Lewis is perhaps best known for his Narnia novels, but he wrote far more works of non-fiction ranging in subject matter from philosopy and theology to literary criticism. The best opinions, comments and analysis from The Telegraph.
Misc thoughts, memories, proto-essays, musings, etc. And on that dread day, the Ineffable One will summon the artificers and makers of graven images, and He will command them to give life to their creations, and failing, they and their creations will be dedicated to the flames.
Like modern art, there’s no single agreed upon evaluation metric for what makes a good driver. So we can have more than 50% of people, who are maximizing their own personal metric, and think [rightfully] they are above average at that metric.
Read the latest stories about LIFE on Time.
All the latest news, reviews, pictures and video on culture, the arts and entertainment.