Christian Coarseness

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Weekly book reviews and literary analysis from the Times Literary Supplement

A N Wilson reviews C. S. Lewis's Collected Letters Vol. II in the Times Literary Supplement...

The letters convey a man who by many standards was trying to be good and, which is more unusual, succeeding. But there is a tremendous coarseness here. I do not just refer to the Lewis who spent Christmas Day 1931, his first Christmas as a converted Christian, describing the ghastly-sounding 'binge' held at the end of the previous term (ie, a drunken all-male dinner going on until the small hours) with all the words of a bawdy rhyme written out. I mean that even when he is describing delicate things, such as the effect on the soul of beautiful landscape or the fall of a poetic line, the coarseness remains. It is what made him, as a Christian apologist and as a children's writer, a bestseller; but it does not make the effect of reading over a thousand pages of his letters an especially ennobling one.

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This page contains a single entry by achuka published on May 6, 2004 9:23 PM.

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