- Paperback: 394 pages
- Publisher: Cambridge University Press (14 Nov. 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1107639271
- ISBN-13: 978-1107639270
- Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 2 x 21.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 699,010 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- See Complete Table of Contents
Image and Imagination: Essays And Reviews (Canto Classics) Paperback – 14 Nov 2013
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'C. S. Lewis [was] one of the very best critics writing in English in the twentieth century, vivid, provoking, and eloquent, as well as deeply learned in the literature of Europe from the ancient classics to his own time, with a special mastery of medieval and Renaissance poetry. He is now popularly better known for his fiction and his religious writings than his literary criticism. But it is his gifts as a critic which will endure as his truly pre-eminent legacy. Like Samuel Johnson, on whose personality and writings Lewis modelled himself, he is a commentator whose insights and opinions are enriching even when one disagrees with them, raising central questions and offering challenging perspectives … There is no essay by Lewis on any writer that does not provoke attention and inspire awe at his energy and clarity of mind.' Claude Rawson, Yale University
'Almost nothing Lewis wrote is without apercu, often unexpected, always cogently expressed.' Times Literary Supplement
A collection of the literary-critical essays and reviews by C. S. Lewis, most of them previously uncollected, and one essay, 'Image and Imagination', published for the first time. The volume concerns a wide range of literary topics and includes Lewis's reviews of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.See all Product description
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
This essay makes some interesting points, and seems to me to go with The Abolition of Man The Abolition of Man. although I found it more readable than that book, which always seemed to me to be an answer to a controversy I know nothing about. Fortunately, Cambridge Press/ Canto has enabled the "Look Inside" feature, so a prospective reader can scan the contents. I was interested to read reviews of authors I've read other books by, but I'd have liked Lewis to have reviewed other books by them, such as George Steiner's "In Bluebeard's Castle" and Denis de Rougemont's "Love Declared". General readers may enjoy the four reviews of his friend, Tolkien's, books, and some, like me, the reviews of Charles Williams' poetry. The best writing on that, however is the preface from "Essays Presented to Charles Williams", the entire book being well-worth reading Essays Presented to Charles Williams.
So now we come to more likely readers for this collection. Those who are reading Milton, or the same person writing about Milton whom Lewis here reviews. Or Spenser, or The Odyssey. Almost everywhere Lewis lets drop a brief, perceptive comment that readers will find invaluable. Another invaluable thing is the nearly forty pages of notes in the back. These would be more helpful as footnotes (and less likely to be missed), but they add immeasurably to the reviews. I have trod softly in this review, my only goal being to dissuade a certain sort of reader who reads Lewis for the stories or apologetics, and to persuade another sort of reader who favors the academic side. As an example of the second sort, a philosophy professor, on hearing I had obtained this volume, immediately asked to borrow it.
"It is a picture of human life as Williams saw it -- not as Hell (like Hardy), not as a Development (like Bridges), nor as a prologue to heaven-on-earth (like the Marxists), but as a place where the highest established good always invites, and yet in the end always rejects, the descent of a higher good still." Does anyone else see the squandered opportunity in the fall of the Wall, the death of Jim Crow, or even the fall of Mr. Hussein? And...
"Almost the central theme of the book is the contrast between the Hobbits (or 'the Shire') and the terrifying discovery that the humdrum happiness of the Shire, which they had taken for granted as something normal, is in reality a sort of local and temporary accident, that its existence depends upon being protected by powers which Hobbits dare not imagine..." Again, am I alone in seeing that we still think our humdrum happiness the normal order of things, 9/11/2001 and IS notwithstanding? And one more, without comment...
"It is not the children with the costly toys who play best: or if they do, they do it in spite of the toys."
A bit too much going on about arcane poetry and reviews of reviews of material possibly no longer in print to be unconditionally recommended, but not a bad intro to Lewis on-the-cheap. _Mere Christianity_ would be better.