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Image and Imagination: Essays And Reviews (Canto Classics) Paperback – 14 Nov 2013

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • 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)
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Product description


'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

Book Description

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.

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A fine book of minor pieces by Lewis, some of which concern friends and influences upon him. There are book reviews and an obituary of Charles Williams which read well and help in one's understanding of Lewis's intellectual development. The longest essays concern the purpose and manner of education and they still have something to say to us today. For those who want to know why the Oxford University English Literature syllabus from the 1930s-1960s was as it was i.e. focused upon the past, they find answers here.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I like everything Lewis wrote. This book contains his forewords of other books and similar literary criticism papers, many of which had never before been published.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program) 4.2 out of 5 stars 19 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Treading Softly 1 Jan. 2014
By Gord Wilson - Published on
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In his excellent book about reading, An Experiment in Criticism An Experiment in Criticism (Canto), C.S. Lewis made an argument that there are different kinds of readers. Whether you view this as three or five stars will depend on what sort of reader you are. This is the Lewis for those who read The Discarded Image The Discarded Image: An Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature (Canto Classics) and his volume on sixteenth century literature English Literature in the Sixteenth Century. Lewis was chair of Mediaeval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge, and in a certain sense, these reviews center around classical and English literature, but at one remove, with Lewis reviewing someone's book on an Arthurian tale. What's interesting about this is it puts you in Lewis' own milieu, interacting with the authors and ideas, through books, of his day. It's also interesting to note who published these reviews. Many were in the Oxford Magazine or "Theology". The new essay here was written for T.S. Eliot, editor of "The New Criterion".

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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lewis at his best though not all the best Lewis 1 Sept. 2014
By Michael Schmidt - Published on
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There are authors who can hold my attention whilst describing paint drying; CS Lewis and WF Buckley Jr come to mind. And yet this would be a three-star book at best, being a (cynical?) attempt to recycle Lewisianna without actually writing a book. But there is enough of the timeless and still relevant to rescue it. The contemporaneous reviews of The Hobbit and of the Ring Trilogy. The discussions of curricula content. And...

"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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Walter Hooper adds yet another important set of essays and reviews to the Lewis canon 1 Jan. 2014
By A Customer - Published on
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Walter Hooper has worked tirelessly for five decades to keep C. S Lewis's works in print, and with this volume he has added yet another important collection of essays and reviews to the Lewis canon. The title essay, never before published, is essential reading for all C. S. Lewis scholars, and the reviews are as winsome and candid as the Collected Letters that Mr. Hooper released a few years ago. This volume is a fitting tribute on the fiftieth anniversary of C. S. Lewis's death and the unveiling of the monument to Lewis in Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey.
4.0 out of 5 stars A Collection of Book Reviews 3 Dec. 2014
By Dani Eli - Published on
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Fans of Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia, or Mere Christianity, may wish to choose another book such as Out of the Silent Planet or God in the Dock. This is a collection of book reviews written by C. S. Lewis. The selection includes his thoughts on the books written by his friends, the Inklings (Tolkien, etc), and his opinions on several books, or translations of books. If readers have not read the same books Lewis did, this may spark your interest in Medieval and Renaissance literature, poetry, or Greek classics.
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book with a poor description of its contents in the ad 11 Mar. 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on
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I was surprised to find that this book was a collection of pieces not printed in Lewis' lifetime, so no editing on his part took place. It was small items such as book prefaces and openings of books done for friends. Some larger pieces. Difficult to use as Kindle doesn't really index it at all. A hunt and search mission. Still, Lewis' writings are quite good, as always.
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