Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Newest Inductee to Westminster Abbey's Poet's Corner? C.S. Lewis

With simplicity and elegance, C.S. Lewis captured the imagination of a war-weary generation.

From a story in the Telegraph...

Lewis is one of the best examples of a writer who took pleasure in the art of communication, melding simplicity and elegance in a way few could manage. His popular religious writings – such as The Screwtape Letters and Mere Christianity – combine these qualities, even though they cannot be counted as great literature. 

Yet this alone does not explain his inclusion in Poets’ Corner. The real reason he deserves his place is on account of his works of fiction, which captured the imagination of his public, especially in the dark days after the Second World War. Supreme among these are his Chronicles of Narnia, especially The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (1950). 

Although he had no children of his own, Lewis produced a work that captured the imagination of a generation of younger readers. The noble lion Aslan, lord of the mysterious world of Narnia, has become one of the most familiar Christ-figures in English literature. Some, understandably, find the Narnia books problematic on account of the “golly-gosh” language of the Pevensie children, or a suspicion that female characters are allocated subsidiary roles in the narrative. Yet they remain a classic in their field, serving as a model for both Lewis’s literary imitators and critics.

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