For a parent, there’s nothing scarier than sending a high school graduate out into the world—and in fact, the world looks pretty scary these days. Not to mention confusing, even in matters that used to be taken for granted. Up until about ten years ago, for instance, it was a given that high-school grads eyeing […]
For earlier posts, start with the Introduction. Denouement is not a common word in everyday conversation, so for a long time I didn’t know how to pronounce it. It’s day-noo-MAHN (go easy on the final n). It’s the resolution, or (according to my dictionary), “the events following the climax of a drama or novel in […]
Part One. Part Two. In the second essay of The Abolition of Man, “The Way,” Lewis showed that humanity seemed to have only one code of ethics, one set of standards for determining what’s good. Though it goes by many names, western tradition calls it Natural Law. Lewis tagged it the Tao, as a way of […]
Climax? Isn’t it a little early for that? Most of us have the idea that the climax is a high point of the story (as the word would seem to suggest), after which nothing is left but tying up loose ends. But there’s another way to understand climax, in literary terms: that is, it’s the […]
Previous Posts: Introduction Part One: Setup Almost all the main characters have been introduced and the potential conflicts are in place. Now development: that phase of a novel that builds tension and raises the stakes. All the major plot elements will be rounded up and herded in one direction, although the reader should feel that […]
(Beginning a three-part study intended to accompany our reading of That Hideous Strength this month.) In February of 1943 Lewis delivered three evening lectures at King’s College in Newcastle. Later that year the lectures were published in book form under the title of the third: The Abolition of Man. Over time Lewis came to regard […]
In the summer of 1945, George Orwell wrote a review for the Manchester Evening News, beginning, “On the whole, novels are better when there are no miracles in them.” That said, he was ready to give a grudging thumbs-up to C. S. Lewis’s latest, which completed the cycle begun with Out of the Silent Planet […]
The main problem with Christian fantasy may be, what do you do with Christ? Honestly: can it be “Christian” without him? But it’s not easy to represent him without tipping the story into dogma, propaganda, or even heresy. His character in the gospel is indelible, and yet elusive; even when he can be located, chronicled, and quoted, […]
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