What unifies the writings of C.S. Lewis?

Alan Jacobs writes this in the Introduction to his book, The Narnian:

And here I would like to suggest something that is the keynote of this book: my belief that Lewis’s mind was above all characterized by a willingness to be enchanted and that it was this openness to enchantment that held together the various strands of his life – his delight in laughter, his willingness to accept a world made by a good and loving God, and (in some ways above all) his willingness to submit to the charms of a wonderful story, whether written by an Italian poet of the sixteenth century, by Beatrix Potter, or by himself. What is “secretly present in what he said about anything” is an openness to delight, to the sense that there’s more to the world meets the jaundiced eye, to the possibility that anything could happen to someone who is ready to meet that anything.  For someone with eyes to see and the courage to explore, even an old wardrobe full of musty coats could be the doorway into another world.  It is the sort of lesson a child might learn – even a stubborn, independent child – if his mother has died and his father and his brother are often away and he spends his days alone in an old house full of books, thinking and drawing and writing and thinking some more. (xxi)

3 thoughts on “What unifies the writings of C.S. Lewis?”

  1. That seems true as far as it goes, but I think it falls short of the mark. I think the driving force behind Lewis’ vibrant energy and rapid literary activity was his faith in Christ. For some it is merely a compartment in their lives, but for him Christianity was a ubiquitous and all-pervasive thing that reached down into every facet of his being.

    I like what Walter Hooper, his secretary, said with regard to why Lewis gave up to a third of his income to charity: “Lewis replied, ‘God was good enough to have me, so I thought the least I could do was give as much away as possible.'”

    “C.S. Lewis: Reflections About the Man,” by Walter Hooper

    “Observations as Editor of C.S. Lewis’ Works,” by Walter Hooper

  2. Yes, I agree. And I don’t really want to say “but,” although I guess I am. It seems that there are plenty of strong believers in Christ who are not in tune with how literature and fantasy writing can be used to communicate spiritual truths. Plenty of mature Christians lose that childlike wonder in God that I think is a great asset in the Christian walk.

  3. I heartily agree. But–no need to hesitate; but is a perfectly acceptable conjunction–I think Lewis does much in the way of reminding believers about the importance of myth and literature.

    God bless you.

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