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Essays Presented to Charles Williams
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Essays Presented to Charles Williams

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  79 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
"In this book the reader is offered the work of one professional author, two dons, a solicitor, a friar, and a retired army officer; if he feels disposed to complain of hotch-potch (which incidentally is an excellent dish; consult the NOCTES AMBROSIANAE) I must reply that the variety displayed by this little group is far too small to represent the width of Charles Williams ...more
Paperback, 146 pages
Published December 1st 1966 by William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company (first published 1947)
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Emily Cait
Sep 22, 2015 rated it liked it
Contains an interesting essay in which Tolkien reflects on fairy-stories and 'fantasy'. This gets referenced by a lot of people who talk about 'fantasy literature' as a genre and is an interesting read.
Alan Lindsay
Oct 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
In the fascinating mix of essays here is an overlooked gem by Own Barfield on poetic and legal language. In it he coins the word "Tarning," a term never picked up by the language but nonetheless needed by it: "saying one thing and meaning another," the basis of metaphor/poetry/meaning. How does one get "new" meaning out of words whose meanings have already been established? Not simply by recombining them into new sentences (an issue he doesn't address) but by transfering meanings metaphorically, ...more
Some of these essays, contributed by several of Charles Williams' friends to commemorate his passing in 1945, have been republished elsewhere, but not all of them. The contents of this collection are:

Preface, by C.S. Lewis
1.'... And Telling you a Story': a Note on The Divine Comedy, by Dorothy Sayers
2. On Fairy-Stories, by J. R. R. Tolkien
3. On Stories, by C. S. Lewis
4. Poetic Diction and Legal Fiction, by A. O. Barfield
5. Marriage and Amour Courtois in Late-Fourteenth-Century England, by Gervas
J. Alfred
Jan 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a book of (mostly) tremendously worthwhile essays. Lewis' introduction is strong and touching and his essay "On Stories" is excellent. Dorothy Sayers' essay on the Divine Comedy is so good I want to read her translation of it (though I haven't been impressed with the original fiction of hers I've come across thus far). Tolkien's essay "On Fairy Stories" is as eccentric and witty as one could want, and at the end, when he discusses the ultimate purpose of stories (the "eucatastrophe"... t ...more
Oct 07, 2011 marked it as to-read
I just learned of this volume and today it found its way into my pile of library books. Though I had planned to do just a little more research before quitting for the day, I thew my required books aside and allowed myself to spend a few minutes with Lewis' preface. Although I'm sure I haven't read everything by Lewis, I have read a great deal (ranging from early diaries to literary criticism to apologetics to fiction), and I am gripped with the sheer delight of finding a collection that I did no ...more
Feb 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book was an excellent collection of essays on various subjects. Of all the essays in the book, I think the most valuable were Tolkien's "On Fairy Stories" and Lewis' "On Stories". These two speak about the value of the story as literature. Also, Sayers' "Note on the Divine Comedy" was also very good, and put a new perspective for me on the reading of Dante. Although I enjoyed the other essays as well, I found them more difficult to read.
Seth Holler
Jul 15, 2012 added it
Shelves: in-pieces
Only read chapter 2, Tolkien's "On Fairy Stories". Really enjoyed his treatment of the third question, "What is the use of fairy stories?" Was also surprised to see how heavily he relied on Chesterton.

(I read the charming preface on 8/30/10, in between two of Wms's novels: DESCENT INTO HELL and MANY DIMENSIONS. I also recently read, in OF OTHER WORLDS, CSL's "On Stories", a fine essay and chp. 3 of this collection.)
This collection of essays was boring at times and interesting at others.

I remember in Sayers' case, I was interested at first, but got bored as it went on.

I generally enjoyed C. S. Lewis and Tolkien's essays.

W. H. Lewis' essay was interesting and definitely written on an important subject, but it seemed so jarring after the others. The book definitely ended on a very sad note.
Oct 19, 2014 marked it as to-read
Shelves: inklings, non-fiction
I read Lewis's short preface (mostly on Williams and his unexpected death) on Aug. 20, 2016. I had read Tolkien's "On Fairy-stories" in another collection, sometime in 2009.

Besides Lewis and Tolkien, other contributors include Dorothy Sayers, Owen Barfield, Gervase Mathew, and W. H. Lewis. W. H. Lewis is "Warnie" (Warren), Jack Lewis's brother.
Douglas Wilson
Mar 18, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: literary-study
James Eckblad
A collection of brilliant essays, especially those by Tolkien, Lewis and Sayers on 'what stories are and do.'
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

CLIVE STAPLES LEWIS (1898–1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He was a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954. He was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature