Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Wednesdays with Words: Count on the "Perchance"

http://ladydusk.blogspot.com/search/label/Wednesdays%20with%20words

On Monday, I shared a quote from Alan Jacobs' book The Narnian about Christianity being true myth and promised more today.

I'm glad to be back into Jacobs' biography of C S Lewis.  I'm at a particularly exciting point: Lewis' conversion to Christianity.  We had seen how for his whole life, Lewis enjoyed myth.  Here, his friendship with J.R.R. Tolkien has come to fruition.  They have talked and argued about the idea of myth.  Tolkien has written a poem for Lewis called Mythopoeia, or "mythmaking." He subtitled the poem "Philomythus to Misomythus."   We can read that as myth-lover to myth-hater.

The portions of the poem Jacobs quotes make me wish to read the whole, and I will, but I wanted to quote a part that Jacobs emphasizes for you today:
It is with [Noah's race] that Philomythus [Tolkien] casts his lot, and he encourages Misomythus [Lewis] to do the same. In the end Tolkien does not offer certainty of reward for the voyagers and mythmakers, but rather faith and hope:

In Paradise perchance the eye may stray
from gazing upon everlasting Day
to see the day-illumined, and renew
from mirrored truth the likeness of the True.

And he encourages Lewis to take the same chance he is taking, to count on the "perchance." And Lewis did. For the rest of his life he was a champion of the knowledge-giving power of myth, fantasy, Faery.(pg 146-147)
I love that way of saying it, to count on the perchance.  To count on it really being a true myth.  That stories are meaningful in ways beyond what we see on the outside.






10 comments:

  1. Good evening/morning?? Dawn. Just linked a post on CM's book. I haven't read a bio of Lewis yet but I love his writing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good morning/night, Carol :). It is 7:20 am here now and I'm almost finished with my first cup of coffee. Thanks for the link!

      This one is interesting because 1) Jacobs wrote it and he's a fantastic writer and 2) he's specifically trying to trace Lewis' thought-growth and less the events of Lewis' life. So very good.

      Delete
  2. Finally linking up again!

    I will have to get this book too, Dawn. Tolkien and Lewis are two of my favorites.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad yto have you back, Lisa!

      We don't meet Tolkien until the middle and I don't expect him to be often (I could be wrong) in the rest, but this view of Lewis is really good. And I like Jacobs' style.

      Delete
  3. How interesting--my commonplace selection for today is about this same thing--the truth behind (in?) the myth. So much power in fiction.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't put this together, but you're right! Of course, MacDonald was a huge influence on Lewis, so that makes sense :)

      Delete
  4. I started the Narnian last year and never finished it. I made the mistake of making it my "before bed" reading and that was not a good fit! I might need to check it out again. It would be good Sunday afternoon reading, I think.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I suspect you're right. I started it last year and took a long while off. I'm glad to be reading it again because it is so good. It is not a before bed read, though, you're right! Too dense.

      Delete
  5. I've seen The Narnian all over the web and CAN'T WAIT to read it! :) Sounds soooo good!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm enjoying it :) Thanks for linking in!

      Delete

Thanks for commenting! I love and reply to comments because I love building community with my readers!