Newish Lewis

Steven Beebe (a prof at Texas State University in San Marcos) has discovered a manuscript by C.S. Lewis in the Bodleian Library. Sadly, it doesn’t seem to be a complete version of After Ten Years (which I’m pretty sure would have been my favorite Lewis book if he had finished it) but, interestingly, it does look like part of a projected collaboration with Tolkien on human language.

[Seen at cs_lewis.]

About JE

James Enge is the author of the World-Fantasy-Award-nominated novel Blood of Ambrose (Pyr, April 2009). His latest book is The Wide World's End. His short fiction has appeared in Swords and Dark Magic (Harper Collins, 2010), Black Gate, the Stabby-Award-winning anthology Blackguards and elsewhere.
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6 Responses to Newish Lewis

  1. fpb says:


    You mean the book on language that the greatest English scholar of English literature and one of the greatest philologists (Lewis and Tolkien, if that was not clear) had spent years thinking on and never completed? Gawd, even a fragment of that would be scholarly news of the year!

    • JE says:

      Re: ZOMG!!!!

      Well, I’m always interested in anything either of these guys wrote. But the study of language made a lot of progress in the 20th C.–I’d be more excited if it was about English in particular, or literature, and very much more if it were fiction.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I’ve wandered into an alt-history story again? Sigh.

    –Jeff Stehman

  3. After Ten Years looks to be more up my alley than anything the Language and Human Nature fragment might turn out to be. Before WWI, all the writers wanted to be Aeschylus, but after WWII, all the writers wanted to be Euripides.

    The modernist poet H.D. (who published as Hilda Doolittle, as you would too if you had a name like Hilda Doolittle) wrote a long episodic poem called Helen in Egypt, in which Helen eventually figures out that she’s a character in a changing mythic tradition. She doesn’t like most of the versions of her story that her male fellow characters are offering her, so she undergoes something rather like psychoanalysis on Theseus’s couch until she revises it into something she can live in. It’s not a book I’d assign to undergrads, but it is fun stuff. Even writing a dissertation chapter about it couldn’t dim its spiffiness for me.

    • JE says:

      HD is good stuff! I’ll have to check out her “Helen in Egypt”. Sounds a little like Le Guin’s recent Lavinia, maybe an influence.

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