To celebrate 10 years of blogging here at The Wardrobe Door, I wanted to speak with some others who read, appreciate and study C.S. Lewis. Over the next few weeks, each day will feature an interview with one of these individuals (and maybe a few more).
- Joe Rigney
- Louis Markos
- Laura Schmidt
- Jennifer Neyhart
- Devin Brown
- Sarah Waters
- Brandon Smith
- Michael Ward
- Crystal Hurd
- William O’Flaherty
- Brenton Dickieson
- Dan DeWitt
- Diana Glyer
- Alister McGrath
Diana Pavlac Glyer has published extensively on Lewis, Tolkien, and the Inklings.
She is best known as the author of The Company They Keep: C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien as Writers in Community.
She teaches English at Azusa Pacific University. You can find out more at www.dianaglyer.com
TWD: What do you remember about reading C.S. Lewis for the first time?
I discovered Lewis’ Space Trilogy when I was in high school. It was a moment of deep recognition: “What? You too? I thought I was the only one.”
While it may be next to impossible to answer, what is your favorite Lewis work, one you consider most overlooked, and one that you tend to enjoy less than others?
My favorite has to be The Collected Letters, partly for their wisdom and good humor, and partly because they show Lewis’ generosity of spirit, how he lavished such time and attention on people he never met.
An overlooked title is An Experiment in Criticism, a book about reading that every reader should read.
One I don’t much enjoy is The Abolition of Man. I certainly admire it, but it is a tough one for me.
What is your favorite Lewis quote?
Impossible, of course. But this would be one of them, from The Horse and His Boy:
“I was the lion who forced you to join with Aravis. I was the cat who comforted you among the houses of the dead. I was the lion who drove the jackals from you while you slept. I was the lion who gave the horses the new strength of fear for the last mill so that you should reach King Lune in time. And I was the lion you do not remember who pushed the boat in which you lay, a child near death, so that it came to shore where a man sat, wakeful at midnight, to receive you.”
Why do you think he continues to maintain such influence in modern evangelicalism?
Lewis said, “All that is not eternal is eternally out of date.” He kept his eyes on matters of eternal significance. That is how you maintain influence on culture.
Like all of us, Lewis wasn’t perfect. Where do you find yourself disagreeing with him or his approach?
Lewis never bothered with ashtrays, preferring to flick his cigarette ash on the floor. He even maintained that ash was good for carpets because he kept the moths away. I’d disagree with him about that.
If you had to choose, what is the most invaluable lesson you learned from him?
Lewis showed me how beautiful it is to keep your intellect and your imagination both fully alive. Lewis showed me that it’s possible and irresistible when you do.