Event Title

Paper Session 5-A: Lewis, Poet and Friend

Location

Euler 100

Start Date

3-6-2016 3:30 PM

Description

"An Ekphrasis by C. S. Lewis: 'On a Picture by Chirico'" - Joe R. Christopher

Ekphrastic poetry is poetry about another work of art. All the Greek word literally means is "description," but ekphrasis has become more specialized in modern usage. Alastair Fowler, C. S. Lewis's student at Oxford University, and the editor of Lewis's Spenser's Images of Life, writes that "the modern subgenre has primarily developed from a single influential poem, Auden's Musée des Beaux Arts (1939)." He goes on to enumerate characteristic features of the subgenre, as well as to mention the three paintings by Brueghel from which Auden draws his imagery. Fowler explains that such poems depend upon "casual meditation" and focus especially on "suffering, life's pattern, [and] belief." Although Lewis's understanding of those topics may not be the same as most ekphastic writers of the 20th and 21st centuries, this is a curious instance of Lewis writing in a modernistic poetic subgenre. This paper will lik Lewis's poem to this larger poetic tradition, as well as analyzing its form and meaning.

"The Playful Deity in C. S. Lewis's Creation Poem" - Charles A Huttar

In the intricate craftsmanship of Lewis's "Le roi s'amuse" we can glimpse his own zest as an artistic creator; on a far higher scale, the poem's narrative develops the analogy between that and God's joy in bringing into existence the universe, especially humankind. Probing more deeply into Lewis's imagery in this poem and in the Great Dance in Perelandra, along with significant parallels in his other prose work, fiction and nonfiction, and in the ideas of other Inklings, we find that this seemingly slight poem points to profound theological insights. The six days' "work" of Creation models a restoration of the unity of work and play broken by the Fall, but manifest in the heavenly life and in the divine Being Himself.

"Joy and Poetic Imagination: C. S. Lewis's "Incessant Disputation" with Owen Barfield" - Stephen Thorson

C. S. Lewis's "Great Was" with Owen Barfield, although largely ignored by scholars, was critical to Lewis's conversion to Christ. Some have confused Lewis's pre-conversion acceptance of Barfield's pantheistic view of the individual soul as part of one universal Spirit (capital 'S'), with Lewis's post-conversion view of each human as a tri-partite body, soul, and created spirit (small 's'), distinct from the Holy Spirit. Lewis's post-conversion epistemology (especially the place of imagination in "how we know") was based on his new metaphysics ("what we are"). Because of his peculiar recurrent experience of Joy, Lewis before his conversion held a high view of Imagination (capital 'I'), valuing it as the highest form of the Spiritual life (capital 'S'). Even though Lewis came to believe that Joy or Poetic Imagination (Barfield's preferred term) was used by God in bringing him to Christ, after his conversion Lewis lowered the status of imagination (small 'i'), placing it in the natural soul of humans, not in their supernatural, but created, spirit (small 's').

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Paper

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Jun 3rd, 3:30 PM

Paper Session 5-A: Lewis, Poet and Friend

Euler 100

"An Ekphrasis by C. S. Lewis: 'On a Picture by Chirico'" - Joe R. Christopher

Ekphrastic poetry is poetry about another work of art. All the Greek word literally means is "description," but ekphrasis has become more specialized in modern usage. Alastair Fowler, C. S. Lewis's student at Oxford University, and the editor of Lewis's Spenser's Images of Life, writes that "the modern subgenre has primarily developed from a single influential poem, Auden's Musée des Beaux Arts (1939)." He goes on to enumerate characteristic features of the subgenre, as well as to mention the three paintings by Brueghel from which Auden draws his imagery. Fowler explains that such poems depend upon "casual meditation" and focus especially on "suffering, life's pattern, [and] belief." Although Lewis's understanding of those topics may not be the same as most ekphastic writers of the 20th and 21st centuries, this is a curious instance of Lewis writing in a modernistic poetic subgenre. This paper will lik Lewis's poem to this larger poetic tradition, as well as analyzing its form and meaning.

"The Playful Deity in C. S. Lewis's Creation Poem" - Charles A Huttar

In the intricate craftsmanship of Lewis's "Le roi s'amuse" we can glimpse his own zest as an artistic creator; on a far higher scale, the poem's narrative develops the analogy between that and God's joy in bringing into existence the universe, especially humankind. Probing more deeply into Lewis's imagery in this poem and in the Great Dance in Perelandra, along with significant parallels in his other prose work, fiction and nonfiction, and in the ideas of other Inklings, we find that this seemingly slight poem points to profound theological insights. The six days' "work" of Creation models a restoration of the unity of work and play broken by the Fall, but manifest in the heavenly life and in the divine Being Himself.

"Joy and Poetic Imagination: C. S. Lewis's "Incessant Disputation" with Owen Barfield" - Stephen Thorson

C. S. Lewis's "Great Was" with Owen Barfield, although largely ignored by scholars, was critical to Lewis's conversion to Christ. Some have confused Lewis's pre-conversion acceptance of Barfield's pantheistic view of the individual soul as part of one universal Spirit (capital 'S'), with Lewis's post-conversion view of each human as a tri-partite body, soul, and created spirit (small 's'), distinct from the Holy Spirit. Lewis's post-conversion epistemology (especially the place of imagination in "how we know") was based on his new metaphysics ("what we are"). Because of his peculiar recurrent experience of Joy, Lewis before his conversion held a high view of Imagination (capital 'I'), valuing it as the highest form of the Spiritual life (capital 'S'). Even though Lewis came to believe that Joy or Poetic Imagination (Barfield's preferred term) was used by God in bringing him to Christ, after his conversion Lewis lowered the status of imagination (small 'i'), placing it in the natural soul of humans, not in their supernatural, but created, spirit (small 's').