November 23, 2015
October 13, 2015
You really must read this:
In this nearly magical room, amid fire-crackle and clink of glass, you can hear them talking. Pipe smoke is in the air, and a certain boisterous chauvinism, and the wet-dog smell of recently rained-on tweed. You can hear the donnish mumbles of J. R. R. Tolkien as the slow coils of The Silmarillion glint and shift in his back-brain. Now he’s reading aloud from an interminable marmalade-stained manuscript, and his fellow academic Hugo Dyson, prone on the couch, is heckling him: “Oh God, not another fucking elf!” You can hear the challenging train-conductor baritone of C. S. Lewis, familiar to millions from his wartime radio broadcasts; hear the unstoppable spiel of the writer/hierophant Charles Williams, with his twitchy limbs and angel-monkey face; hear the silver stream of ideas and argumentation that is the philosopher Owen Barfield. They are intellectually bent upon one another, these men, but flesh-and-blood is the thing: conviviality is, for them, a kind of passion. The chairs are deep; the fire glows gold and extra fiery in the grate. Lewis’s brother, Warnie, rosy with booze and fellow feeling, serves the drinks. And the walls drop away, and the scene extends itself backwards and forward in time …
Philip and Carol Zaleski’s The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings is a mental map, a religious journey, and the biography of a brotherhood. Plenty of distinguished Inklings came and went over the years, padding across the carpets with a Warnie-provided drink in hand, but the Zaleskis zoom in on (and out from) the primary axis of Tolkien, Lewis, Williams, and Barfield, the four among whom the invisible correspondences of thought and affection were strongest. Christians all, these men formed what the Zaleskis call “a perfect compass rose of faith”: Barfield the proto–New Ager, Tolkien the rather prim orthodox Catholic, Lewis the noisy and dogmatically ordinary layman and popular theologian, Williams the ritualistic Anglican with a taste for sorcery.
June 11, 2015
Have enough aesthetic and literary knowledge to know what you’re up to. You need not be up to a lot, you just need to know how to do what you’re up to. That way, knowledge and intention can meet, and you will produce a complete compositon. — Colin Foote Burch
LiturgicalCredo.com has a new editorial mission: contemporary mythopoeia, parables, fables, and fairy tales of 300-500 words in the forms of flash fiction, poems, and brief nonfiction.
New myths, parables, fables, and fairy tales allow storytellers to work with archetypal characters as well as fantastical settings. As enduring genres, they give writers economical modes of re-imagining contemporary conflicts, relationships, habits, assumptions, and beliefs.
In these modes, perceptive storytellers force us to find new grips on reality by showing us situations more true to our lifelong inner experiences than our moment-to-moment workaday lives. The best handle on life, we realize, is not quite where we thought it was.
April 4, 2014
September 10, 2013
Synecdoche is a figure of speech or trope that uses a part to represent a whole, or a whole to represent a part.
For example, “Hey blondie, let’s listen to Old Blue Eyes.”
Blondie calls someone by a reference to his or her blonde hair, and Old Blue Eyes is a nickname for Frank Sinatra, who most certainly had blue eyes. So in both cases, a part of the person represents the whole person.
“The Redskins missed the field goal.”
“Redskins” refers to the Redskins’ kicker, the whole team for the part who last night couldn’t quite get the pigskin through the uprights.
“Get your ass over here.”
Incidentally, one’s ass cannot arrive without the person attached to it, so the part is summoned as a way to get the whole (not hole) to arrive.
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