Lewis' Pilgrim's Regress

Discussion in 'Books / Publications Forum' started by Ransom, Aug 8, 2002.

  1. Ransom

    Ransom
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    Anyone here read The Pilgrim's Regress by C. S. Lewis? I'm currently involved in a "book club" style study group that is working through this book. Unfortunately, it's a young group - at 31, I'm the oldest!

    The problem is that being so young, we don't have enough knowledge of the intellectual and literary movements Lewis is parodying. Some are obvious - Rationalism, Kantian moral imperatives, Freud, and so forth - but more are not.

    Any suggestionss on where to find some hints?
     
  2. rsr

    rsr
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    There's a whole book devoted to Lewis' work:

    http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?isbn=0940895358

    Here's a link to other Lewis sites:

    http://www.catch22.com/SF/ARB/SFL/Lewis,CS.php3

    I read the book many years ago and enjoyed it. It was his first book as a Christian and in later prefaces was a tad embarrassed about some of the sections, but it continues to be a valid criticism of many modern trends. [​IMG]

    BTW: How did you come to pick that work?

    My favorite so far is "God in the Dock."

    [ August 08, 2002, 08:36 PM: Message edited by: rsr ]
     
  3. Ransom

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    Thanks for the links. I was aware of the Lindskoog book, but was hoping for some more "instant gratification." [​IMG] (Nonetheless, it's on order.)

    BTW: How did you come to pick that work?

    Consensus. We actually had a round-table on what people wanted to study, and a straw vote. We were pretty evenly split between wanting to study fiction vs. nonfiction.

    Then someone in the group, who is a philosophy student and an avid Lewis reader, suggested this book as it presented the best of both worlds, and the idea caught on.

    My favorite so far is "God in the Dock."

    Mine too. Unfortunately, I recently discovered that the HarperCollins edition, which I own and which has been the only one I have ever seen, is actually severely abridged. This is a major disappointment, especially considering the price they charge is nearly what Eerdmans charges for their unabridged work which is around 3 times larger. (But worth the cost just for the "Bulverism" essay!)

    [ August 12, 2002, 12:23 PM: Message edited by: Ransom ]
     
  4. rsr

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    I'm not sure which edition I read (I've misplaced it in the course of several moves :( ) but I know the Bulverism essay was in it. I'm thinking of picking up a new copy.

    BTW: What did you think of "Shadowlands?" I was utterly disappointed. If you didn't know who C.S. Lewis was before, you'd never guess he was one of the greatest Christian apologists of the 20th century. :confused:
     
  5. Aaron

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    I read the Pilgrim's Regress twice in a row, and I was constantly sent to Brittanica to understand what Lewis was talking about. It's truly horrifying to see how easy it is to miss the straight and narrow path.

    My favorite question in the book, "What is the color of things in the dark?" The answer opened my eyes--pun intended.

    Dabbled in "God in the Dock," but read, "The Abolition of Man," the "Screwtape Letters" (who hasn't :rolleyes: ), "Miracles"--which grew from one of the "God in the Dock essays," Reflections on the Psalms, "Surprised by Joy," "Mere Christianity," "Answers to Questions on Christianity," and a couple of others that escape me now.

    Shadowlands was a dismal secularization of a truly wonderful testimony. The producers should be hanged! [​IMG]
     
  6. rsr

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    They were: at the box office.

    I have a sudden urge to order C.S. Lewis books ...
     
  7. Ransom

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    rsr said:

    BTW: What did you think of "Shadowlands?" I was utterly disappointed. If you didn't know who C.S. Lewis was before, you'd never guess he was one of the greatest Christian apologists of the 20th century.

    In the 1950s Lewis was a media celebrity on both sides of the Atlantic (contra the reclusive character of the movie). I could speculate that explaining who Lewis was might have been considered unnecessary exposition, especially in Great Britain where the movie originated. (This is speculation on my part, though.)

    I rather liked it, personally. Certainly it was well acted (you can't go wrong with Anthony Hopkins!). And, of course, it was a highly romanticized fictionalization of Lewis' later life. (I've actually seen two versions of it - one says it is a true story, the other that it is based on a true story. Go figure!) Certainly dramatic license was taken in the details: ten years of correspondence between Lewis and Joy Gresham are telescoped into two, Gresham's two sons become one, etc. These are forgivable liberties that occur all the time for the sake of good drama and practicality. Why the author would ditch Lewis' friendships with Owen Barfield, J. R. R. Tolkien and so forth in favour of fictional colleagues is more problematic.

    Lewis' stepson, Douglas Gresham, has said that although it is not literally historically accurate, it is nonetheless an accurate emotional depiction.

    My two main problems with the story could be summed up this way:
    </font>
    • The screenplay ends with Lewis' doubts about God's goodness, giving the impression that Lewis went from skeptic to believer and back to skeptic again, when in reality that phase of Lewis' grief lasted only one night (see A Grief Observed). If I remember correctly, William Nicholson's play (upon which the movie is based) is a little better at handling this.</font>
    • The screenplay completely downplays Lewis' and Gresham's mutual Christian faith - the very reason she originally sought him out. Instead we are given a melodrama about the outspoken woman who brought the shy, reclusive academic out of his shell. Lewis was anything but - but it's not the dramatic license that irks me, just the change in focus.
      </font>
    All told - a good movie in its own right, just one that doesn't go far enough. I'm sure that portraying Lewis as a flaming Christian simply offended Hollywood's sensibilities.
    Incidentally, I found the "Bulverism" essay online, here.

    [ August 12, 2002, 12:50 PM: Message edited by: Ransom ]
     

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