• $5.99

Publisher Description

When it comes to his personal experiences in war, C.S. Lewis can be a difficult man to understand. It is not, of course, that Lewis is not clear on the subject when he speaks of it. On the contrary, when he does it is generally with the same incisive clarity that he applies to all other subjects. The trouble is that Lewis simply does not say much about it at all. While other famous veterans of the First World War speak at great length and in horrible detail of what they saw and did, Lewis says what little he must and no more. Some newer authors, such as K.J. Gilchrist in his book A Morning After War: C.S. Lewis and WWI, argue that in Lewis's general attitude lurks the monster of some undiscovered trauma that caused him to willfully "obscure facts" about his wartime past (Gilchrist 1). Others, such as Humphrey Carpenter, talk about Lewis's "silence" on his wartime service but believe that it is because the war did not affect him as much as it could have (qtd. in Gilchrist 8). When viewed from the perspective of the present author, an historian who has already published a work on a soldier who left relatively few records behind (Sherman's Forgotten General: Henry W. Slocum), Lewis does not seem to be abnormally reticent. After all, he was not a significant figure in the war and did not define himself by his time in it, as other writers did. If he appears to be suspiciously quiet, it may be due to the fact that he speaks so prolifically on other subjects that his discussions on war seem slim by comparison. In reality, he addresses it often enough and to a depth that is appropriate for the context in which the various discussions occur. Lewis may not have expended much of his energy looking at his time in the trenches, but he gives everyone enough to get on with. His devotees--the present included--may wish he had said more, but, then again, they generally wish he had said more about every subject he addressed and something about quite a few he did not.

Professional & Technical
September 22
Mythopoeic Society
The Gale Group, Inc., a Delaware corporation and an affiliate of Cengage Learning, Inc.

More Books by Mythlore