Winter

Yulius Clever
Yulius Clever

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Since random blogging is what I’m reduced to at the moment, let me randomly add that That Hideous Strength is a book with many parts, and many brilliant moments. You can get lost in the suggestion of scene after scene. Keep it around when you are thrust into dull circumstances during the holidays, like a pocket wardrobe.

One is awed and troubled to think that something with so much good writing, careful thinking, brilliant ideas properly executed could still not quite add up to a satisfying whole. (To say that is to suggest too much that it is not a good book to finish, because it still has its satisfactions; they do pour in at the end.) One day when that book is in the public domain somebody with skill and insight needs to take it in hand and make it whole. Maybe in Lewis’s life it was a necessary stage on the way to Narnia, though the first book of the Ransom trilogy is coherent enough. Think of all the exotic and otherwise inaccessible situations he dreamed up and has introduced us to. One does wish he had had Tolkien’s habit of endless revision.

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Speaking of which, I just got the Father Christmas Letters. Here’s to paintings of winter.

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