Monday, October 17, 2005

Drowning in Charles Williams

Soooo, lately I'm considering returning to my Charles Williams Reader and giving it another go. I tried to read Descent into Hell several times in the past year, but the book kept losing me.....I am generally interested (really interested) in some of William's themes--the supernatural layers of everyday life--and I love the Inklings, so I expected I would enjoy his work. That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis is a book I've read and re-read--definitely one of my all-time faves. Some say that T.H.S. is "a Charles Williams novel written by C.S. Lewis;" learning this caused me to be even more interested in Williams. However, I must say that as far as accessiblity/readability, Williams is faaaaar from Lewis. The bits I've read are, without a doubt, the most difficult fiction I've ever encountered. Williams' dense, poetic prose, combined with historical/cultural references I don't always understand, make it frustrating!! because I kind of get it! and I want to get it more! The few times I've really grasped an image or idea from Descent, I found it breathtaking! I love the way he thinks about a physical space (Battle Hill) in terms of the spirit plane. It's fascinating.

Williams also had some wacky theories--wacky but I love 'em. For instance, he theorized that the Christian idea of "bearing one another's burdens" could be taken literally.....As in, one Christian could literally, supernaturally, take on another's pain, be it emotional or physical...... he's definitely interesting.

Has anyone else tried to slog thru Williams?

Hey, Jana, I have not tried to slug through any of Williams myself, however I did want to share how much I loved C.S. Lewis' space trilogy. I think, though that Perelandra may be my favorite of the three. I think this is because when I first read it, many of the arguments put forth by the "unman" were just like conversations I was having with some of my friends who did not know the Lord. I think I found comfort in the idea that I was not alone in these crazy conversations. Anyways, I probably read the Chronicles of Narnia and the space trilogy about once a year each. I love re-reading old books. It's like spending time with an old friend, and often discovering new things about them you did not notice before.
hi kellsey!! i adore perelandra, too. it was my "favorite book" in college. and my husband and i are reading "the voyage of the dawn treader" to each other at nite. i love eustace scrubb....he's my favorite human child in the series. thanks for your thoughts.
I love my husband dearly, but don't you girls ever take it for granted that you can read fantasy with yours'! How fun!
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