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On Stories: And Other Essays on Literature…
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On Stories: And Other Essays on Literature (utgåvan 2002)

av C.S. Lewis

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
635428,558 (4.19)8
"A repackaged edition of the revered author's collection of essays on writing fiction. C. S. Lewis--the great British writer, scholar, lay theologian, broadcaster, Christian apologist, and bestselling author of Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, The Great Divorce, The Chronicles of Narnia, and many other beloved classics--was a professor of literature at Oxford University, where he was known for his insightful and often witty presentations on the nature of stories. This collection assembles nine essays that encapsulate his ideas about fiction, including "On Stories," "The Death of Words," and "On Three Ways of Writing for Children," as well as eleven pieces that were unpublished during his lifetime"--… (mer)
Medlem:NzoL
Titel:On Stories: And Other Essays on Literature
Författare:C.S. Lewis
Info:Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Paperback, 180 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:
Taggar:to-read

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On Stories: And Other Essays on Literature av C. S. Lewis

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3.5 stars. Once again my enjoyment of a Lewis non-fiction book is hindered by my lack of context, due in part to the time period that separates our lives as well as the fact that I may never be as well read as he was.

The book is a collection of essays on story in general, how he comes to write them, how one should teach them, and about several books/authors/genres in particular. Here we find his thoughts on science fiction, how to write useful criticism, his opinions on the writings of several contemporary authors, the importance of fairy stories, among other topics.

What I understood, I enjoyed. His insights always run deeper than I tend to consider, and never fail to make me think. Once he makes mention of a point, I usually find myself thinking “well of course, that makes perfect sense!” Like his theology, there are plenty of perspectives that he takes of which I can catch a glimpse of understanding but are simply beyond my ken as a whole (at least for now, hopefully).

A few of the essays stuck out to me. I liked reading about how an idea for a story comes to him and is developed into a complete tale. I enjoyed his thoughts on fairytales - the now familiar idea that anything worth being read as a child should also be worth reading as an adult, and the thought that fairy tales are meant to show not that monsters exist, but that they can be defeated. I got a heap of warm fuzzies reading his essays on the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings, not just because of his obvious regard for his dear friend’s writing abilities, but also his insights into myth in general, that “the value of the myth is that it takes all the things we know and restores to them the rich significance which has been hidden by ‘the veil of familiarity’.”

One of the last essays is called “Different Tastes in Literature” and is perhaps a hot take that might not be looked upon too favorably were it to be newly published today. I’ll fully admit this is one of his essays that I’ll need more time with to fully grasp, but I’ll try to explain what I took away from it. The first bold statement is that there is indeed objectively good art and bad art, not merely a subjective scale that anyone gets to determine for themselves. He explains that bad art and good art are enjoyed on different levels. Bad art (lesser art?) doesn’t last, and doesn’t make a lasting impression beyond perhaps as a connection to something else, or as a curiosity. “Bad art,” he tells us, “is never really enjoyed in the same sense in which good art is enjoyed. It is only ‘liked’: it never startles, prostrates, and takes captive.” It may give pleasure, but it is nothing compared to the rapture given by good art. “The desire for bad art is the desire bred of habit: like the smoker’s desire for tobacco, more marked by the extreme malaise of denial than by any very strong delight in fruition.” Lewis, however, is generous in his definitions. “I still maintain that what enraptures and transports is always good,” which would seem to include a lot more art than one would generally assume, as well as allowing for art that might transport some, but not all. This helps guard against an accusation of elitism or snobbery.

This essay has me re-evaluating how I see art, and what I consider to be “good”. It also speaks to what I’ve been reading and learning about the idea of ordering our loves and the moral imagination, and how that ordering of our loves or the development (or not) of our moral imagination might affect how we perceive art. I don’t have much more than a glimpse at the moment, and I’m having a hard time finding a brief way to explain it. Either way, this was the essay that perhaps has stuck with me the most. ( )
  Annrosenzweig | Oct 15, 2021 |
A collection of critical essays by C.S. Lewis on literature and other tangential topics. I'm not personally a huge fan of Lewis, but his essays on critical theory and specific authors (Charles Wiliams, Orwell, and Tolkien comes up often) interest me greatly. His essay on George Orwell, and how Animal Farm is a far superior work than 1984, was one of my favorites in the collection. For anybody interested in literary theory and criticism, this collection of Lewis' works, while potentially dated, will prove to be enlightening. ( )
  smichaelwilson | Jul 27, 2021 |
One can come at this collection of essays as a how-to book, especially in conjunction with Lin Carter's "Imaginary Worlds". Writing is often a case doing whatever to get the copy actually created, but Lewis did, as demonstrated here, have an actual [sic] plan for making worlds up. It's a useful read. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Jan 27, 2014 |
Ensayos sobre literatura Fantástica
  Angulo-Fernandez | Sep 24, 2011 |
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"A repackaged edition of the revered author's collection of essays on writing fiction. C. S. Lewis--the great British writer, scholar, lay theologian, broadcaster, Christian apologist, and bestselling author of Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, The Great Divorce, The Chronicles of Narnia, and many other beloved classics--was a professor of literature at Oxford University, where he was known for his insightful and often witty presentations on the nature of stories. This collection assembles nine essays that encapsulate his ideas about fiction, including "On Stories," "The Death of Words," and "On Three Ways of Writing for Children," as well as eleven pieces that were unpublished during his lifetime"--

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