Episode 22: An Experiment in Criticism, Ch. 8-9
This week’s episode is a continuation of Cindy Rollins and Angelina Stanford’s discussion of An Experiment in Criticism by C. S. Lewis. They start with an exploration of the difference between loving a book and evaluating a book as a work of art, followed by an explanation of Lewis’ idea that works of art do not teach us. Angelina goes in depth about why it is not our job as readers to find the “nugget of truth” in a book. Cindy brings up Lewis’ point about “using” literature as an academic tool, versus “receiving” literature as a work of art.
In covering chapter 9, Angelina and Cindy dig into the dangers of rushing to express an opinion about what we read, rather than getting ourselves out of the way when approaching a book. Cindy points to the many similarities between what Lewis says in these chapters and what Charlotte Mason says about true education.
Be sure to check out Thomas Banks’ next webinar, “Poetry and Classical Myth: The Influence of Greek and Roman Myth on English Poetry.” The live stream will be on October 17, 2019, but the replay will be available soon afterward.
Listen to The Literary Life:
by Thomas Campion
Rose-cheek’d Laura, come,
Sing thou smoothly with thy beauty’s
Silent music, either other
Lovely forms do flow
From concent divinely framed;
Heav’n is music, and thy beauty’s
Birth is heavenly.
These dull notes we sing
Discords need for helps to grace them;
Only beauty purely loving
Knows no discord,
But still moves delight,
Like clear springs renew’d by flowing,
Ever perfect, ever in them-
Seeking God by Esther de Waal
The Great Code by Northrop Frye
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brönte
Til We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
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Cindy mentioned a particular PR article in this episode – does anyone remember which one? Is there a link?
You can Search for it on The Series pages. Here is the quote, I think, that you are talking about.
1897 by M.F. Jerrod
“They (Our children) must feel our large faith in them, our boundless love and our never-failing forgiveness. And that they may truly learn to feel and understand these, nothing helps more than to encourage great liberty of discussion and the free expression of opinions remembering, ….that it is an excellent thing to have an opinion of your own, however wrong it may be, (provided you are not bent on sticking to it), different as much as we like, but without the suspicion of a “snub” or a “set down”; for, above all, we must hold each one’s individuality sacred, and while we care sufficiently for the things that matter, we must also beware of heeding other things that do not matter. Little trivialities of manner or expression, the way of talking which is not just what we should have wished, the choice that is not just the one we should like to have seen made, we must learn to pass these things over as the trifles they are, otherwise there is an end to all freedom, and, what is more serious, an end of reality. Our children may then learn to be the thing we wish in our presence, but they will be themselves still, they will have their own idiosyncrasies, their own individuality, but unknown and unknowable to us.”