On C.S. Lewis being an “Old Western Man”

“If we look at the various creative impulses that went into Lewis’ fantasies, we will see how they all come together in Perelandra. We can start with Lewis the self-confessed ‘dinosaur.’ As we have seen, he disliked modernity and its ‘goods’ – in particular the glorification of technology, the social ideal of equality and the liberalism of present-day theology – and turned, like his friend Tolkien, toward medieval cultural values; his description of William’s theology as ‘Nicene, hierarchical, severe,’ might equally apply to his own. He was particularly alienated from the humanist character of contemporary literature and criticism; and most of his own literary criticism is concerned rather with allegory or myth than the novel. In his inaugural lecture, De Descriptione Temporum, as Professor of Medieval and Renaissance English literature at Cambridge in 1954, he described himself as an ‘Old Western’ man, by which he meant that by preference he belonged to a culture which (as far as he was concerned) ended about 1830.”

From Modern Fantasy by C.N. Manlove.

[“BLA and GB Gabbler” (really just a pen name) are the Editor and Narrator behind THE AUTOMATION, vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series. They are on facebook, twitter, tumblr, and goodreads.]

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