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I'm even more specific in my prejudice. I find it hard to believe that anyone could like Lewis's fiction more than Tolkien's.

Then there are some who prefer Charles Williams to either of them!

Are you saying that you are guilty of that tastecrime, Stu?

I guess I wouldn't be stunned by someone preferring Lewis's fiction to Tolkien's, but I would certainly raise an eyebrow. :-)

Do people like Lewis's fiction better? But then, I always think the difference between the two is difference between Protestantism and Catholicism, so maybe so.

I'm sorry you didn't get to see the golden trees, but that was a pretty nice thing to see.


It was indeed.

I can't recall having heard anyone express that opinion, but maybe I just suppressed it. That's a fair point about Protestantism and Catholicism.

I was introduced to Tolkien when I was 18 by a woman with whom I worked (my first job). She told us about her roommate who was reading this stupid book about little creatures who lived in holes in the ground called Hobbits. I wanted to read the book, but I didn't want her to know that I wanted to read it, and wasn't quite sure what the creatures were called, so I didn't read it then. Later, I was really happy to come across it.

Nowadays, I could just google it.


Not me. I have only read Tolkien's fiction (Hobbit & LOTR) and Mere Christianity by Lewis. Nothing else.

I can imagine someone preferring Williams to either of the others, on the grounds that he's more adult or something.

The Tolkien fad within the hippie scene was going strong when I was in college, but I didn't read him then. Partly because I thought it sounded a little silly, I think. Maybe partly just because it seemed a fad. I wonder now what I would have thought of it if I'd read it then.

In this post on this blog from 2015 on "Liberalism and Literature," I shared one of my blogposts on this subject. Maybe you remember it.

For the past few years (!) I've been reading The Lord of the Rings aloud to my kids, and it's given me a new appreciation for the books. The writing is better than I'd previously seen, and the story is, as you say, very moving at times. The feeling I get when in Lothlorien is one that very little modern literature evokes.

I am tempted by the same tendency to judge on the basis of aesthetic judgments.

It's a very unfashionable, un-20th-century prose style, and I really can understand people finding it too...something...naive among other things to be taken seriously. Children don't have that preconception, though. Offhand I can't think of anything in modern literature that gives me a feeling comparable to that of the Lothlorien chapters.

Robert, I had totally forgotten not only your post but my own. I'm glad you reminded me of it because I might well have written it again sometime, as the things I talked about there seem to be getting steadily worse. And I agree with your post, of course. As would both Tolkien and Lewis, I think.

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