Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Today I purchased C.S. Lewis' book, Boxen, which he wrote with his elder brother Warnie when they were children. Normally, I would have put off the splurge, and in fact this book is in my 'to buy' list at Amazon, but there it was in real, tangible life, and I didn't resist. I didn't even try.

Lewis' childhood literary influences were E. Nesbitt, Arthur Conan Doyle and Mark Twain, but his most loved was Beatrix Potter, where he found beauty.

He writes of how he began writing in Surprised by Joy:
What drove me to write was the extreme manual clumsiness from which I have always suffered. I attribute it to a physical defect which my brother and I both inherit from our father; we have only one joint in the thumb....As a last resource, as a pis aller, I was driven to write stories instead; little dreaming to what a world of happiness I was being admitted. You can do more with a castle in a story than with the best cardboard castle that ever stood on a nursery table.
I soon staked out a claim to one of the attics and made it "my study." Pictures, of my won making or cut from the brightly coloured Christmas numbers of magazines, were nailed on the walls. There I kept my pen and inkpot and writing books and paintbox; and there

                                    What more felicity can fall to creature
                                    Than to enjoy delight with liberty?

Here my first stories were written, and illustrated, with enormous satisfaction. They were an attempt to combine my two chief literary pleasures-"dressed animals" and "knights in armour."

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