War of the Fantasy Worlds - C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien on Art and Imagination (23.01.10 by Pieter Collier) - Comments

Although J.R.R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis are usually associated with one another as friends and academic colleagues, they claim they did not influence each others' work. Yet, we are told, Lewis remarked to Tolkien, 'There is too little of what we really like in stories, I am afraid we shall have to write some ourselves.' They flipped a coin. As a result, Tolkien was to write about time and Lewis about space, well before either fantasy or science fiction were the established genres they are today. While Tolkien wrestled over The Lord of the Rings for some 17 years, Lewis rushed his Narnia series to publication, composing the entire seven part series in seven years. Despite their differences, the two Oxford professors helped each other at crucial points in their literary careers. Tolkien recommended a publisher for Lewis' science fiction novel Out of the Silent Planet and Lewis favorably reviewed The Hobbit in The Times.
War of the Fantasy Worlds

Most scholarship about J.R.R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis describes their shared faith and academic interests or analyzes each writer’s fantasy works. War of the Fantasy Worlds: C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien on Art and Imagination is the first to focus solely on their contrasting concepts of fantasy. The authors’ views of art and imagination, the book shows, are not only central to understanding the themes, value, and relevance of their fantasy fiction, but are also strikingly different.

Understanding the authors’ thoughts about fantasy helps us better understand and appreciate their works. Yet, this book is not a critical analysis of The Lord of the Rings or The Chronicles of Narnia. Rather, it examines only elements of Tolkien’s and Lewis’s books that relate to their views about art, fantasy, and creativity, or the implementation of their theories. The result is a unique and altogether fascinating perspective on two of the most revered fantasy authors of all time.

About the Author:
Martha C. Sammons, PhD, is professor of English at Wright State University, Dayton, OH, where she has taught since 1975. She has written books like A Guide Through Narnia, A Far Off Country: A Guide to C.S.Lewis' Fantasy Fiction: A Guide to C.S. Lewis's Fantasy Fiction / Martha C. Sammons, and is know for her article "Tolkien on Fantasy in Smith of Wootton Major.", published in Mythlore 43 (Autumn 1985).

War of the Fantasy Worlds: C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien on Art and Imagination

Publisher: Praeger Publishers
Type: hardcover
Estimate: 294 pages
Size: 23.6 x 16.3 x 3.3 cm

Publication date: 22 Dec 2009

ISBN-10: 0313362823
ISBN-13: 978-0313362828

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