Thanks very much for your thoughts, Elizabeth - I've been mulling this over, too, and thinking along much the same lines -I win!
My latest thinking is that we should drop THS and bring in some other material to reveal more of the range and subtlety of Lewis and his circle. We will read parts of Mere Christianity; but not by itself. Though it's Lewis's most influential work of apologetics, MC will strike some readers as infected with a patronizing folksiness (probably comes from the fact that these were wartime radio talks). I'm rethinking all this, and greatly appreciate your input — and I also very much appreciate your articulate and discerning contributions to our discussions!
And then her e-mail to the class:
Further thoughts on the syllabus - and further good input from some of you - has led me to think that we should let That Hideous Strength (now scheduled for the week after next) fall by the wayside, to allow us to spend more time exploring a fuller range of the religious thought of C.S. Lewis and his circle.
So you don't need to buy THS. Instead of THS, week 7 will be devoted to some essays and letters to be distributed in class next week, along with a bit more of Mere Christianity.
I'm always interested in your thoughts, especially for a newly fledged course which is still in the making; so don't be shy about letting me know how things are going, and what readings you find most or least compelling.
Incidentally, if you find GK Chesterton tough going, bear in mind that he might be called a theological humorist. He means what he says, but he says it in a colorful and sometimes extravagant way. Most important for the purposes of Monday's discussion are chapters 1 (the introduction) and 4 (the ethics of elfland); but try to read all four chapters straight through. If you don't like reading from the web, there are a few copies of Orthodoxy in the five college libraries. Any edition is fine.
Also: I was intelligent in Skarda's class and she was critical of my reader response paper but i didn't completely disgrace myself.
We had escargot for dinner. What's up with that? They were really pretty, and garlic&olive oil sounds yum, but i wasn't gonna break my vegetarianism just to try. The kitchen staff kept encouraging us to try some, which almost no one did, but the staff was certainly pleased with them. Personally, i helped myself to lots o' mashed potatoes. One of the staff jokingly said, "Why don't you just take the whole tray?"
Isn't the Rally Day show usually the night of Rally Day itself? Le sigh. And why are the MCs always shoddy? I even like Candi and Joan. The skits were lame; never have i been happier to see The Distractions. (Though the junior skit followed them and honestly, i quite liked the two juniors just sitting and talking.) They totally got the biggest applause of the night. And the lights were dimmed so it was like a real rock concert. By the middle of the second song i think, people were dancing in the aisles and then converging on the stage. Alex said, "You are the best audience ever," and, "Normally we're The Distractions, but tonight we seem to be live bait." Their set of three songs was basically a wall of sound in which i could barely discern any of the words, though they did "Sweet Jane" as an encore. Despite the fact that their music isn't my thing (and that Alex Keller really rubbed me the wrong way) i do so enjoy them.
Filled with clever wordplay, literary allusion, and bibliowit, The Eyre Affair combines elements of Monty Python, Harry Potter, Stephen Hawking and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But its quirky charm is all its own.The book is not unenjoyable, but the praise is rather overstated. I do have love for intertextuality and the power of stories and audience interaction and so on, though. Chapter 18? I am in love. And the story grows as it goes along. Also:
-The Wall Street Journal [blurb on the cover of my paperback]
"Beautiful day," I commented once we were under way.I demand crossover fic, now. (Especially because of Chapter 17.)
"Every day is a beautiful day, Miss Next. The name's Stoker---"
He pulled out onto the Stratton bypass.
"---SpecOps-17: Vampire and Werewolf Disposal Operations. Suckers and biters they call us. My friends call me Spike. You," he added with a broad grin, "can call me Spike."
(page 85, my edition)
You are Judith Butler! Your postmodern queer theory
has shaken up people's ideas of gender,
sexuality, and sex. Your work has blurred lines
between what it means to be a womyn and what it
means to be a man. Queens and transbois all
over the world worship your Birkenstocks!
Which Western feminist icon are you?
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