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

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

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

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

Synopsis

This investigation focuses on C.S. Lewis’s and J.R.R. Tolkien’s contrasting views of art and imagination, which are key to understanding and interpreting their fantasy works, providing insight into their goals, themes, and techniques, as well as an appreciation of the value and impact of their mythologies.

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.

Excerpt

C. S. Lewis remarked to J. R. R. Tolkien, “There is too little of what we really like in stories. I am afraid we shall have to write some ourselves.” The result was a new type of novel that presents the spiritual and “mythopoeic” in a popular format. Their books have been described as “theologized science fiction,” “alternative theology,” “religious fantasy,” and so on. Religious fantasy integrates aspects of Christianity with elements of fantasy and science fiction. However, the “religious” element varies, as well as the forms. Lewis and Tolkien disagreed about the role and nature of the writer and degree to which religious elements should appear in a story.

It is estimated that The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia have each sold more than 100 million copies of their numerous editions. Tom Shippey places The Lord of the Rings in the top tier of most influential books of the century, including both Tolkien’s influence on the fantasy genre and as a literary classic. Tolkien’s works have made modern fantasy both a popular and . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.