JIS logoVolume 1, number 1 (April 2011)

 

Judith Wolfe, ‘From the Editor’, pp. 3-4
No abstract available
Paul Tankard, ‘C.S. Lewis’s Brush with Television’, pp. 5-21
This essay describes two hitherto unreported interviews that C.S. Lewis gave for broadcast on British television in the early 1960’s, and introduces a transcript of one of the interviews. Both interviews were arranged by Lewis’s former student, the theatrical critic and producer Kenneth Tynan, for episodes of the ITV arts-magazine programme ‘Tempo’. For the first of these episodes, which was devoted to the subject of ‘Eros in the Arts’, Lewis was interviewed by politician and journalist Wayland Young; it is this interview which is published with the essay. The programme itself was banned for Sunday viewing and was never broadcast.

Lewis was also interviewed for the replacement episode, called ‘The Oxford Octopus’, which concerned the role of the universities in the British arts scene. Lewis is not otherwise known to have been recorded on film, and unfortunately, no footage of these occasions seems now to exist; and there is no known text of the second interview. The essay also describes Lewis’s relationship with Tynan, the Tempo series, and the other content – so far as it can be discovered – of both episodes.

‘Interview of C.S. Lewis by Wayland Young, 19 January 1962’ (unpublished manuscript), pp. 23-31
No abstract available
J.G. Bradbury, ‘Charles Williams’s Arthuriad: Mythic Vision and the Possibility of Belief’, pp. 33-46
This essay explores Charles Williams’ use of the Arthurian myth to sustain a religious worldview in the aftermath of sustained attacks on the relevance and veracity of Christian belief in the early twentieth century. The premise to be explored is that key developments in science and philosophy made during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries resulted in a cultural and intellectual milieu in which assertions of religious faith became increasingly difficult. In literary terms this became evident in, amongst other things, the significant reduction in the production of devotional poetry. By the late 1930s the intellectual environment was such that Charles Williams, a man of profound religious belief who might otherwise have been expected to produce devotional work, turned to a much older mode, that of myth, that had taken on new relevance in the modern world. Williams’s use of this mode allowed him the possibility of expressing a singularly Christian vision to a world in which such vision was in danger of becoming anathema. This essay examines the way in which Williams’s lexis, verse structure, and narrative mode builds on his Arthurian source material to allow for an appreciation of religiously-informed ideas in the modern world.
Don King, ‘The Early Writings of Joy Davidman’, pp. 47-67
Joy Davidman’s place in the canon of twentieth century American literature deserves more attention than it has heretofore received. For instance, in her role in the late 1930’s as poetry editor for New Masses (the weekly voice of the Communist Party of the United States of America), Davidman published poets such as Langston Hughes, Margaret Walker, Alexander Bergman, and Aaron Kramer. At the same time, her poems in Letter to a Comrade (1938) touting a Communist agenda, while clearly written in the tradition of “proletarian literature,” are nonetheless well done; although a political agenda drives her selection of subject matter in these poems, they are not simply set pieces. She uses irony effectively and her imagery is evocative and striking. In fact, Davidman was very much a conscious craftswoman, spending the summers of 1938, 1940, 1941, and 1942 at the MacDowell Colony, a writers’ retreat in New Hampshire, where she honed her skills. For instance, her best piece of fiction, Anya (1940), is a direct result of her time at the colony. She understood the intellectual energy it takes to become an effective writer of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, and she never backed away from hard work. Her commitment to writing—especially her voice, her rhetoric, her style, and the literary influences informing her work—merit more scholarly attention. In this essay I explore Davidman’s early devotion and commitment to the craft of writing; in addition, I evaluate the poems, fiction, and non-fiction she produced before she wrote for New Masses and published Letter to a Comrade.

Book Reviews:
Kenneth McLure (review essay), ‘Owen Barfield and the Poetics of Salvation: A Review of Two Barfield Novellas’, pp. 69-82
P.H. Brazier (review essay), ‘Truth and Fantasy, Reality and Fiction’, pp. 83-91
Milton Walsh, Second Friends: C.S. Lewis and Ronald Knox in Conversation. Review by Cole Matson, pp. 93-96