Saturday, February 5, 2011

Review: The Personal Heresy: A Controversy by C.S. Lewis and E.M.W. Tillyard

Synopsis: In his brilliant essay The Personal Heresy in Criticism, Lewis attacked the widely held belief that poetry is, or should be, the expression of the poet's personality. His attempt to supplant this assumption with an objective or impersonal theory of poetry was challenged by Dr. Tillyard whose interpretation of Paradise Lost he had called into question. So began a courteous but searching series of exchanges between two of the most learned and original scholar-critics of their day. This controversy sheds invaluable light on a problem as complex as it is central to the understanding and appreciation of poetry. (From the back of the book)

Roughts: I read this for my Lewis reading project. It must be understood that while Lewis' Christian works are something I can grasp, his literary works are far above my intelligence level and I often completely miss the point. I had precisely that trouble with this work. It's brilliant, intense and amusing at points, but I didn't understand most of what they were talking about. I can see if one was a poetry or literary scholar, this work would have immense value, but as a lay person with little to no training in this area, I was lost.

Bookmarks: 6 of 10

Awards: none

Date Finished: 2-5-2011
Pages: 150

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