31 January 2012

Inklings "Complete" List

I am attempting to compile a FULLY COMPREHENSIVE list of good Inklings resources -- websites, podcasts, etc. -- on world wide web. I am only interested in the really useful, intelligent, and scholarly ones, not silly fan pages. This other writers who are Inklings influences or strong connections.

Would you dear readers be able to assist me, by pointing out mistakes I have made in this list and especially omissions I have made? Thank you!

The Inklings blog
The Marion E. Wade Center
The Mythopoetic Society
entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

VII: An Anglo-American Review
The Journal of Inklings Studies
Inklings Jahrbuch (German-language journal)
Sehnsucht: The C. S. Lewis Journal
Tolkien Studies: An Annual Scholarly Review
Mallorn: the Journal of the Tolkien Society
Parma Eldalamberon: Journal of the Elvish Linguistic Fellowship

The Charles Williams Society
The Tolkien Society
Owen Barfield Society
The Dorothy L Sayers Society
C. S. Lewis society of California
Oxford C.S. Lewis Society
C. S. Lewis Society of Chattanooga, Tennessee
Arizona C. S. Lewis Society
Aslan Society, Arizona State University
C. S. Lewis Society of California
Southern California C. S. Lewis Society
C. S. Lewis Society of Trinity College (Florida)
The C. S. Lewis Society, Taylor University (Indiana)
The New York C. S. Lewis Society
C. S. Lewis Reading Group of Dayton (Ohio)
C. S. Lewis and Inklings Society, Oklahoma City University
Memphis C. S. Lewis Society (Tennessee)
Oxford University C. S. Lewis Society
German Inklings Society
American Chesterton Society

Gavin Ashenden 
David Bratman
Grayson Carter
James Como
Brenton Dickieson

Lyle Dorsett
David Downing
Colin Duriez
Bruce Edwards
Paul Ford
Diana Pavlac Glyer
Malcolm Guite
James Helfers
Sørina Higgins (my own Inklings page)
Monika Hilder
Charles Huttar
Alan Jacobs
Peter Kreeft
Joel Heck 
Andrew Lazo
Grevel Lindop (working on a bio of CW for Oxford UP)
Kathryn Lindskoog
Louis Markos
William O'Flaherty
Victor Reppert
Jerry Root
Peter Schakel
Sanford Schwartz
Paul J. Spaeth
Charlie Starr
Will Vaus
Michael Ward
Ralph C. Wood

The “Co-inherence list”, a yahoo discussion group
“The Novels of Charles Williams” by Glen Cavaliero
“What about Charles Williams?” by Thomas Howard
"The Acts of the Companions" by Thomas Willard
video of Lewis talking about Williams' novels
An intro to the novels by Rider W. Miller
The Other Inkling by Thomas Howard
CW and Kierkegaard by Michael Paulus
"The Web of Exchange," a page of discussion and resources

Mere Lewis
Into the Wardrobe
C. S. Lewis Chronicles
Narnia movie news
C.S. Lewis classics
C.S. Lewis Foundation
The Window in the Garden Wall: C.S. Lewis Quotes
The C. S. Lewis Review
Recordings of C. S. Lewis from the 1940s
C. S. Lewis Institute
The C. S. Lewis Minute
HarperCollins' C. S. Lewis blog
Narnia Fans
The Lion’s Call
Aslan’s Country
The Tedder Library: C. C. Lewis and the Inklings
C. S. Lewis College (Massachusetts)
C. S. Lewis Foundation (California)
C. S. Lewis Festival (Michigan)
C. S. Lewis Institute (Virginia)
Discovery Institute: C. S. Lewis and Public Life (Washington)
Friends of Holy Trinity Church, Headington Quarry

Tokien Studies on Project MUSE
Oxford University podcast on Tolkien
Carl F. Hostetter's Linguistic Resource Page
Ardalambion: Of the Tongues of Arda
The Linguistic Fellowship
"What's in the History of Middle-earth?"
Arda Encyclopaedia
The Tolkien Library
An Illustrated Tolkien Bibliography
Planet Tolkien
dedicated Tolkien site of HarperCollins
Tolkien Wiki
Lord of the Rings Wiki
Tolkien Gateway
"Tolkien & the Great War" by John Garth
"Tolkien & Fantasy" blog by Douglas Anderson
On Tolkien's Sources by Jason Fisher
Collecting Tolkien
Tolkien-inspired art
Tolkien estate

Owen Barfield Literary Estate
Encyclopedia Barfieldiana
review of a Barfield-related film
Remembering Owen Barfield
Barfield on Rudolf Steiner
The Evolution of Consciousness
"How I was Brought to Discover Owen Barfield" by Henry Gurr
"Owen Barfield: A Biographical Note" by Marjorie Lamp Mead (.pdf)
Bodleian Library's Barfield holdings
Owen Barfield Blog

The Golden Key
MacDonald texts on Online Literature
MacDonald on Victorian Web
Father of the Inklings
MacDonald informational web
books from Johannesen publishing

Brief bio on CCEL
Chesterton works on Online Literature
G. K. Chesterton Institute for Faith & Culture
Ignatius Insight's Chesterton page
Martin Ward's Chesterton page

(to be added...)

Helen Joy Davidman (Mrs. C.S. Lewis) 1915-1960: A Portrait by Lyle W. Dorsett
Extraordinary Joy by Anne Morse
full text of Smoke on the Mountain by Joy Davidman
(more to be added...)


(to be added...)

(Other Inklings to be added....)


29 January 2012

2011 film recommendations

Here is a great list of films Stephen Graydanus recommends from 2011. I've actually only seen 4 on his main lists, and would push Harry Potter WAY further up. And you?

Top Ten about-the-Inklings books


The works on this list vary wildly in quality, but each is sort of necessary in some way or another for a well-rounded understanding of the Inklings, their lives, and some of the controversies in interpreting them. If anybody wants a commentary on each book -- such as a summary, why to read it, or what its strengths and weaknesses are -- give me a holler and I'll roll out such a commentary posthaste. Or at least, I'll get around to it.

And please add your recommendations in the comments below!

  1. The Inklings: C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, and their Friends by Humphrey Carpenter.

  2. The Company They Keep: C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien as Writers in Community by Diana Pavlac Glyer.

  3. Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C. S. Lewis by Michael Ward.

  4. C. S. Lewis: A Biography by Roger Lancelyn Green and Walter Hooper.

  5. The Novels of Charles Williams by Thomas Howard.

  6. C.S. Lewis on the Final Frontier by Sanford Schwartz.

  7. Charles Williams: Poet of Theology by Glen Cavaliero.

  8. Charles Williams: An Exploration of His Life and Work by Alice Mary Hadfield.

  9. Charles Williams: Alchemy and Integration by Gavin Ashenden.

    . and, I'm hoping,

  10. the yet unpublished Charles Williams: The Last Magician now being written by Grevel Lindop.

28 January 2012

Top Ten Inklings books

Here are my recommendations for the TOP TEN BOOKS BY INKLINGS you should read. I've cheated by considering books in series as one. I've also included those non-Inklings hangers-on who are part of the same literary school, from an historical perspective. And I suggest reading them in this order:

1. The Narnia Chronicles – Lewis
2. The Hobbit – Tolkien
3. The Man Who Was Thursday – Chesterton
4. Phantastes – George MacDonald
5. The Great Divorce – Lewis
6. The Nine Tailors – Sayers
7. The Place of the Lion – Williams
8. The Space Trilogy – Lewis
9. The Lord of the Rings – Tolkien
10. Descent into Hell – Williams

Nineteen Inklings, give or take

According to Humphrey Carpenter, in his excellent (if not flawless) book The Inklings: C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, and Their Friends, this is the total list of attendees at Thursday evening Inklings meetings:
Owen Barfield
J .A.W. Bennett
Lord David Cecil
Nevill Coghill
James Dundas-Grant
H.V.D. Dyson
Adam Fox
Colin Hardie
Robert E. Havard
C.S. Lewis
Warren Lewis
Gervase Mathew
R.B. McCallum
C.E. Stevens
Christopher Tolkien
J.R.R. Tolkien
John Wain
Charles Williams
C.L. Wrenn

Just in case you wanted to know.

13 January 2012

Countdown to Caduceus

CADUCEUS is a full-length collection of poems scheduled for publication in February of 2012 by WordTech Communications / David Robert Books. It is 100 pages long and contains 48 poems in 6 sections: Lovers, Skeptics, Preachers, Believers, Metaphors, and The Voice of God. As the publisher's back-of-the-book blurb has it: “Heartbreak and faith are the twin strands threading through Caduceus by Sørina Higgins: a book of voices, messages, personas, layered texts, ancient tales, and contemporary feeling.” In this volume, I try on the roles of many characters both ancient and modern to express dilemmas of my own, of my loved ones, or of my times.

Please let me know if I can offer a poetry reading, discussion, or workshop at your church, home, school, coffeeshop, bookstore, or other venue.

This book has been graciously endorsed by three superstar poets: Jeanne Murray Walker, Luci Shaw, and Dana Gioia. Here is what they had to say:
“Here is a remarkable young poet who connects our small, personal twentyfirst century stories with the great, overarching cultural narratives. It’s always our own time and place Sørina Higgins writes about, but against a backdrop of Greek myths and Biblical stories which lend these private confessions astonishing power. When she asks ‘Oh Lord, will you tell me, what good is grief?’ she might as well be Job; her interrogation is that passionate. Posing her wild human questions with great skill in some of the oldest English verse forms, she has written a musical, heartbreaking, timely and timeless book.”
—Jeanne Murray Walker
“Sørina Higgins takes the stuff of myth, legend, history and mystery and pours it into her visceral poems, many of them formal. Where others might see the ordinary, she translates what might seem mundane or insignificant into something extraordinarily arresting. Here is a poet of a deep, dissecting and penetrating faith.”
—Luci Shaw
“Sørina Higgins is an ambitious, young poet who defies easy classification. Her work embraces the lyric and the narrative, the sexy and the sacred. Hers is a capacious imagination trying to make sense of a world full of both heartbreak and wonder which she views with a tough-minded clarity and vast compassion.”
—Dana Gioia

This book will be available on amazon sometime in February; check back then! Meanwhile, here is the first poem in the book, which kind of sums it up:

Prologue: Dramatis Personæ

My little heel-wings are not made of feathers:

they are made of tongues. Their voices flap

around my feet, hiss through my veins, and coil

their noisy helix on my heraldic staff.

They whisper I am, I say, making me

play all the characters this writer writes.

I am the dead man on the field; I am

the bird, the beast, the god, the groom, the bride.

I am a hypocrite, a metaphor,

a myth. If every wing-word was hermetic,

lovers, skeptics, Romans, Christians took

my secret voices public, grew frenetic

in praise of their high places and their gods—

and in the end, their clamor just might run me mad.

05 January 2012

The Great Divorce comes to Philly again

Anthony Lawton Returns to Lantern Theater Company with Adaptation of C. S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce, Feb. 7-12

For one week only, Lantern Theater Company will present reprise performances of The Great Divorce, Anthony Lawton’s popular adaptation of the C. S. Lewis work. A Philadelphia-based theater artist, Lawton has received widespread critical and public acclaim for this one-man show, described as “passionate acting combined with riveting storytelling” by The Philadelphia Inquirer and “unmissable” by Philadelphia City Paper. Oh, and IambicAdmonit called it "truly excellent: lively, accurate, impassioned, challenging, convicting, and all-around amazing." Surely that's too many adjectives?

According to the Lantern Theatre press release, C.S. Lewis' own favorite among his works, The Great Divorce tells the satiric and comic tale of hapless professor Clive and the motley band of malcontents who join him on a very curious bus ride. Journeying between Hell and Heaven, Clive crosses a wildly inventive landscape drawn by Lewis' philosophical imagination in a story filled with dazzling language and surprising insight.

The Great Divorce opens Tuesday, Feb. 7 and runs through Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012 Tickets are $35 for general admission or $40 for premium seating and are available online at or by calling the Lantern Box Office at (215) 829-0395. $10 student rush tickets are available 10 minutes before curtain with valid ID; cash only. Additional discounts are available for seniors and groups of 10 or more. Lantern Theater Company is located at St. Stephen's Theater, 10th & Ludlow Streets in Center City Philadelphia.

You should go see it!!!!!!!!

04 January 2012

Ekphrasis Report #14

Sorry, I failed to report on the Nov. meeting, then we didn't have one in December. But here we are again, in full swing.

This was an excellent, well-attended meeting, mostly because many of our college-student members are home on break. There were 13 people present: TMcC, SMB, KP, JH, MD, JF, NJ, JA, ES, BG, CS, ES, and myself.

We began with a discussion of our affiliation with the International Arts Movement, which will become more clearly defined after I attend a regional leaders' conference in February -- more on that later. For now, we share the vision of "rehumanizing" our little corner of the world, pursuing excellence in our arts, and encouraging church-and-art dialogue.

We also spoke briefly about the excellent work one Ekphrasian is doing in documentary film with The Backyard Philly Project. Please check it out.

Over the course of the evening, we had 4 poems, one personal narrative, two pieces of piano music, and one piece of fiction. I would love for more visual and performance artists to join us to broaden our conversations and our cross-disciplinary experience. As it was, we had good talks about many topics.

We discussed how hard it is to create a sense of immediacy in a personal narrative, which JH achieved very well with a sorrowful personal narrative.

We talked about how to balance originality and inspiration, as JA did in a poem responding to Flowers of Flame: Unheard Voices of Iraq.

We talked about form, freedom, meter, rhyme, and line breaks in relation to two poems on opposite ends of the form-spectrum: a Villanelle by ES and a piece of free verse by KP. ES's piece prompted some cursory talk about how to appropriate Biblical metaphors (in her case, a gate) in ways that are still relevant to the 21st century. KP's piece also led to a discussion of how to respond to a specific Biblical passage in a way that is original, artistic, personally meaningful, and accurate -- which is a huge challenge.

We talked about some of the difficulties in the lives of Beethoven and Rachmaninoff in conjunction with NJ's performance (off-the-cuff, from memory, over break!) of a sonata movement by B and a prelude by R. He apologized for the "depressing" nature of these two pieces, which gave me a perfect opportunity to pull out a saying SPB (oops, now SPG -- she got married!) and I like to use: "Depressing is good as long as it's well done."

TMcC's poem, as usual, led to a profound and thoughtful conversation about living life in a fully conscious manner. This time, it had to do with the meaningless routine of analyzing-to-death that happens, unfortunately, in many college classes. He said, for instance, that many English professors sever the text from its context, encourage any and all uneducated interpretations, and ignore history/biography/etc. This becomes a ritualistic, superficial application of one theory, say, feminism, in a brainless methodical way.

I shared a bit of very rough fiction that, to my chagrin, promoted a discussion of cliches and originality in fantasy! Shame on me! I'll have to do better....
So, all in all, an excellent and inspiring evening! Won't you join us next time?