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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. My latest books are THE TYRANNY OF OPINION: CONFORMITY AND THE FUTURE OF LIBERALISM (2019) and AT THE DAWN OF A GREAT TRANSITION: THE QUESTION OF RADICAL ENHANCEMENT (2021).

Monday, April 24, 2006

C.S. Lewis

Many of C.S. Lewis's views cut little ice with me, and Lewis would have hated moral scepticism, transhumanism, evolutionary psychology, and much else that I am friendly to.

But I've just read a collection of his essays, reviews, etc., and it reminded me how clearly Lewis could think about topics such as literature, science fiction, and fantasy - and the lucidity with which he expressed his thoughts. Some of his remarks about science fiction, which he defended in a sensible way against dismissive critics, are still refreshing, and he wrote admirably clean, pleasing sentences - very different from a lot of ugly, modern-day academic prose.

Finally, I do like this joke, told by Lewis in a transcribed discussion with Kingsley Amis and Brian Aldiss. It gives a slightly different view of his character:

The Bishop of Exeter was giving prizes at a girls' school. They did a performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream, and the Bishop stood up afterwards and made a speech and said [piping voice]: "I was very interested in your delightful performance, and among other things I was very interested in seeing for the first time in my life a female Bottom."

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