Monday, July 25, 2011

A question for readers...

How many of you are CS Lewis fans, and which other writers do you read?

I often wonder just how many Chesterton enthusiasts are also Lewis enthusiasts, and vice versa. It's hard to imagine loving one without loving the other. They share not only religious and cultural convictions, but a whole spiritual atmosphere, so to speak; an atmosphere of hearty male laughter, public house firesides, jovial singing and rolling rhythms in prose and verse.

And what other authors do Chestertonians take into the bath or onto the train?


  1. Tolkien comes to mind :) At least in that type of genre. I have a slew of things I read on a regular basis, since I study Literature at Uni. I'm sure you don't really want me to get into all of them!

  2. asked for it ;) I'm very into Irish writers (very much so, actually). I love Wilde, Joyce, Heaney, Kavanagh, Yeats, Swift, some Shaw, and even Burke from time to time. I also like to read the poetry of Pagraig Pearse and Joseph Mary Plunkett It's something I would love to actually specialise in with my studies, but there are very few Unis here in the US that offer Irish writers. I am also partial to a few American writers, like Edith Wharton, Sinclair Lewis, and Willa Cather. And Nathaniel Hawthorne.
    I also like Dickens, the afore mentioned Tolkien, Austen, George Eliot, Flaubert, Dumas, just to name a few.
    In terms of Distributist type books, I obviously love Chesterton, but I also read a lot of Belloc and Fr. Vincent McNabb. I also have a weakness for Catholic encyclicals, primarily those which touch upon the Social Teachings of the Church (where Chesterton and Belloc got a lot of their ideas).
    That's just a start.....I did warn you. I can give you titles too, if you'd like ;)

  3. I never even heard of Willa Cather. I have read most of the other novelists on your list but (with the exception of Dickens and Tolkien) wasn't really taken with any of them.

    I am not a Joycean but I do like Portrait of the Artist, the Dead and some of the lyrics. I think Yeats was the greatest poet of all time (and Chesterton rarely mentions him without calling him the greatest poet of the age; usually before disagreeing with him about something). I like all the Irish writers you mentioned (though I wouldn't read Swift for fun) with the exception of Heaney. I have to admit I am a complete Heaney-sceptic. Interesting you like Padraig Pearse, his literary merits are usually overlooked. But I think The Fool, the Risen People, the Wayfarer and a few others are amongst the greatest of Irish poems.

    Interesting stuff! (By the way, Chesterton was quite dismissive of Ulysses-- I can't remember where, though).