A Strange Bugle Call

On this day in 1945, Charles Williams died suddenly. C.S. Lewis wrote this little poem out of his grief:

Your death blows a strange bugle call, friend, and all is hard
To see plainly or record truly. The new light imposes change,
Re-adjusts all a life-landscape as it thrusts down its probe from the sky,
To create shadows, to reveal waters, to erect hills and deepen glens.
The slant alters. I can’t see the old contours. It’s a larger world
Than I once thought it. I wince, caught in the bleak air that blows on
the ridge.
Is it the first sting of the great winter, the world-waning? Or the cold of
spring?

A hard question and worth talking a whole night on.
But with whom? Of whom now can I ask guidance? With what friend concerning your death
Is it worth while to exchange thoughts unless—oh unless it were you?

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Pacific Inklings Festival

The Southern California C.S. Lewis Society Presents:

The Pacific Inklings Festival
and General Meeting

Saturday, March 9th, 9:00am–3:00pm
Heath Building 100 & The Great Commission Hall
Vanguard University
55 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, CA

Featured Speaker:
Sørina Higgins
Editor of The Inklings and King Arthur
Keynote Address: “The Inklings Among Other Arthurs”

Other speakers will explore the Inklings
Merchants of Rare & Exotic Wares will be present 

$5 Admission at the door
Free with student ID
Cosplay is encouraged!

PIF poster

Call For Papers:

In addition to a keynote speech, awards presentations, cosplay, vendors, and festive fellowship, the Pacific Inklings Festival would like to offer its attendees a few select talks by noteworthy Inklings scholars. Therefore, we invite submission of proposals for 5-page papers on the following topics. Please bear in mind that the selection process will be rigorous, as only a few papers will be chosen.

Suggested topics:

  • The Inklings Among Other Moderns: How were Lewis, Tolkien, Williams, Barfield et al engaged in literary dialogue with their “modernist” contemporaries?
  • Bright Drops of Spilled Religion: The Inklings and Romanticism. In what ways did these writers reinvent Romanticism for their own age?
  • Inklings in the Digital Age. How are the works of these writers continuing to survive and thrive as they are adapted into the age of the internet, VR, video games, film franchises, and choose-your-own-adventure TV series?

Please send your proposal to drjimprothero@gmail.com by Feb. 14th, 2019.

Invitation to Vendors:

If you would like to sell your Inklings-related books, art, music, merchandise, etc., at the Pacific Inklings Festival, please contact drjimprothero@gmail.com to make arrangements.

 

 

 

 

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Interview with Sørina Higgins about Charles Williams

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The Inklings and Arthur wins the Mythopoeic Award!

mythoI am utterly astonished and delighted to announce that The Inklings and King Arthur has won the Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Inklings Studies! This is a prestigious award that “is given to books on Tolkien, Lewis, and/or Williams that make significant contributions to Inklings scholarship.” Congratulations to all of my chapter-writers for their amazing work. I am happy to see how this book seems to be opening paths in Inklings scholarship, and I hope that continues.

I would like to acknowledge the other nominees for this year. They were:

  • Chance, Jane, Tolkien, Self and other: This Queer Creature (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016)
  • Coutras, Lisa, Tolkien’s Theology of Beauty: Majesty, Splendor, and Transcendence in Middle-earth (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016)
  • Flieger, Verlyn, There Would Always Be a Fairy Tale: More Essays on Tolkien (Kent State University Press, 2017)
  • Tolkien, Christopher, ed., Beren and Luthien (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017)

And previous winners are a Who’s Who in Inklings Studies; they have included Philip and Carol Zaleski, Grevel Lindop, Verlyn Flieger, Michael Ward, Dimitra Fimi, Diana Pavlac Glyer, Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull, Janet Brennan Croft, John Garth, Michael D. C. Drout, Tom Shippey, Walter Hooper, David C. Downing, Peter J. Schakel and Charles A. Huttar, Douglas A. Anderson, Christopher Tolkien, Glen Cavaliero, Peter J. Schakel, Paul Ford, Humphrey Carpenter, Roger Lancelyn Green, Kathryn Lindskoog, and Clyde Kilby. You can read a complete list of previous winners here. Mighty company indeed!

Here are my acceptance remarks, which were read for me at Mythcon 49:

The word “mythopoeia,” after which this illustrious society was named, evokes a flash of longing in me. It inspires sehnsucht: a yearning for the long-ago and far-away, for the Classical pantheon or Norse heroism, for Romantic landscapes or glimpses of the divine. At the heart of the vast Arthurian legendarium are tales of longing: questing for the Holy Grail, for love, and for true kingship. And there is a kind of sehnsucht or endless deferral in the making of any book: before it, come the hundreds and thousands of books that raised the questions it seeks to answer, but its very answers raise other questions that must be answered in other books, and so on forever. This is especially true of works of literary scholarship, and most definitely is the case with The Inklings and King Arthur. The contributors and I make but one small fellowship in the great company of writers on Arthuriana and on the Inklings, and we are honored to join this prestigious list of so many mentors, role models, sources, colleagues, and friends.

I would like to thank first of all the nominating committee of the Mythopoeic Society for granting this important award to our book. I would also, of course, like to call attention to all of the writers in this book; I believe this is only the fourth time that an edited collection has been the recipient, and all twenty-one authors deserve the credit! Of course, many others were involved in the creation of such a sizable project, and thanks belong to the staff of libraries and archives where we researched, readers who contributed comments and corrections, contributors to the GoFundMe campaign, and friends and colleagues most numerous. As I say in the book: May all these wise and kind people receive passage from the Grey Havens to the port of their heart’s desire.

~ Sørina Higgins

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‘The Chapel of the Thorn’ by Charles Williams {BookTalk}

Here is a vivid, enthusiastic review of “The Chapel of the Thorn.” Enjoy!

A Tolkienist's Perspective

BookTalk is a new series of blog posts, where I discuss non-Tolkien books in concise and honest reviews. Read on dear reader …

_______________________________________________________________________________

The Chapel of the Thorn (cover).png

Having focused my reading habits on the works of Tolkien and Lewis for years now, not to mention acquiring a book or two about the Inklings, I thought it was the right time to dip into some of the works by other members of that literary group.

And what better way to do this than by exploring the somewhat obscure figure of Charles Williams himself?

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Inklings & Arthur photo contest at Mythcon 49!

mythoSo you’re attending Mythcon 49? You’re giving a paper, enjoying talks by the special guests, sporting a fabulous costume at the masquerade, sharing readings and music at the Bardic Circle, playing a late-night game of Golfimbul, watching a performance by the Not-Ready-For-Mythcon Players, soaking up the unforgettable conversations — and of course, admiring copies of The Inklings and King Arthur with its beautiful cover by Emily Austin. There may be swords. There will probably be knights in some kind of cosplay armor. There may even be a Holy Grail. While you’re there, you have a chance to win a signed copy of The Inklings and King Arthur! I am giving away one signed copy of I & A to whomever takes the most clever, creative photo of the book. Here’s the deal: 

  • Get a hold of a copy (legally and kindly!); there will be copies floating around. You can probably borrow one.
  • Take a photo of the book in some cool setting, maybe with a clever visual pun, with or without people, whatever your imagination can dream up.
  • Get permission of any people who appear in the photo for you to use it for this purpose.
  • Post the photo on social media with the hashtag #InklingsAndArthur. If you want, you can tag me, too (@SorinaHiggins). By doing so, you’re giving me permission to re-use it on all my social media channels, websites, and anywhere else I may want to use it for promotion.
  • Please submit only high-quality photos with good lighting and reasonable resolution. Needless to say, keep it decent, appropriate, in good taste, etc.
  • The photo must be taken at Mythcon 49 between July 20th and July 23rd.
  • I will pick out the best photograph based on which I think is the most clever, creative, unusual, cool, etc. I reserve the right to open voting to the public if I think that’s a good idea.
  • 30463274482_90aff8a230_bNote that the prize will go to the photographer of the best picture, not to any subject(s) who may appear in the picture.
  • The winner agrees to provide a domestic U.S. mailing address where I can ship the prize copy (the price of overseas shipping is prohibitive for me).

So have fun! Learn a lot, share a lot, and snap a lot of pictures. I look forward to seeing what beauties you can dream up that involve this lovely book.

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Mythmoot Photo Contest Winners

Congratulations to Tom Hillman, @alas_not_me, for winning first prize for cleverest photo of The Inklings and King Arthur at Mythmoot V! This photo took about four days to set up, because he had to wait until it stopped raining and take the photo with his sword outside the National Conference Center, since bladed weapons are not allowed indoors (Masquerade Ball pics notwithstanding, ahem, ahem). Here is the glorious photo for your enjoyment: 

Tom h

“Whoso pulleth out this sword of this tome and volume is rightwise king born of all Mythmoot.”

And a proud second place goes to Joe Hoffman, aka Calvus Virginicus, @virginicus, for sheer volume of scintillating wit. Enjoy this series of puns, homophones, and general fun!

formal

Proving I studied Formalism with @SorinaHiggins

harrow

The Inklings and Arthur …. Arthur Harrow. 

dent

The Inklings and Arthur, Dent

mina

The Inklings and King Arthur and Mina Harker

harkers

The Inklings and King Arthur and the Harkers

twinklings

The Twinklings and King Arthur

drinklings

The Drinklings and King Arthur

Now, don’t you wish you had been at Mythmoot? Don’t you need to rush out and get a copy of The Inklings and King Arthur? 😉

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The Inklings and King Arthur: Selfies and News

What could be better than a smart scholar’s #InklingsAndArthur selfies? A smart scholar’s #InklingsAndArthur selfies at the Marion W. Wade Center, aka, Narnia Near Chicago! Check this out.

A Pilgrim in Narnia

Since the first call for chapters for The Inklings and King Arthur, this not-so-little book has been on its own adventure. Conference panels, keynote talks, digital round-table discussions, and crowd-sourced funding were all part of a long editorial and publication journey, shepherded all the way by editor Sørina Higgins. The result is a rigorous examination of the theological, literary, historical, and linguistic implications of the Arthurian writings of all the major Inklings: C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, and Owen Barfield. I was pleased to provide one of the chapters, where I used the opportunity to test out some theory stuff I am working on. Specifically, I wrote about how Lewis brings various fictional worlds together in That Hideous Strength (Lewis’ only overt Arthurian novel, and one of the few Inklings pieces of Arthurian fiction to be published when it was written).

While it is not a great…

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Inklings & Arthur photo contest at Mythmoot V!

mythmoot-v-argonathSo you’re attending Mythmoot V: Fantastic Frontiers? You’re giving a paper, enjoying talks by the special guests, sporting your fabulous costume, dancing the night away at the masquerade ball, graduating or cheering the graduates, soaking up the unforgettable conversations — and of course, admiring copies of The Inklings and King Arthur with its beautiful cover by Emily Austin. There will be swords. There will probably be knights in some kind of cosplay armor. There may even be a Holy Grail. While you’re there, you have a chance to win a signed copy of The Inklings and King Arthur! I am giving away one signed copy of I & A to whomever takes the most clever, creative photo of the book. Here’s the deal: 

  • Get a hold of a copy (legally and kindly!); there will be copies for sale at the conference, and several people will be bringing theirs. You can probably borrow one.
  • Take a photo of the book in some cool setting, maybe with a clever visual pun, with or without people, whatever your imagination can dream up.
  • Get permission of any people who appear in the photo for you to use it for this purpose.
  • Post the photo on social media with the hashtag #InklingsAndArthur. If you want, you can tag me, too (@SorinaHiggins). By doing so, you’re giving me permission to re-use it on all my social media channels, websites, and anywhere else I may want to use it for promotion.
  • Please submit only high-quality photos with good lighting and reasonable resolution. Needless to say, keep it decent, appropriate, in good taste, etc.
  • The photo must be taken at Mythmoot V between June 21st and June 24th.
  • I will pick out the best photograph based on which I think is the most clever, creative, unusual, cool, etc. I reserve the right to open voting to the public if I think that’s a good idea.
  • 30463274482_90aff8a230_bNote that the prize will go to the photographer of the best picture, not to any subject(s) who may appear in the picture.
  • The winner agrees to provide a domestic U.S. mailing address where I can ship the prize copy (the price of overseas shipping is prohibitive for me).

So have fun! Learn a lot, share a lot, and snap a lot of pictures. I look forward to seeing what beauties you can dream up that involve this lovely book.

Posted in Arthuriana, News | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Inklings & Arthur Shortlisted for Mythopoeic Award

I am honored and delighted to announce that The Inklings and King Arthur has been shortlisted for the Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Inklings Studies! This prize is given to books on J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and/or Charles Williams that makes significant contributions to Inklings scholarship. I am pleased that all the hard, forward-thinking work of my chapter-writers in this book has been acknowledged and appreciated. We are also in illustrious company; the other nominees are:

  • mythoChance, Jane, Tolkien, Self and other: This Queer Creature (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016)
  • Coutras, Lisa, Tolkien’s Theology of Beauty: Majesty, Splendor, and Transcendence in Middle-earth (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016)
  • Flieger, Verlyn, There Would Always Be a Fairy Tale: More Essays on Tolkien (Kent State University Press, 2017)
  • Tolkien, Christopher, ed., Beren and Luthien (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017)

You might also like to look over the list of previous nominees and winners, as it provides a kind of Who’s Who of Inklings studies and a handy picture of the evolution of the field.

The winners of this year’s awards will be announced during Mythcon 49, to be held July 20-23, 2018, in Atlanta, Georgia. Are you going to Mythcon this year?

Posted in Arthuriana, News | Tagged , , | 5 Comments