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1st Anniversary of C.S. Lewis Minute

September 19, 2012

One year ago today I officially launched the C.S. Lewis Minute. It began with releasing a new blog entry (and podcast) each day for ten weekdays. In addition to the regular feature, I’ve grown to add interviews with authors of books by Lewis or had content online about Lewis worth noting.

While I’ve including that other material, I felt the best way to celebrate my first anniversary would be to present the top three CSL Minutes from the past year (that is, exclude the interviews and extra posts that were not podcasts). Determining this was a little tricky because I only counted the stats for visits to the actually article and not when the home page was visited on a particular day.

Be sure to tell me what your favorite (or favorites) posts were from the last year by leaving a comment below.

#1: Four Causes of Laughter

    Listen to as PODCAST: LMr23 – Four Laughs 

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Lewis once wrote a book about four loves, but have you heard of his four types of laughter?

In the 11th of The Screwtape Letters Lewis describes what he believes are the four causes of laughter. The first that doesn’t do hell any good is “Joy.” In fact, Screwtape fails to even understand it. “Fun” is another source of laughter, but Wormwood is told it isn’t of much use unless it keeps a person from doing something more important.

“The Joke Proper” and “Flippancy” are the final possible causes of laughter. Each holds much promise for the devil’s purpose. The former can effectively destroy shame and the latter, an advance form of “The Joke Proper,” is very economical because a serious subject is made funny, but only indirectly.

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#2: Puddleglum

    Listen to as PODCAST: LMR14-Puddleglum 

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There are so many memorable characters in The Chronicles of Narnia it seems unfair to pick just one, even when you exclude most of the main characters.

While I could obviously choose a favorite from among the key players in the Narnia stories, looking past them Puddleglum from The Silver Chair stands out in my mind. You remember him, don’t you? He’s the Marsh-wiggle who guides Jill and Eustace in their adventures to locate and rescue Prince Rilian.

But that’s not the reason millions love him…it’s his pessimistic view throughout the story that makes him enduring. But don’t forget, according to Puddleglum himself, his fellow Marsh-wiggles accuse him of wearing rose-colored glasses! Interestingly, Lewis modeled him after his real life gardener, Fred Paxford.

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#3: The Shoddy Lands

    Listen to as PODCAST: LM0041-Shoddy Lands 

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Lewis is known for various fictional works, especially his stories of Narnia. But I bet you didn’t know he also wrote about “The Shoddy Lands.”

During Lewis’ lifetime only two of his short stories were published. One of them, “The Shoddy Lands” was in a  issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. It is also reprinted in Of Other Worlds.

In the story, a student visits his former tutor, who has brought along his fiancée, Peggy. Then, the tutor, who is also the narrator, is taken away to another land where nearly eve­rything is nondescript. The key exception is what turns out to be a giant version of Peggy.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Alex W permalink
    September 19, 2012 10:50 am

    Dear William: Thanks for these messages, particularly the one about The Shoddy Lands. I have long wished to discuss it, but it seems to be rather neglected by those writing about Lewis. I think the tutor reflects, at least partially, Lewis himself; and he is not entirely happy with how he comes off in this story, as well as revealing somethings lacking in Peggy’s mind. And the two figures at the end, trying to break into Peggy’s self-centeredness are her fiance, the former student, and God himself.

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