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The C.S. Lewis Hoax de Kathryn Ann Lindskoog
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The C.S. Lewis Hoax (1988 original; edició 1988)

de Kathryn Ann Lindskoog (Autor)

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1333170,374 (3.1)1
Títol:The C.S. Lewis Hoax
Autors:Kathryn Ann Lindskoog (Autor)
Informació:Multnomah Pub (1988), 175 pages
Col·leccions:From Scott's Library, La teva biblioteca

Informació de l'obra

The C.S. Lewis Hoax de Kathryn Ann Lindskoog (1988)

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Es mostren totes 3
I sent two letters back in autumn, you must not-a got em
There probably was a problem at the post office or somethin
Sometimes I scribble addresses too sloppy when I jot em

What if the man who claimed to be C.S Lewis’s secretary and companion, the man who got control of a large part of the Lewis legacy, who claimed to own various “lost” essays and stories that were rescued from a bonfire after Lewis’s death, was pretty much lying about all of that and has perpetuated a strange, expensive, long term con on twentieth century Western literature?

The book comes off as a little anal and obsessive, but you’d have to be a bit of both in order to have caught this scam. You’d have to be willing and able to pour through hundreds of papers, interview elderly people in two countries, puzzle out calendar dates, write letters and wait for a response and know the author very well and his writing inside and out. It takes an obsesed fan to smoke out an obsessed fan.

What she found is both infuriating and also, pure hilarious crack.

"Meanwhile, Lewis and I became more intimate, and finally he asked me to become his companion-secretary and I moved into his house," Walter Hooper says.

How to Become a Creepy Gay Stalker In Ten Easy Lessons. Hooper was even copying Lewis's handwriting.

My girlfriends jealous cause I talk about you 24/7
But she dont know you like I know you slim, no one does

There is a bizarre story related involving a man named Anthony Marchington, who wrote a letter to an academic journal claiming he was an Oxford professor and could prove that there was no bonfire. Except…he was no professor, and in fact, he was the former roommate of Walter Hooper. Lindskoog believes Marchington wrote the letter to draw her out, and get her to embarrass herself supporting his claim, at which point he would refute it publically and make her look like a fool. He and Hooper were still friends, and Marchington appears ias an actor n Hooper’s “documentary” biopic of C.S Lewis. It’s all so bizarre and creepy.

And you though internet fandom was the only place that had sock puppets. I think that's why I don't have to ask "why would Hooper do such a thing?" I'm not surprised at the lengths an obsessed fan will go to in order to be close to their idol or be admired and get attention from other fans. On Fanficrants recently there was a woman who started a flame war with her own sock puppet just, apparently, to get attention.

If there's money involved, there's no end to what an obsessed fan will do.

You know the song by phil collins, in the air of the night
About that guy who coulda saved that other guy from drowning
But didnt, then phil saw it all, then at a a show he found him?

Not only did Lewis possibly not write the majority of this “Lost” material and was never really friends with Walter Hooper, but there probably wasn’t ever a bonfire to rescue the papers from.

There are examples of the so called “lost” stories and then very well reasoned arguments against these pieces being entirely by Lewis, using Lindskoog’s knowledge of Lewis and his writing style.

I’ve written some good stuff, some mediocre stuff and some very, very terrible stuff. But the one thing they all have in common is that you can tell I wrote them. I have a voice, and a way of choosing words, punctuating, words I use too often and ones I would never use. I know how not to sound like myself but other people don’t know how to authentically sound like me-they’d have to be a seriously better writer than me to fool people into thinking I wrote something I didn’t write. Whoever “finished” these C.S Lewis stories was a much worse writer than Lewis. Everyone has off days and everyone has awkward first drafts, it’s not that the pieces aren’t as good as they could be or even kinda embarrassing, it’s that they don’t read like he wrote them.

They don’t even read like any old literature professor at Oxford wrote them, let alone one of the most celebrated authors of the twentieth century. Whoever really wrote these stories makes writing errors I wouldn’t make. Not only are they not in his style, no professionally trained fiction writer would write like that. Well, no one who expected to be taken seriously. If someone hadn’t claimed they were by Lewis they would never have been published (people are willing to forgive and overlook a lot from famous authors and I guess the desire for more material from him muddled people’s senses).

What worries me the most is the fact that there are weirdly edited versions of his books floating around out there. Not the stuff that “came to light” after his death, I’m talking about the classic ones like The Screwtape Letters. It seems that there is an edition of Screwtape out there that has been mucked with. It means people I know, lots of people I know, may have read the wrong book, even paid money for it, and have gone through their lives thinking they know this story and they don’t. Even though I still haven’t actually read Screwtape this only feeds my occasional paranoid insistence that I must be reading different Lewis books than a large percentage of other people.
cue spooky music

That’s more unsettling than my other theory, which is that people just don’t pay attention when they read and try to write serious articles on books they haven’t cracked in years and go charging off on the basis of opinions they didn’t find in the books but formulated before they even started reading. No, I don’t mean the author of The C.S Lewis Hoax, I mean other people. They probably wouldn’t be so easily fooled if they paid as much attention as she did.

Walter Hooper reminds me of Shift in The Last Battle, even though that was written before any of this happened (coincidence, or was Lewis oddly psychic about the last years of his life?). Perhaps Warnie is Puzzle. Marchington has to be the Cat, right?

There are some other things that don’t really have a lot of to do with the scam but I want to comment on them anyway. As for the letters containing his “sado masochistic” fantasies… I am willing to bet actual money that whatever is in those letters is not as bad as stuff I cheerfully share with the public on a semi regular basis. But I still don't really want to know.

When I read the description of Mrs. Moore, I thought “Jadis”. Just a bit Jadislike. Which is doubly funny because the Jadislike character in A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray is named Miss Moore. Alright, it’s not that funny. Whatever. And as for Joy, well, you know how much of a Eustace/Jill shipper I’ve always been.

Final thought: Would Lindskoog face nearly as much angry criticism if she was a man? ( )
5 vota babydraco | Aug 6, 2008 |
The Authorized Version goes like this.

Shortly after C.S. Lewis's death in 1964, his grieving brother Major Warren Lewis (hereafter "Warnie") built a bonfire of his brother's papers in the garden of their home, "The Kilns". Reams of documents, official and personal, fed the flames for two days, until on the third day the family's gardener, Fred Paxford, grew uncomfortable at the sheer waste and humbly requested permission to save a pile of documents for a young man who might be interested in them. As luck would have it, that very man - an American by the name of Walter Hooper - visited "The Kilns" purely by chance that evening, to be told that if he didn't take the papers then and there, Warnie would send them to the same fiery end as the rest. Hooper managed to save two large trunks' worth and transported them back to his lodgings, where he found amongst other works an unfinished novel and some of Lewis' juvenilia. This he kept solely to himself for ten years: though Hooper used the publication of Lewis' "Poems" to announce himself as Lewis' "secretary-companion" the next year, the first anyone else ever heard of the extent of this remarkable if scorched treasure-trove was in 1974, after Warnie's death, when Hooper released Lewis' unfinished novel "The Dark Tower" for publication.

And that, dear readers, is the Official Approved Version of how Walter Hooper came to be in possession of these works of Lewis'. Lindskoog treats this version with outright disbelief, and it's hard not to find it a remarkably convenient story that gives Hooper the ability to produce anything from his hidden pile and claim it as genuine Lewis. A decade later, when questioned, Paxford denied such a bonfire ever took place - strange behaviour for the man who heroically saved Lewis' creative works from destruction! (Also notice the motif of "on the third day" - a literary-theological artifice, as I live and breathe.)

Even if one believes the quasi-miraculous story of the bonfire, one cannot deny how Walter Hooper managed to inflate his reputation, after Lewis's death, from a mere "Lewis fan" into C.S. Lewis's "secretary, associate and intimate friend". Lindskoog shows clearly how Hooper's association with C. S. Lewis occupied only a couple of months in the last year of Lewis' life; that Hooper never lives with both brothers at "The Kilns" as he claimed; and that his attempts to get closer to Warnie in 1964 were rejected by the older man. What followed was the subtle substitution of "Walter" for "Warnie", as Hooper managed to write himself into every official history of Lewis' life as his closest companion. Consider this quote from Hooper, (Lindskoog, p.126):

"Looking back, I find it hard to understand why Jack was so very kind to me. He was so vastly superior to me that this fact - being known to both of us - may have made it easy for him to see me as a friend, perhaps, as he said to Mrs Miller, 'the son I should have had'."

According to Lindskoog, Miller "hotly denied" that Lewis had ever said that of Hooper (p. 144) Lindskoog also questions the veracity of the manuscript-fragment "The Dark Tower"; Hooper's declaration that "for religious as well as physical reasons, Lewis' marriage was not consummated" (quoted in Lindskoog, p.92); and Hooper's taste in presenting Warnie to the world at large as a sad, incapable alcoholic.

Some of Lindskoog's own allegations don't always hit the mark (the allegation that Hooper is homosexual, for instance, falls in the "So what?" category). One thing, however, has quite substantial force, and that's her allegation that the photographer Douglas Gilbert took photos of the Lewis juvenilia notebooks, including the story "Boxen", whilst visiting "The Kilns" in 1974. Shortly after that, Warnie died, and the documents in his collection were sent to the designated recipient in his will: the Wade Center in Illinois. However, the notebooks containing "Boxen" were not amongst them. It was not until 1985 that Walter Hooper published the story of "Boxen", claiming that two of these notebooks were given to him by C.S. Lewis in 1963, and that the other two were rescued from the famous bonfire in 1964.

How can "Boxen" have been both in Hooper's possession since 1963-64 AND in Warnie's possession, and photographed by Douglas Gilbert, in 1974? The mind boggles - and, until one can explain that little oddity away, one should be wary of dismissing Lindskoog's conclusions out of hand. ( )
10 vota bibliotheque | Jan 28, 2007 |
This book is good, good for a laugh. While she seems to be well intentioned, Lindskoog's "scholarship" is ridiculous. I call her "LindsKOOK," because it's all so strange and far-fetched. ( )
  Hello_Drennan | Jul 4, 2006 |
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It is almost always worth while to be cheated;
   people's little frauds have an interest
which more than repays what they cost us.

     Logan Pearsall Smith, Afterthoughts (1931)
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To Pauline Baynes,
C. S. Lewis's Chosen Illustrator,
Herself an Illustration of the Art of Living
Primeres paraules
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FOREWORD [by Joe R. Christopher]
Although this book is written in an entertaining way for a broad spectrum of readers, it springs from serious scholarship.
C. S. Lewis (1898-1963) is undoubtedly our century's most popular and beloved Christian author.
Darreres paraules
Nota de desambiguació
Editor de l'editorial
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