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Charles Williams

We promised more literary comments even though we fear that they're not very popular. Most of our readers appear to enjoy the current events commentary more, which is fine, since we like providing it.

Nonetheless, we promised literary references, so we're going to post them, at least on Saturdays, when our traffic drops by half compared to the weekdays. After all, a little diversity never hurt anybody (unless you're looking for a job in the public sector or trying to get into grad school).

Writing in the most-recent issue of Gilbert Magazine, Art Livingston provides insight into that odd fiction writer, Charles Williams:

Williams became "remembered mostly for being the third Inkling, after [C.S.] Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. In other words, he lives largely as a footnote to the careers of the other two, although many who are familiar with his work consider him their equal, and his influence runs so deep that some of his imagery is the source for much of the imagery in Eliot's Four Quartets, among others."

Williams' "dabbling in the occult allowed him, once he became thoroughly orthodox in Christian doctrine, a penetrating understanding of evil without ever descending into gnosticism (unlike W.B. Yeats, whose thought became merely muddled)."

"Perhaps the one central idea that will help the newcomer gain entry into his world is the oft-repeated line, 'This also is Thou: neither is this Thou.' Everything we experience through the senses is part of God, because all is God who is Being itself; but, no one thing or collection of things is God in his essence. The former part of the statement alone is pantheism; the latter alone is idolatrous. As in G.K. Chesterton, the great truths must be maintained paradoxically lest we fall into heresy."