I’d never been to the kilns except through the descriptions given by Ryan Pemberton in Called. To stand in the home of the prolific Lewis whose writing I have come to value greatly in the last year of studies was a treat. I do not over-value the relics of history, especially those like the restored home of the kilns, but I learned today that the house itself is completely renewed (but for one doorknob) and refurbished through an American institution which uses wardens (my own prof. Dr. Michael ward being an aptly named one), to keep the house from the time of its restoration to today. I like this. Rather than it being a museum or shrine to a man, it is a working breathing, living house of productive study. This is phenomenal.
I must not forget to mention the tea we had though! I daresay it beat out yesterday’s or at least equaled it, but perhaps there was a modifier being in Lewis’s home, listening to dr. Holly Ordway’s lecture on the definition of fantasy and secondary belief within the context of Tolkien’s work, which was I know was a great influence upon her and her conversion experience from her memoir not god’s type. Where was this model when I was teaching “the history of fantasy” lesson to my arts and technology grad students at UT Dallas? I will need to update that presentation should I teach that curriculum again someday when I take up professoring again! Dr. Kirkpatrick’s lecture focused on Lewis’s treatment of thick and clear religions, with special appearances by Bacchus and Mr. Tumnus the satyr (Lewis uses “fawn”) I had not considered as images of the classical in Narnia. My take-away opinion of the satyr (specifically pan) as “horny bard” played well with the discussion, but I refrained from being overly gratuitous in the context. It turns out I needn’t have worried, in fact the discussion turned precisely to the use of “adult content” in apologetic literature, and we were reminded that the bible is not rated g, or even PG-13 really, but a good solid R. Lewis’s use of the image works on multiple levels I hadn’t considered.
(Author’s Note: perhaps the point is this: How much of Lewis would we have without Warnie? Without Tolkien? Without the inklings? Impossible to know.)