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The Mystery of C.S. Lewis’s First Short Story

December 12, 2012

If you love detective stories, C.S. Lewis, the short story and unanswered questions then LIGHT: C.S. Lewis’s First and Final Short Story by Charles W. Starr with a forward by Walter Hooper (2012, Winged Lion Press) is for you. The book begins with the discovery of a hand written manuscript in the hands of a London bookseller who refused to reveal the source of the document in the 1980’s. It explores the earlier published version of the story titled THE MAN BORN BLIND and the comments of Lewis’s friends about the timing and context of the writing. The issues of particular inconsistencies are explored including a rather fascinating section on the history of pens and ink types avi=ailable in Oxford over the decades. The author Charlie Starr a professor of English and Humanitites at Kentucky Christian University explores the theme of light in lewis’ other writings in an attempt to explain and “illuminate” the philosophical and theological meaning of the story.Chapter 9 includes a side by side parallel of both early and late versions of the story with copious notes and annotation An Appendix and picture round out the physical description of the manuscript. This is must reading for anyone seriously interested in following the ongoing discussion of Lewis scholarship. The notes and citations make it fit for a seasoned scholar but by focusing on the body of the work it is accessable to any interested fan of Lewis. The book is part of an ongoing series devoted to “Inkling and Friends” manuscripts to b published every two years. I intend to keep my eyes open for other books in the series from Taylor University.

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