Last year Sørina Higgins wrote a guest blog for A Pilgrim in Narnia on Charles Williams. She has now launched “The Oddest Inkling,” a blog dedicated to this enigmatic, entrancing individual. Here’s her first post, with best wishes.
Charles Walter Stansby Williams (1886-1945) is the unjustly neglected third member of the Inklings, after C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. He was a British poet, novelist, literary critic, editor, lecturer, biographer, Anglican Christian, and occult master. This strange mix makes him The Oddest Inkling, and this blog exists to discuss CW’s life, works, ideas, oddities, and excellencies.
There is no other literature quite like that by Charles Williams: his writings are startling, convoluted, beautiful, unpredictable, and obscure. Their obscurity is partly due to his love of esoteric allusions, partly to his creation of a layered mythology, and partly to his sinewy syntax. Thomas Howard calls his sentence structure “agile”; I call it “labyrinthine.” Every sentence is thrilling, dangerous, sinuous, and demanding.
By all accounts, Williams himself was like his writing: charismatic, saintly, loquacious, and inspiring—but complex and confusing. He was a passionate teacher, explicating texts clearly with…
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Thank you for sharing this! My husband has been trying to get me to read “War in Heaven.” Now I can see why.
I’m new to Williams, myself. I’m going to read In the Place of the Lion this summer, then Descent into Hell
I hope you do read it, Susan — and let me know what you think, please.
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