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The Fame of C. S. LewisA Controversialist's Reception in Britain and America$
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Stephanie L. Derrick

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198819448

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198819448.001.0001

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C. S. Lewis, Ulster Contrarian

C. S. Lewis, Ulster Contrarian

(p.11) 1 C. S. Lewis, Ulster Contrarian
The Fame of C. S. Lewis

Stephanie L. Derrick

Oxford University Press

Lewis had many reasons for writing broadly accessible works, which trace back to his childhood in Belfast. His was a Romantic philosophy of literature, with deeply held convictions about authors, audiences, and art. But it was also a reactionary stance to the intellectual culture of his day: he resented the elitism and faddishness of high modernism and its ‘difficult’ literature. During the Second World War he assented to the many requests made of him to address the ‘Everyman’ of Britain. His work as a ‘translator’, converting Christian dogma into truths that everyday people could understand, was very much in keeping with what other Christians were attempting at the time. Having achieved fame with his BBC broadcasts and The Screwtape Letters, Lewis turned his thoughts to what he might achieve for the next generation. The Chronicles of Narnia were in part an answer to cultural changes in post-war Britain.

Keywords:   literary modernism, classics designation, Decadent movement, BBC, British literary canon, Romanticism, Everyman, religious broadcasting, Christian apologetics, Narnia origins

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