Lewis on Williams

I was looking up mentions of Williams in Lewis' letters, and came across one which was amusing, and another which is very insightful, I think. The amusing one was telling his brother Warnie about an evening he spent with Tolkien, Wrenn, and Williams. He says, Wrenn almost seriously expressed a strong wish to burn Williams, or at least maintained that conversation with Williams enabled him to understand how inquisitors had felt it right to burn people. Tolkien and I agreed afterwards that we just knew what he meant: that as some people at school..... are eminently kickable, so Williams is eminently combustible. "

The other, 4 months later in 1940, commented on a lecture CW had given, I think at Oxford, on chastity. In the middle of a fascinating paragraph describing CW's lecture, Lewis said, "I have at last, if only for once, seen a university doing what it was founded to do: teaching Wisdom." I realised that this does sum up for me the kernel of Williams' writings: wisdom. That must be why they are so lapped up by those who do try them; the difficulties of understanding are worth overcoming, if one can just get to the nub and taste that wonderful wisdom, the wisdom from above, "from the Father of lights".

Would others agree with me that this may be the secret of CW's writings?

Carolyn Janson

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