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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

cover of The Christian Imagination

A collection of essays on literature, reading, writing, and creativity. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the essays. It also includes short pieces by several of the authors whose work Sapphire and I read already-- such people as Annie Dillard, C. S. Lewis, George MacDonald, Madeleine L'Engle, J. R. R. Tolkien, G. K. Chesterton, and many others. The book was very thought-provoking, although it was sometimes more enlightening by the ways I reacted against the opinions in the book and the things I disagreed with.

Each section is comprised of two or three longer essays and sometimes one or two very short (2-3 pages) "viewpoints", usually excerpted from other works; certain sections also include an introduction or statement from the editor. Some of the sections also include "reflections" on the topic of the section, in the form of quotes from many different people on the topic at hand (for instance, on the joy of reading). Interspersed throughout the essays are also relevant quotations from a wide variety of sources. The sections are as follows: A Christian Philosophy of Literature; Imagination, Beauty, & Creativity; To Teach and Delight; The Christian Writer; The Christian Reader; State of the Art: Success and Failure in Current Christian Fiction and Poetry; Realism; Myth & Fantasy; Poetry; Narrative.

Lots of food for thought and for the imagination here. New authors that I'd like to read, familiar authors that I'd like to read more of. One thing I particularly liked & remember: I felt like I "fit" C. S. Lewis' description of the "good reader"-- among other things, good readers re-read books (because you get different things out of them at different times in your life).

Title:The Christian Imagination
Author:Leland Ryken (editor)
Date published:2002
Number of pages:464
Notes:Christmas present from Mom a couple of years ago.


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