Sunday, February 03, 2019

Fortnightly Book, February 3

I decided I'd do the novels of Charles Williams this year; it won't be very difficult. I've already done Many Dimensions (1931), so that just leaves six novels, and I'll start off with War in Heaven (1930) and The Place of the Lion (1931).

Each of the novels has a gimmick. War in Heaven has the Holy Graal, as Williams spells it, which serves as the locus for a battle against good and evil, as a dark conspiracy discovers that the Graal has been hidden in an English village church. The Place of the Lion, which in college was one of my favorite books, uses the Platonic Ideas -- archetypal manifestations (Virtues and Angelicals are the terms he uses) of Ideas like Beauty, Subtlety, Strength, Mercy, and Knowledge, begin bleeding into the mundane world, and thus threaten it with destruction, because all things tend toward union with their archetype.

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