Saturday, January 06, 2007

C. S. Lewis on Lings and Guénon

The following was peviously posted on the old addenda page.

As an undergraduate student at Oxford in 1931, Martin Lings studied under C. S. Lewis, who at first thought very highly of his talents as a poet. By 1932, Lings had become a friend of the Lewis family.

In 1937, having discovered Guénon, Lings sent Lewis three of Guénon's books. Lewis, who had experienced his "reconversion" to Christianity in 1931, was not impressed. In a letter to to a friend of his own generation, Lewis wrote that that Lings was "trying to convert me to Hindooism," and described Guénon as "as obvious a quack as ever I smelled out." "The more one sees the confusion in which young men's minds grow up now-a-days," lamented Lewis, "the more cause we have to be thankful on our own part."

The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume 2, ed. Walter Hooper, pp. 24, 90, and 204. My thanks to Gene McGovern for drawing my attention to this.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting...I had quick search online and in this letter to his friend, CS Lewis also mentions that he has responded to Lings...wonder if anyone has a copy of that letter...would make interesting reading, I'm sure!