Whiskerino 2009

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  • posted: November 29 @ 12:20am
Clive Staples Lewis, otherwise known as "C.S. Lewis" or "Jack," was born on November 29, 1898, 111 years ago today.

Jack was from Ireland, though many conceive of him as an Englishman, since he spent much of his life in England, and spent much of his better days in Oxford.

Jack is perhaps best known for his delightful seven volume Chronicles of Narnia series, slightly warped in theaters (though, quite enjoyable). Jack is also well known for his theological reflections, captured in such books as The Problem of Pain and Mere Christianity.

A hero of mine, I was thrilled beyond belief to track down his old haunts in Oxford back in May of this year. I walked out of his home, The Kilns, totally giddy and giggling down the street after having received a one-on-one private tour of the residence, still occupied by Oxford students. I sat at the Eagle and Child, where he and J.R.R. Tolkien and friends smoked and chatted and shared their stories, and wrote. I went across the street to the Lamb and Flag, their plan B pub, and wrote a technical report. It may not have been as captivating as the tales of Tolkien and Lewis, but I felt empowered to write in the hallowed walls where they once delighted in ale, story, and conversation.

While this photograph is fairly weak in composition, its inspiration is not weak. Jack was a professor of literature, and a wise one at that. He once wrote an introduction to a translation of the book, On the Incarnation, by the great Athanasius, who lived nearly 1600 years before Jack.

In the introduction, Jack wrote:

"I believe that many who find that 'nothing happens' when they sit down, or kneel down, to a book of devotion, would find that the heart sings unbidden while they are working their way through a tough bit of theology with a pipe in their teeth and a pencil in their hand."

In this photograph, I have a stack of books by Jack, as well as a stack of Anglican theological works, reflective of the national church he belonged to. Additionally, I have a pencil in my hand and a pipe between my teeth. Opened before me is a collection of St. Athanasius's works, in particular, his famous "On the Incarnation," for which Jack wrote the foreword.

This is particularly fitting, in that my name is Jamey Athanasius William Bennett, and I am in part named after the great St. Athanasius, defender of the faith.

Memory eternal grant unto Clive Staples Lewis, O Lord.

I would "clame" some of the photos from my time in Oxford, but sadly, all of my digital photos were accidentally erased only a few days after leaving Oxford.

Comments

Just Jamey says:
CLAME for the full text of the introduction to De Incarnatione Verbi Dei by St. Athanasius.
Posted: Nov 29th, 2009 - 12:22am -
Just Jamey says:
CLAME for the Wikipedia article on Lewis.
Posted: Nov 29th, 2009 - 12:22am -
MrMaggie says:
love this tribute, certainly well deserved.
Posted: Nov 29th, 2009 - 12:49am -
Just Jamey says:
My friend Thomas Coghlan just pointed out that Bilbo Baggins, of Tolkien fame, celebrated his 111th birthday party. How much more fitting is this occasion!
Posted: Nov 29th, 2009 - 1:26am -
Johnny Rebellious says:
well done sir
Posted: Nov 29th, 2009 - 2:32am -
Ozzy Nelson says:
I admire the work that goes into photos like this.
Very good work.
Posted: Nov 29th, 2009 - 6:43am -
brobro says:
very nice. a couple of my favs are Till We Have Faces and The Great Divorce.
Posted: Nov 29th, 2009 - 8:18am -
jnonfiction says:
Loving tribute to a fantastic Apologist.
Posted: Nov 29th, 2009 - 11:15am -
brandon says:
Love people who love CS Lewis.
Posted: Nov 29th, 2009 - 5:29pm -
The Despot says:
this is so rad. lewis is a favorite of mine, so this is informative and refreshing.
Posted: Nov 29th, 2009 - 5:46pm -
ThatGuy says:
Greatness.
Posted: Nov 29th, 2009 - 7:14pm -
Furricane says:
pipefaved.
Posted: Nov 29th, 2009 - 7:45pm -
J-Ho says:
This is intensely informative!
Posted: Nov 29th, 2009 - 10:37pm -
c dub says:
excellent! thanks for commenting on my pic. i will be following your shots from here on out : )

now, the moon splitting part marked the relevance to my shot?
Posted: Nov 30th, 2009 - 12:08am -
chaddo says:
rock on!
but is that a corncob pipe?
Posted: Dec 3rd, 2009 - 1:21pm -
chaddo says:
also is that a homebrew on the table?
Posted: Dec 3rd, 2009 - 1:22pm -
Just Jamey says:
@chaddo Thanks. It's actually a mirscham pipe. And, sadly, that is not homebrew, but it is from the Hilo microbrewery, Mehana. I don't have any homebrew ready to drink right now. I've been slacking. I've got the ingredients for 5 batches of beer, though!
Posted: Dec 6th, 2009 - 12:08am -
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