In C. S. Lewis and Christian Postmodernism, Kyoko Yuasa has managed to advance the cause of careful reading and discussion of Lewis’s novels as contemporary cultural artifacts, rather than mere ciphers for apologetics or mere fluff for children, for both Japanese and American audiences. This is no mean feat, not only in terms of translation but also in terms of trans-Pacific discourse, and Yuasa deserves great credit for the accomplishment. Her close reading of several of Lewis’s major fiction works in a comparative frame she derives from works by Iris Murdoch, Muriel Spark, Doris Lessing, and John Fowles yields insights into the experimental character of much of Lewis’s fiction. Yuasa convincingly suggests that Lewis not only creatively employed a wide variety of very modern forms to resist both literary and theological Modernism but also wrestled with and strove to include in his fiction the voices of the powerful women who are so present in his biography and so conspicuously absent from many discussions of his apologetics. If her claim that the texts Lewis left us evince a “Christian postmodernism” of which he is a major philosopher ultimately falls flat, it does so in the grand tradition of English letters, leaving behind like so many arched windows and paving-stones a set of claims that future readers of Lewis will want to contemplate.
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Mythcon 52: The Mythic, the Fantastic, and the Alien
Albuquerque, New Mexico; July 29 - August 1, 2022