I recently read a blog post at the Circe Institute site written by Sarah Mackenzie about how to fill your soul. She talked about a few ways on how you could fill yourself up but the one that caught my attention was the one on having a literary mentor. Last year Sarah read all things Chesterton. She filled herself up with his thoughts, his words, his theology, and his writing style. This year her mentor is Elizabeth Goudge. I have been thinking about this ever since I read the post. a few weeks ago. The more I thought of it, the more I grew to like it. But whom to choose?
Well, that was an easy question for me to answer. I have always been enamored with C.S.Lewis. I have read most of his fiction and have tried to tackle his non-fiction but have not always been successful at that. I tried to read Mere Christianity about 8 years ago but I had to set it aside because I could not understand it all. Abolition of Man? Well, I finished it but I am fairly certain that I did not grasp all of its goodness. I have wanted to revisit those books and attempt more for a few years now but my overfilling book pile has stood in my way.
The thought of having C.S.Lewis as a literary mentor for a year; a year to delve deep into his thoughts, his words, his life, well, that just makes my heart tingle.
I wondered, though, which books to tackle first. I went to the place where I always do for help on big and literary decisions: Classed. I have talked about this group before, it is a small online group of women attempting to provide their children with a classical education. I have been a member of this group for 11 years and have come to admire these women for their wisdom on just about any topic. So I shared my plans with Jack and asked for any suggestions of books that they thought I should definitely read. I was thrilled with all of the thoughts, enthusiasm and book suggestions that flowed my way through these women. Not only did I get recommendations on books by Lewis but I was given suggestions on books about Lewis, lecture sets about him and plays as well. I came to see through accumulating all of these suggestions that picking Jack as my literary mentor was the right choice. One huge but practical suggestion was to start reading his earlier books and then make my way through them chronogically so I can see his maturity as a thinker, a writer and as a human being.
I am excited to see what this year will bring as I embark on this literary journey. I am hoping that I can blog my way through it. I have chosen to read The Great Divorce first. This is not one of his earlier books but it was one that I had already owned plus it is written in story form so I thought I should start my journey with an easier book and then work my way up. There was another suggestion to read An Experiment in Criticism in the beginning so that I could understand his thinking regarding literature so I have begun that as well and, Oh. My. Goodness! I came upon a spine tingling discovery. I am going to write about that in another post because that discovery deserves its own space.
I am honored and pleased to be able to spend the next year with Jack, my literary mentor.
Did I already mention that I am excited about this journey?