1. The historical C.S. Lewis (“Lewis” hereafter) whoever he may have been, and assuming that he existed in concrete history and actually authored those texts which now bear his name, can only have meaning and should only be known and visaged through his reception in popular consciousness as the evangelico-theologian par excellence, the one residing in the bema seat of pseudo-papacy among those anti-clericalists.
2. To the extent that the category of ‘interesting’ – that border between the aesthetic and the ethical which Silent John biddably pontificated – still maintains in our culture of spineless narcissism, Lewis, anecdotes about Lewis, appeals the Lewis’s trilemma, references to any of Lewis’s works by way of paraphrase, quotation, etc, (Mere Christianity notwithstanding), discussion of the Inklings, appeals to the authority of the Inklings, or to Lewis’s (uncourageous, inconclusive, and impoverished) universalism, or, God-forbid, Lewis’s apologetics must be responded to with a magnanimous and resounding and definitive ‘NO’.
3. Lewis is defined by the Feuerbachian self-projection fetishization impressions of white male evangelical Christians.
4. As a defendant of the capital punishment and advocate of violence, albeit in discriminate circumstances (akin to Thielickian “Boundary Situations,” though his odorous British sanctity would never permit a condescension to such Lutheran Philistinism), and one who emarginated a perceived monolithic and cowardly pacifism by way of an overextended patriotic machismo, Lewis,sub specie aeternitatis, inversely subjugated himself to the deserts of those he would guillotine, though such incurvatus in se miraculously did not supervene upon his literary imagination, as it was compartmentalized and thus immunized from becoming macabre vignettes reflecting his violent self-incurred minority
5. Whatever one makes of the mephitic lionization of Lewis the thinker, his novels, those fables capped with a dimestore Christian patina, those creatures who he disfigures, cutting out their eyes and removing their limbs, in order that they might fit into the Procrustean bed of a garden variety Jesus, those creatures alone are the undoing of the Lewis myth.
6. One needn’t look any further to grasp the pusillanimity and utter banality of Lewis than by observing his critiques of modernist poetry. Indeed, Lewis reveals himself to be J. Alfred Prufrock’s doppelganger who impresses readers with a veneer of the classical studies, as one who’d appeal to the fecund Sappho of Lesbos over Pounds’ mystic Agassiz for no more reason than traditionalist nostalgia.
7. And George Dickel does more than mere Lewis can
To suffer the divine in the minds of man
8. If there is any hope (which Hope bids us to hope against) for salvage in Lewis’s theology it must be “redeemed from fire by fire.” That is to say, Lewis makes the profound methodological and conceptual mistake in secondary theology of conflating questions of the logic of Christian coming to faith with questions of the logic of Christian beliefs. In other words, Lewis’s fervor for answers with apologetic force subsume, overtake, and replace the content of various theological loci which, consequently, leads to an utilitarian and functionalist trivialization of understanding God’s way of relating, a quasi-Manichean assessment of nonhuman creatures, anthropocentric and instrumentalist theological views of human beings proper relations to nonhuman creatures, and anthropocentric moralizing of accounts of Christian beliefs about human beings. This is not desiderata.
9. Lewis, as Christopher Walken and Dennis Hopper long ago truly romanced, is a cantaloupe.
10. It is, in fact, the elephant in the living room with all Lewis’s thought that his work was composed from within the pinnacle of ivory tower separatism; in the haughty halls of Oxford this English elite became a reader and writer. The praxis of faith as an act of trust neglected, Lewis was blind to the hermeneutical dialectic of orthodoxy and orthopraxis, thus relegating himself to complacency in the cause of liberation and closing off the sanctifying interiorized monasticism that might let him see Christ in his sister. His is a body of work arising from among the smug, bourgeois class of Britain who with one hand pen grand treatises of piety, aspiring for the universal yet absent the very concretization that saves from provincialism and chauvinism, and, consequently, with the other hand plunder Oliver Twist’s meager portions, take hold Uriah’s wife, and maintain the opacity of power in the oppressors, forcing the imagination’s rue in its coerced monadic state.
11. The dialectic of authority, faith’s adamantine bulwark, the dark penumbra of aestheticism’s languor: where can we find this in Tolkien’s bawdy mistress? His acolytes, splash their brain-colors on canvas, where are the hard blues, the violently obedient reds, pigments untouched by the category of the pleasant. An adulterous generation seeks a sign, a purveyor of apologies, an eloquent lulling word that mitigates the avalanche thundering out of Zion: “You shall!”