How I’m Doing with C.S. Lewis’ Canon of Western Civilization

How I’m Doing with C.S. Lewis’ Canon of Western Civilization August 8, 2016

David Russell Mosley

 Raphael (1483–1520) Link back to Creator infobox template wikidata:Q5597 Title Deutsch: Stanza della Segnatura im Vatikan für Papst Julius II., Wandfresko, Szene: Der Parnaß, Detail: Homer-Gruppe Date 1510-1511 Medium fresco Current location Apostolic Palace, Rome Link back to Institution infobox template wikidata:Q145093 Stanza della Segnatura (Public Domain) Source Wikimedia Commons

Raphael (1483–1520) Link back to Creator infobox template wikidata:Q5597
Title
Deutsch: Stanza della Segnatura im Vatikan für Papst Julius II., Wandfresko, Szene: Der Parnaß, Detail: Homer-Gruppe
Date 1510-1511
Medium fresco
Current location
Apostolic Palace, Rome Link back to Institution infobox template wikidata:Q145093
Stanza della Segnatura (Public Domain) Source Wikimedia Commons

Ordinary Time
St. Dominic’s Day
The Edge of Elfland
Hudson, New Hampshire

Dear Readers,

Over at A Pilgrim in Narnia, Brenton Dickieson has gone through Lewis’s An Experiment in Criticism looking for every book referenced. You should certainly read his excellent post, but below is the list of every book or poem referenced in the book and a Yes listed next to those I have read. Take a look for yourself and see how many you have read.

  • Homer
    • Iliad (c. 8th BCE) Yes
    • Odyssey (c. 8th BCE) Yes
  • Unknown, Book of Jonah (8th-4th BCE) Yes
  • Pindar
    • Olympian Odes (early 5th BCE)
    • Pythian Odes (early 5th BCE)
    • Fragments (early 5th BCE)
  • Aeschylus, The Eumenides (5th BCE)
  • Sophocles, Oedipus Rex (c. 429 BCE) Yes
  • Aristotle, Poetics (335 BCE)
  • Virgil
    • The Georgics (29 BCE)
    • The Aeneid (29-19 BCE) Yes
  • Lucian, Vera Historia (2nd)
  • Apuleius, Metamorphoses/The Golden Ass (late 2nd)
  • Unknown, Beowulf (8th-11th) Yes
  • Unknown, The Song of Roland (11th-12th)
  • Laȝamon, Brut (c. 1190-1215)
  • Unknown, Huon of Bordeaux (c. 1216-1268)
  • Snorri Sturluson, The Prose Edda (early 13th) Yes
  • Dante, Divine Comedy (1308-20) Yes
  • Geoffrey Chaucer
    • The Canterbury Tales (late 14th) Yes
    • Troilus and Criseyde (1380s)
  • Unknown, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (late 14th) Yes
  • Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte Darthur (1485) Yes
  • Ludovico Ariosto, Orlando Furioso (c. 1516)
  • Arthur Brooke, The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet (1562)
  • Sir Philip Sidney, Arcadia (late 16th)
  • Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene (1590s) Yes
  • William Shakespeare
    • Romeo & Juliet (1591-5) Yes
    • Twelfth Night (1601-2) Yes
    • The Winter’s Tale (1611) Yes
    • A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1590-7) Yes
    • Henry V (c. 1599) Yes
  • John Donne, “The Apparition” (early 17th)
  • Michael Drayton, “The Shepherds Sirena” (1627)
  • Thomas Browne, Urn Burial (1658)
  • Jean Racine
    • Andromaque (1667)
    • Phèdre (c. 1677)
  • John Milton
    • Paradise Lost (1667-74) Yes
    • Samson Agonistes (1671)
  • Alexander Pope, The Rape of the Lock (1712-4)
  • Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels (1726, 1735) Yes
  • Voltaire
    • “Micromégas” (1752)
    • Candide (1759)
  • Samuel Johnson, The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia (1759)
  • William Beckford, Vathek, an Arabian Tale (1782)
  • James Boswell, Life of Johnson (1791)
  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798) Yes
  • William Wordsworth
    • “Michael” (1800) Yes
    • The Excursion (1814) Yes
  • Jane Austen, Pride & Prejudice (1813) Yes
  • Walter Scott, Guy Mannering (1815)
  • Benjamin Constant, Adolphe (1816)
  • John Keats, “Ode on a Grecian Urn” (1819) Yes
  • James Hogg, The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner (1824)
  • Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Witch of Atlas (1824)
  • Elias Lönnrot, The Kalevala (1835-49) Yes
  • Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo (1844) Yes
  • Charles Dickens
    • The Pickwick Papers (1836)
    • Great Expectations (1861) Yes
  • William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair (1848)
  • Edward Fitzgerald, Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (1859-89)
  • Anthony Trollope, Barchester Towers (1857)
  • Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace (1869)
  • George Eliot, Middlemarch, A Study of Provincial Life (1871-2)
  • Samuel Butler, Erewhon (1872)
  • Lewis Carroll, “The Hunting of the Snark” (1874-6)
  • Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov (1880)
  • Robert Louis Stevenson
    • Treasure Island (1883) Yes
    • Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886) Yes
  • Edwin Abbott, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions (1884)
  • John Ruskin, Praeterita (1885)
  • Henry James, The Turn of the Screw (1898) Yes
  • H.G. Wells
    • First Men in the Moon (1901)
    • “The Door in the Wall” (1911)
  • Beatrix Potter, Tales (1902-1930) Yes
  • Joseph Conrad, Nostromo (1904)
  • E.R. Burroughs, Tarzan (1912-1965)
  • Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows (1908) Yes
  • Arnold Bennett, The Old Wives’ Tale (1908)
  • James Stephens, The Crock of Gold (1912)
  • D.H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers (1913)
  • Gertrude Stein, “Sacred Emily” (1913)
  • James Branch Cabell, Jurgen, A Comedy of Justice (1919)
  • Kafka, The Castle (1926)
  • Mervyn Peake, Titus Groan (1946)
  • J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings (1954-5) Yes

Of the 86 books listed I have, thus far, read 33 or roughly 39% of Lewis’s canon. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself, especially for someone who has not majored in English or Philosophy. Still, I’ve got a ways to go. How many have you read?

Sincerely,
David


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