The Novels of Charles Williams

The Novels of Charles Williams by Thomas Howard 1592448461 9781592448463
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ISBN: 1592448461

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The fanciful novels of Charles Williams have long fascinated a rather elite reading public - T.S. Eliot, W.H. Auden, and C.S. Lewis, for example, were among his great admirers. But those books - which include The Place of the Lion, Descent into Hell, and All Hallows Eve - are also dense and perplexing, and even the writers fondest devotees have found the meanings of his fiction elusive. Here at last is a clear and informed guide to the complexities and rich rewards of Charles Williams novels. As Thomas Howard notes, Williams tales might best be described as metaphysical thrillers, in which Williams used occult machinery in much the same way that Conrad used exotic locales and Joyce used the subconscious: to vivify human experience and awaken readers to its range and possibilities. One tale might feature a chase for the Holy Grail across Hertfordshire fields, while in another the picture may switch with no apology at all from a policeman at a crossroad to the Byzantine Emperor. As Howard lucidly demonstrates, the controlling factor behind Williams work is an essentially Christian worldview in which heaven and hell seem to lurk under every bush and the constant theme is order versus disintegration. Concentrating on Williams novels, Howard brilliantly illuminates the major concerns that informed all of Williams thinking. Howard also considers Williams work in the context of modern fictional practice and assesses its place in the tradition of the English language novel.

Author: Thomas Howard

Language: English

Binding: Paperback

Pages: 302

Publisher: Wipf and Stock

Publication Date: 2004-09-14

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