The Inklings Variety Hour
Till We Have Faces - Chapters 16-17

Till We Have Faces - Chapters 16-17

May 28, 2021

If you're enjoying The Inklings Variety Hour, please give us a rating on iTunes.  We'd also love to hear from you about what you'd like to see on the show.  Email us at InklingsVarietyHour@gmail.com.  

This week, we welcome Meagan Logsdon back to discuss C.S. Lewis' final novel, Till We Have Faces, Chapters 16 and 17.  Among other topics, we cover:

  • Orual's veil and vulnerability
  • Did Orual sacrifice Psyche just a bit more than King Trom?
  • Orual as Lewis' most well-drawn character (contrasted with others)
  • Arnom: Fresh-faced young priest or radical assassin?
  • Is Trunia more like Erroll Flynn or Wile E. Coyote?
  • "Queening It": Vocation as fulfillment or distraction?
  • How would we design a mini-Glome at Epcot?
  • Transplanted Appendix: Some small talk about cicadas, birds, and other horrors (originally at the top of the show) has been moved to the end.
Next week, we'll be talking about the "Prologue" of Charles Williams' Taliessin Through Logres.  Then, in two weeks' time, we'll be discussing Till We Have Faces Chapters 18-19.  It's duel time!
“Taliessin on the Death of Virgil” on the death-day of Charles Williams

“Taliessin on the Death of Virgil” on the death-day of Charles Williams

May 15, 2021

This special bonus episode commemorating Charles Williams' passing features the triumphant return of Meagan Logsdon (whose birthday coincides with her hero's death-day--can somebody say "substitution"?).

We are also joined by my wife, Glencora, as we discuss "Taliessin on the Death of Virgil," published as part of Williams' poetry cycle, Taliessin Through Logres, a reworking of the Arthurian myth in Williams' inimitable and complex modern poetic style.  The episode features two readings of the poem--one at the beginning and one at the end.  (I borrowed this practice from the podcast The Daily Poem, which is well worth checking out.)

As we do our best to unravel the meaning of this poem, we make reference to the ideas of both Andrew Stirling MacDonald and friend of the show, Sorina Higgins.  

If you enjoyed this, be sure to let us know.  We may do poetry more often in the weeks to come.

Till We Have Faces - Chapters 14-15

Till We Have Faces - Chapters 14-15

May 11, 2021

If you're enjoying these podcasts, feel free to drop us a line and let us know at InklingsVarietyHour@gmail.com.  We'd appreciate a review on iTunes as well, as this will help others find out about us!

This week, Chris and Anika discuss Chapters 14 and 15 of Till We Have Faces, where we find ourselves face-to-face with the God of the Mountain.  Topics include:

  • Mountains v. Sea
  • Psyche's childlikeness and Orual's childishness
  • Does Psyche sin or not?
  • The nature of the God of the Mountain
  • How gods can change the past
  • Foolish question of the week: What if Narnia and Glome merged?

Music for this week: 

"Our Father" in Aramaic

"The Hurrian Hymn," played by Michael Levy

"Kater Street Rag" by Bennie Moten

 

Stay tuned!  Saturday, we have a special episode to commemorate Charles Williams' death!

Till We Have Faces - Chapters 12-13

Till We Have Faces - Chapters 12-13

April 27, 2021

If you like this podcast, please give us a review in iTunes!  Also, we'd love to hear from you!  Email us at InklingsVarietyHour@gmail.com.  

This week, Chris and Anika discuss Chapters 12 and 13 of Till We Have Faces.  Subjects for discussion include:

  • Santeria and the First Amendment (and also, of course, "Santeria" by Sublime)
  • How Orual-the-author is being changed while telling us about Orual-the-character's refusal to change
  • Possessive love and our tendency to be ruined by strong loves
  • The "ferly" in Middle English literature
  • Is Bardia's fear of the gods practical fear for his safety or fear of the numinous?
  • Orual withholds key evidence!
  • The Fox's theology and soul-houses
  • How true divine nature is foolishness to the Greek and a stumbling block for the Glomian
  • At the end: Various proposals for an '80s fantasy movie based on Till We Have Faces.  (Someone please make a poster of this idea.)

Special thanks to my brother Jason Pipkin for the incredible '80s-style synth track used at the end!  Apologies if I overuse it, but I really liked it.  Other music sampled includes:

  • "Our Father" in Aramaic
  • "The Hurrian Hymn" as played by Michael Levy
  • "Santeria," by Sublime
  • "Princes of the Universe," by Queen
  • "Quantum Leap" theme by Mike Post

In two weeks, we meet the God of the Mountain!  Talk about numinous and sublime!  

Till We Have Faces - Chapters 10-11 with Andrew Lazo

Till We Have Faces - Chapters 10-11 with Andrew Lazo

April 13, 2021

This week, we're talking with Andrew Lazo, author, speaker, and noted Till We Have Faces  and C.S. Lewis scholar.  You can find additional information about Andrew's projects, current and future, at mythoflove.net.  We would like to thank David Bates at Pints with Jack for connecting us with Andrew!  In this episode, Anika, Chris and Andrew discuss some classical and medieval influences on Till We Have Faces, as well as concepts like mortal shame and the way physical and spiritual attitudes alter perception in Lewis' work.  In some ways, this is also a broader view of Till We Have Faces itself, thanks to Andrew's expertise.  Stay tuned for bonus material at the end, where we hear from Andrew about the circumstances of Lewis' writing of Till We Have Faces.  Enjoy the conversation!  We certainly did.

Some references in this episode:

A Naked Tree, by Joy Davidman  

Becoming Mrs. Lewis

Over the Rhine (band)

Weeping Bay, by Joy Davidman

"After Ten Years," from Of Other Worlds by C.S. Lewis

Pearl, by the Gawain-poet (Tolkien's translation here)  (Original text here)

If you're enjoying The Inklings Variety Hour, drop us a line to tell us so!  You can email us at InklingsVarietyHour@gmail.com.  Also!  Please find us on iTunes and give us a rating if you like us.  Additionally, if you'd ever like to guest star and talk with us about these works (whether you are a scholar or not), we'd love to have you.  If you're listening to this podcast, you are already a kindred spirit, and we would enjoy meeting you.  Just saying.  

 

Till We Have Faces - Chapters 9-10

Till We Have Faces - Chapters 9-10

March 27, 2021

The Inklings Variety Hour is back!  Apologies for the extra-long wait this time!

This week, we are still hiking up the enchanting mountain that is Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold, hearts dancing all the while.  And why should they not, as we discuss such topics as:

  • Fighting and work as a potential antidote for depression
  • Resurrection as a potential antidote for depression
  • How King Trom is a bro
  • Refusal of joy and its effect on perception
  • Would-be eucatastrophe
  • Landscape, symbolism, and the sticky wicket of literalized metaphor
  • Potential lawsuits Psyche could bring against Redival

Recommendations include:

We'd love to hear from you if you're enjoying the podcast!  We'd also love to have you on the show if you'd like to join us sometime (and don't mind reading a few chapters of Till We Have Faces first)!  Our email is InklingsVarietyHour@gmail.com.  

Next time we will have Till We Have Faces scholar Andrew Lazo on to discuss Chapters 10, 11, and 12!  It will be worth the wait!

Till We Have Faces - Chapters 7-8

Till We Have Faces - Chapters 7-8

March 9, 2021

In which Anika and Chris reveal the fairly shallow reason we had for doing Till We Have Faces this year and accidentally endorse human sacrifice. 

Mostly, we talk about Chapter 7, in which Orual and Psyche say goodbye, and Chapter 8, in which Orual decides to journey to the mountain and recover Psyche's body.  At issue are whether or not selfish love is still love and whether sacrifice (especially human sacrifice) is effective.

Other highlights:

Ash Wednesday Anecdotes

Anika reads Lewis' poem, "As the Ruin Falls"

Till We Have Faces as a text that changes its narrator

Finally, inspired by WandaVision, the hosts ask whether Till We Have Faces would make a good sitcom--and what kind of sitcom it would be?

Have your own thoughts?  Email us at InklingsVarietyHour@gmail.com.  We'd love to hear from you.

Music credits:

  • The "Our Father" in Aramaic
  • The Hurrian Hymn
  • "Aase's Death," by Edvard Grieg
  • "The Toy Parade," by Dave Kahn, Melvyn Leonard and Mort Greene
  • "Everywhere You Look," by Jesse Frederick
  • "With a Little Help From My Friends," by Joe Cocker

We will see you in two weeks for Chapters 9 and 10!

Till We Have Faces - Chapters 5-6

Till We Have Faces - Chapters 5-6

February 23, 2021

With special guest star and Inklings scholar, Sørina Higgins!  

Our conversation about Till We Have Faces, C.S. Lewis' final novel, continues, with a veritable musical extravaganza at the end (really, we talk about music from the '70s, 80's, and 90's that would fit Till We Have Faces--not niche at all.  At all.)

We'll be back in two weeks.  Meanwhile, consider this an invitation to be on our podcast, no Inklings expertise required; if you'd like to talk with us, we want you to join us for a show/conversation.  Email us at InklingsVarietyHour@gmail.com.  

Many thanks to Sørina (who has a lot of Inklings expertise) for joining us!  We plan to have her on again in the near future to talk about Charles Williams' Poetry, or perhaps even The Inklings and King Arthur.  Texmoot, which we promoted in the previous episode, has already passed, but feel free to get in touch about attending next year's session!

Some things mentioned on this episode:

J.G. Frazer's The Golden Bough, of course.

Elizabeth I's Speech to the Troops at Tilbury and the Kate Beaton adaptation.

"Christian Apologetics," the essay where Lewis makes his religion/soup comparison (collected in God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics).

Music Mentioned/Sampled in this Episode:

The "Our Father" in Aramaic

The Hurrian Hymn

In God's Country versus Zoo Station, both by U2

"She Came On," by Super Deluxe

Chopin's Raindrop Prelude

"She's a Mystery to Me," by Roy Orbison

Binnorie/Twa Sisters Folk-song, as interpreted by: Custer LaRue, Loreena McKennitt, Jerry Garcia

"Tainted Love," by SoftCell

"No Rain," by Blind Melon

Mainly, of course, we talk about Chapters 5 and 6 of Till We Have Faces.  Enjoy, and we'll be back in two weeks!

Dorothy and Jack: An Interview with Gina Dalfonzo

Dorothy and Jack: An Interview with Gina Dalfonzo

February 9, 2021

[Something went wrong with the previous file and only half the interview was working--hopefully this new file corrects things--apologies!]

This week, we are thrilled to present our very first interview with author Gina Dalfonzo!  Buy her book, Dorothy and Jack: The Transforming Friendship of Dorothy L. Sayers and C.S. Lewis.  It's a very readable and insightful exploration of the deep and frequently overlooked friendship between two great Christian writers.

 

Next week, we'll have more Till We Have Faces, and guest-starring will be Inklings scholar Sorina Higgins!  Before that happens, you are cordially invited to join her and many other Inklings scholars and fans online at Texmoot this Saturday.

 

Until next week!

Till We Have Faces - Chapters 3-4

Till We Have Faces - Chapters 3-4

February 2, 2021

In the spirit of Groundhog's Day, Chris and Anika dig into Chapters 3-4 of Lewis' Till We Have Faces, which retells the Cupid and Psyche myth.  

We discuss, among other things:

  • The apparent popularity of J.G. Frazer in Glome
  • "Foxy Redival's Flirtations
  • Whether we're the worst at what we care about most (and other cheering thoughts)
  • Soup and Religion (and other metaphors)
  • Narrative asides about weeping in Lewis
  • Our ideas for movie adaptations of TWHF

Music:

The Hurrian Hymn

"Our Father" in Aramaic 

They say that behind every groundhog is a Shadowbrute requiring human sacrifice.  May the good town officials of Punxsutawney fail to see it this year.  For all our sakes.

As always, please give us ratings on iTunes if you enjoy this!  It means a lot to us and helps others find the podcast!  Also--feel free to send us your thoughts at InklingsVarietyHour@gmail.com

Thank you for joining us!  

Next time (in two weeks), we will be joined by special guest and Inklings scholar Sorina Higgins!

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