Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Many Dimensions

Finished Charles Williams's Many Dimensions last night. A most curious book, in which echoes of Chesterton struck me strongly, as well as what seems to me the clear influence of Williams's conversations with Owen Barfield on his character of Lord Arglay (who is interested in the parallels of law and poetic diction!). But Arglay is also, in his bizarre intimate yet non-sexual relationship with his much younger secretary, also very much Williams himself: aloof, hieratic, paternal to the point of patronizing like Ransom in That Hideous Strength. Lewis is surely also in debt to Williams's Sir Giles Tumulty for many aspects of the suavely villainous Devine.

Rating on the Zeitgeist peaked at No. 443 (2,880 books), but will now slip until I get a chance to finish the bookcases in the back room. Last weekend was given over mostly to gardening: took out the less successful forsythia (too shaded) and moved the unhappy mahonia (not shaded enough) into its place, adding a stinking hellebore for good measure. Also stuck in some crocus and allium bulbs: fingers crossed for the spring.

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