The Inklings - Thoughts on Informal Author Gatherings

C. S. Lewis, his worlds, and his faith.

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The Inklings - Thoughts on Informal Author Gatherings

Postby Lady Arwen » Dec 10, 2018 6:12 pm

I've been doing some thinking of late. Facebook's memories (I know, I know, not quite on topic, but I promise, I'll get there!) reminded me that several years ago, at this time, I was making my way to Oxford to visit a friend for Christmas. We, of course, landed ourselves at the Eagle and Child for some food and cider right away, and spent a lovely afternoon chatting about books and research. No one paid us any mind, because who pays attention to someone sitting in the corner of a pub talking to their friends? Which made me think...really, what was the value of the Inklings? Today we look at it as a collection of well-knowns, fervently discussing the highest forms of literature, but I'd be willing to argue that it was basically a group of World War I vets and their buddies talking snark and sharing random story ideas. As Lewis' brother later pointed out, it was very unofficial and informal, with little structure past a general regularity of meetings.

All of that, then, led to the reflection on the value of the group. True, the group essentially heard Lord of the Rings read aloud, along with Perelandra and Out of the Silent Planet and Charles Williams' All Hollows Eve, but they also heard it as Tolkien, Lewis, and Williams were working on them. How much might the group have shaped the development of those stories? Did it effect the structure, or simply encourage them to keep writing? Or neither at all?

I'm also curious if any of you are writers, and if you are, if you have any informal social groups dedicated to writing, and how those work out for you.
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