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Latin Letters of C.S. Lewis de C. S. Lewis
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Latin Letters of C.S. Lewis (original: 1988; edição: 2016)

de C. S. Lewis (Autor)

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In September 1947, after reading C.S. Lewis's The Screwtape Letters in Italian, Fr. (now St.) Giovanni Calabria was moved to write the author, but he knew no English and assumed (rightly) that Lewis knew no Italian. So he wrote his letter in Latin, hoping that, as a classicist, Lewis would know Latin. Therein began a correspondence that was to outlive Fr. Calabria himself (he died in December 1954, and was succeeded in correspondence by Fr. Luigi Pedrollo, which continued until Lewis's own death in 1963).         Translator/editor Martin Moynihan calls these letters "limpid, fluent and deeply refreshing. There was a charm about them, too, and not least in the way they were 'topped and tailed' -- that is, in their ever-slightly-varied formalities of address and of farewell."  More than any other of his published works The Latin Letters shows the strong devotional side of Lewis, and contains letters ranging from Christian unity and modern European history to liturgical worship and general ethical behavior.        This new edition is greatly enhanced by a new foreword from the eminent Lewis Scholar, Mark A. Noll, from the University of Notre Dame.  … (mais)
Membro:JustinPPool
Título:Latin Letters of C.S. Lewis
Autores:C. S. Lewis (Autor)
Informação:St. Augustines Press (2016), Edition: 1, 136 pages
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Latin Letters of C.S. Lewis de C. S. Lewis (1988)

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Mainly for completionists

I'm glad I bought this book. The layout and binding are attractive, and it is interesting how well the Lewis style comes across in Moynihan's translation. Nevertheless, I would rank _Latin Letters_ relatively low in importance among Lewis's books, somewhere below _Letters to an American Lady_. The letters are not terribly "meaty", and most of the substantial comments in the letters were also made by Lewis elsewhere. The book is only a little over a hundred pages, and taking into account the fact that roughly half those pages are taken up by the original Latin and that the remaining half has a generous amount of white space, there's really not a whole lot there. ( )
  cpg | Oct 16, 2017 |
This is an fun book to read and have on a number of different levels, but ultimately an oddity of middling interest.

First the positive. It is interesting that Lewis carried on an exchange with an Italian priest, Don Giovanni Calabria, since canonized. It is fun to see Lewis write Latin. There seems to be genuine affection here, and some interesting stuff, especially Lewis' thoughts on Christian unity, does come up.

Now some negatives. First, the exchange is largely one-sided and hard to follow. Few of Calabria's letters are extant, but, from the surviving ones, you get the sense he was one of those no doubt saintly but tiresome Christians who can't write a sentence about a topic directly, but must swaddle it in yards of pious cloth. Take letters 10 and 14, which are composed entirely of "may this!" and "may that!" constructions (ie., mostly subjunctives) of an entirely pious but also entirely colorless and general nature. One claws through them looking for a point, much as one crawls through the letters of Julian and Libanius—proving that apostates can be bores every bit as much as Saints.

Second, although Lewis opines briefly on various topics, there's little in the way of sustained conversation here. We learn for example that Calabria proposed Christian unity be founded on the Pope—a pious Catholic thought, perhaps, but, as Lewis gently notes, one that begs the question. Lewis goes on to make some interesting observations about Thomas More and William Tyndale. Then the matter is apparently dropped. Similarly, Lewis' letters indicate that Calabria was much alarmed by the state of the world, gave various examples, and wanted Lewis to agree with him. Lewis does to to some extent, but also warns of the danger of old men complaining about the present--and he doesn't engage on any specific points. Good will, dropped threads and polite deflection doesn't make for a very lively conversation.

After Calabria dies, Lewis continued to correspond with his successor, but the conversation becomes very perfunctory.

The Latin is fun--Lewis' at any rate. It reads like Lewis, but perhaps sometimes too much. For example, at the close of one letter Lewis wrote "Be it granted to us, I pray, hereafter, to meet in our True Country face to face." "True Country" is very Lewis--used in Mere Christianity and many other places. But, for what it's worth the Latin is merely "in Patria." The lack of a possessive is fine and very Latin, and even without "True"--which Latin has a word for!--it amounts to the same thing, namely heaven, but it would be better if the translator didn't try to sound more Lewis than Lewis.

I was also disappointed by the notes. For example, in December 1951 Lewis writes that he is sending Calabria a tale (fabula) recently translated into Italian. The editor proposes this is "presumably one of this stories for children." This seems very lazy. By this time Lewis had written a few things--the space trilogy, the Great Divorce and the first two Narnia books. It's probably The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, but not necessarily so. I did a quick check and can't find an Italian edition of that so early. However Mondadori published an Italian translation of Out of the Silent Planet in 1951. It could be that. Couldn't the editor have taken the time to do a little legwork here?

Recommended for Latinate Lewis-o-philes and Latin-less Lewis completists. ( )
3 vote timspalding | Feb 21, 2011 |
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
C. S. Lewisautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Calabria, Giovanniautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Moynihan, MartinTradutorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Noll, Mark A.Prefácioautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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Moynihan's translation of the correspondence between C. S. Lewis and Fr. Calabria should not be confused (or combined) with The Latin Letters of C.S. Lewis: To Don Giovanni Calabria of Verona and to Members of His Congregation, 1947 to 1961, which is an essay by Moynihan about the letters.
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In September 1947, after reading C.S. Lewis's The Screwtape Letters in Italian, Fr. (now St.) Giovanni Calabria was moved to write the author, but he knew no English and assumed (rightly) that Lewis knew no Italian. So he wrote his letter in Latin, hoping that, as a classicist, Lewis would know Latin. Therein began a correspondence that was to outlive Fr. Calabria himself (he died in December 1954, and was succeeded in correspondence by Fr. Luigi Pedrollo, which continued until Lewis's own death in 1963).         Translator/editor Martin Moynihan calls these letters "limpid, fluent and deeply refreshing. There was a charm about them, too, and not least in the way they were 'topped and tailed' -- that is, in their ever-slightly-varied formalities of address and of farewell."  More than any other of his published works The Latin Letters shows the strong devotional side of Lewis, and contains letters ranging from Christian unity and modern European history to liturgical worship and general ethical behavior.        This new edition is greatly enhanced by a new foreword from the eminent Lewis Scholar, Mark A. Noll, from the University of Notre Dame.  

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