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The Discarded Image: An Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature (Canto) [Paperback]

By C. S. Lewis (Author)
Our Price $ 18.70  
Retail Value $ 22.00  
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Item Number 156694  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   242
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.53" Width: 5.45" Height: 0.49"
Weight:   0.66 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 26, 1994
Publisher   Cambridge University Press
ISBN  0521477352  
EAN  9780521477352  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
The Discarded Image paints a lucid picture of the medieval world view, providing the historical and cultural background to the literature of the middle ages and renaissance. It describes the 'image' discarded by later years as 'the medieval synthesis itself, the whole organisation of their theology, science, and history into a single, complex, harmonious mental model of the universe'. This, Lewis' last book, has been hailed as 'the final memorial to the work of a great scholar and teacher and a wise and noble mind'.

Publishers Description
C.S. Lewis' The Discarded Image paints a lucid picture of the medieval world view, as historical and cultural background to the literature of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. It describes the "image" discarded by later ages as "the medieval synthesis itself, the whole organization of their theology, science and history into a single, complex, harmonious mental model of the universe." This, Lewis' last book, was hailed as "the final memorial to the work of a great scholar and teacher and a wise and noble mind."

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More About C. S. Lewis

C. S. Lewis C.S. Lewis was a professor of medieval and Renaissance literature at Oxford and Cambridge universities who wrote more than thirty books in his lifetime, including The Screwtape Letters, The Chronicles of Narnia, and Mere Christianity. He died in 1963.

C. S. Lewis was born in 1898 and died in 1963.

C. S. Lewis has published or released items in the following series...
  1. C.S. Lewis Signature Classics
  2. Chronicles of Narnia
  3. Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis
  4. Radio Theatre

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Authors, A-Z > ( L ) > Lewis, C.S.   [61  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Classics > Medieval   [1146  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Classics   [41650  similar products]
4Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary   [79254  similar products]
5Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General   [15121  similar products]
6Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > History & Criticism > Movements & Periods > Medieval   [773  similar products]
7Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > British   [775  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
The Space Trilogy decoded  Nov 19, 2007
It is difficult to praise "The Discarded Image" too highly. It can be read with profit many times. Other reviewers have told you why.

That said, I would like to say something to those who have read and enjoyed the Space Trilogy, especially "Out of the Silent Planet" and "Perelandra." In writing those excellent stories, Lewis decided that the medieval outlook on cosmology, however incorrect from the scientific standpoint, would provide a marvelous-and to most of us-unfamiliar backdrop for tales of imaginative fiction. I promise you that once you have finished "The Discarded Image," you will reread the fictional works pleasantly fascinated by how the medieval image informs the novels.
Not So Dark an Age  Oct 7, 2007
To begin with, it must be acknowledged that the subtitle of this work is apt to be misinterpreted. Lewis's last book of his own initiative, which but for some late corrections would have been published in the final months of his life, might be better understood as a 'preface' to mediaeval and Renaissance literature than as what is now most often meant by an 'introduction'. For his stated purpose is not one of identifying, summarizing, and expounding major works, but of explaining the world-view or Model of the universe which informed any educated writer or reader of the time.

Lewis is concerned that a student may succeed in achieving a semblance of comprehension yet be wholly mistaken in his or her grasp of mediaeval literature through projecting onto it either very modern ideas or, perhaps worse, modern misconceptions of what our ancestors believed. While he does touch on authors and writings familiar from the average undergraduate survey course, he dwells far more on, and digs more deeply into, somewhat obscure examples which he feels better represent the mindset of the era. Boethius and his THE CONSOLATION OF PHILOSOPHY get particular attention and are alluded to repeatedly throughout. Lewis then proceeds to outline the mediaeval picture of the universe's structure; of the inhabitants it held; and of the psychological, philosophical, and metaphysical aspects which integrated the whole system.

All of this gradually reveals a cosmology far more sophisticated and a civilisation rather better informed than they are often credited with being. Understanding of the nature of the universe was not so erroneous as is now generally supposed; and where it was indeed wrong, it was nonetheless remarkably insightful as well as internally consistent. The mediaeval era emerges as the vital and extraordinary world it was, and as a fertile ground in which the so-called 'Renaissance' took root and flourished.

Lewis concludes with a cautionary reminder that our own notions of the universe and of 'Reality' itself remain comparatively incomplete and are certain to be superseded one day, not merely by new discoveries but by the ever-shifting philosophies and tastes which determine what questions are asked and thus what answers are found.

This is a book I genuinely hope to read again. Parts of it, I confess, were a bit beyond me, if chiefly because I had too little acquaintance with what was under discussion. Even so, Lewis's characteristic wit, conversational style, and contagious enthusiasm succeeded in making me wish to improve my familiarity with his subject. And to inspire such interest is surely a teacher's purpose even more than the mere passing on of information.
The Discarded Image:  Jul 5, 2007
This book explained and gave amazing and insightful information about the development of the medieval worldview and mindset.
An excellent introduction to the medieval mind  May 25, 2007
C.S. Lewis is just such a pleasure to read. And this book is simply a joy. I am a PhD student in medieval history and have read an awful lot of books on the medieval mind and this is by far the best. There is a slight tendency in Lewis' writing to see philosophy as the sole motor of history--but this is to be expected from his generation and it doesn't detract from the picture he paints. The best part about this book is that when I was finished reading it, I loaned it to my mother, who has absolutely no formal medieval training, and she loved it too! It's such a relief to escape the arrogant jargon of academics, that just masks their ignorance and inane analysis, and explore the world of ideas with such a master of clear and honest language.
Out of the Discard Pile  Nov 10, 2006
Highly recommended for students of history as well as literature. A product of C. S. Lewis's day job at Cambridge, this volume helps the reader get inside the mind of both the common man and the writers of this period. They had a different view of reality and the world than modern man. To understand, let alone appreciate their history and literatue, you need to know how they saw things.

Broader and more scholarly that Lewis' "Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Literature" (Canto, 1966), I recommend "The Discarded Image" over it.

By the way, though not intended as such, it's also a great source of trivia on the origins of names and expressions.

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