The Discarded Image: An Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature (Canto)
~C. S. Lewis
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ISBN/ASIN : 0521477352
Manufacturer : Cambridge University Press|
Release data : 26 August, 1994
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A selection of product reviews
Heliocentrica non Credo
This book was mentioned by Fred Gettings in his book on the medieval symbolism of the Tarot. It is probably a set book for students of English Language but I would follow Gettings and recommend it to esotericals. He explains subjects like the four humours in relation to personality and how the universe looked to people before Copernicus. He looks at the classics as they were known before the renaissance and how astrology and church doctrine had to rub along together.Anyone who wants to study traditional astrogy or magic will find this a useful way of making the necessary alterations to our modern "rational" worldview.
fascinating, readable, superior scholarship
This is one of Lewis's more difficult-to-find academic works. However, if you find it and read it, you will not be disappointed. I read the book on my own initiative while taking a master's class in Medieval literature. I probably learned as much from his book as I did from the whole class, and it opened up countless delightful possibilities for future enquiry. It also gave me a great idea for my final paper, which I'd been lacking the inspiration to write.
What's more, this work is still respected in academia. Recently I was reading a Cambridge thesis on the subject of early printing (The Printing Revolution in Early Modern Europe by Elizabeth L. Eisenstein) and came across a quote from _The Discarded Image_ (an uncited quote, which was annoying, but that's another story). Eisenstein quotes most authors in order to disagree with them, but she didn't disagree with Lewis (added to him, qualified him, but didn't disagree), which was unusual. Lewis was one of the few authors in her field that Eisenstein did not attack! I also passed _The Discarded Image_ along to one of my previous college professors and he decided to include ideas from it in his Survey of English Literature course.
If you want to know how medieval men and women saw their world - their belief in supernatural beings intermediate between angels and devils, their admiration for all kinds of organization, their heavy reliance on the snippet of Plato to which they had access-read this book. You will never see the Middle Ages quite the same way again.