C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and the other Inklings met each week to read and discuss each other’s works-in-progress, offering both encouragement and blistering critique. How did these conversations shape the books they were writing? How does creative collaboration enhance individual talent? And what can we learn from their example?
Complemented with original illustrations by James Owen, Bandersnatch offers an inside look at the Inklings of Oxfordand a seat at their table at the Eagle and Child pub. It shows how encouragement and criticism made all the difference in The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, and dozens of other books written by the members of this literary group. You’ll learn what made these writers tick and more: inspired by their example, you’ll discover how collaboration can help your own creative process and lead to genius breakthroughs in whatever work you do.
“No one knows more than Diana Pavlac Glyer about the internal workings of the Inklings. In Bandersnatch, she shows us how they inspired, encouraged, refined, and opposed one another in the course of producing some of the greatest literature of the last one hundred years. A brilliant and beautifully clear case study of iron sharpening iron.” Michael Ward, coeditor of C. S. Lewis at Poets’ Corner
“The Inklings are about as important a group as ever existed in the literary world. This tremendous new book about them is much anticipated and hugely welcome!” Eric Metaxas, New York Times best-selling author of Bonhoeffer and Miracles
“What a gift! Bandersnatch is a joy to read and helps dispel that dangerous myth that our greatest writers created in solitude. We all need community in order to do our best work, and this book will show you how some of the greatest minds of the twentieth century did just that. You won’t be able to read this book just once.” Jeff Goins, founder of Tribe Writers and author of The Art of Work
|Publisher:||Kent State University Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations xv
1 Dusting for Fingerprints 3
2 "An Unexpected Party" 11
3 The Heart of the Company 29
4 "I've a good mind to punch your head." 53
5 "Drat that Omnibus!" 73
6 Mystical Caboodle 103
7 Faces in a Mirror 125
8 Leaf-Mould and Memories 147
Epilogue: Doing What the Inklings Did 161
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
How shall I start this post? How about this book is fabulous, interesting, encouraging and a must read for Inkling fans and writers? Yes, let’s start there! I’m going to continue by saying I absolutely loved this book. This is a fabulously read for Inklings fans as well as writers. Let me get back to the Inklings part. The insiders look into the key members of the Inklings is fascinating to read (like what Tolkien and Lewis thought of each other’s works). I really enjoyed learning more about how they thought, what they liked, etc and how that all played a role in the ways they critiqued. How they meet, how the group grew and how they encouraged and critiqued each other is a lesson anyone can use (no matter the industry they work). I loved that this book was written for all readers and reminds readers why we love story in the first place. There are also key takeaways of what it looks like to collaborate. Praise and criticism are necessary because they help you grow as a writer. I enjoyed all of it, but especially enjoyed reading Tolkien and Lewis’ responses and encouragement to both praise and criticism. I’m sure that has to do with the fact that I’m a bit of a “fan” of the two, but no matter – this book is a must read for collaborators! The Inklings was by no means a perfect group, delivering criticism with perfection or anything like that, but they worked through it and truly everyone was a better writer because of it. Oh and y’all she’s met and talked with Christopher Tolkien. Wha??? Have you had the chance to study or learn from some of your favorite authors? (Thank you to the author for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review) Originally posted at: http://booksandbeverages.org/2015/12/21/bandersnatch-by-diana-pavlac-glyer-book-review/
As a teenager, Diana Pavlac Glyer became fascinated by the Inklings, and how this group of accomplished writers may have influenced each other's work. Unfortunately, she found a great deal about the Inklings generally and as individuals, and almost nothing about how the Inklings may have engaged in mutual criticism and collaboration. Reading every published work about the group and its members brought her no closer, and at last she plunged into the primary sources--the letters, journals, and other papers left behind by the Inklings. Few writing groups become famous, and the Inklings are among the most famous. Aside from writing and residence in or around Oxford, the Inklings were a diverse group, of varied professions, backgrounds, and interests. As Glyer lays it out, this very diversity is one of the reasons for their success: They each had something to learn and something to teach; they challenged each other, and reacted to challenges from the others; they had sparked new ideas and new directions from encounters with new ideas and perspectives. Each chapter examines one aspect of how the Inklings worked together and contributed to each other's success. Mutual encouragement, criticism, editing, collaboration, and providing mutual accountability with their weekly meetings and readings of works in progress all played a role. In addition, they met frequently outside those formal meetings, informally, in twos and threes, taking walking tours, and other activities. Tolkien's first audience was the youngest and last of the Inklings, his own son Christopher, who became a formal member of the Inklings at age twenty. This is a fascinating look at this important literary group, aimed at reaching a popular audience and at extracting from the Inklings' experience lessons that may help nascent writers' groups become useful to and supportive of their members. For all the practical lessons to be found, though, it's also just an absorbing look at some of the most important and interesting figures in 20th century fantasy literature. Recommended. I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.