Category Archives: Alan Jacobs

On C.S. Lewis

If I could invite three guys over for dinner to talk C.S. Lewis it would probably be Douglas Wilson, the author of What I Learned in Narnia, Nate Wilson, the author of The Great Divorce screenplay, and Alan Jacobs, the author of The Narnian, by far my favorite book on Lewis. It just so turns out that a while back these men gathered to chat about Lewis for 80 minutes, a conversation was filmed and is now available for viewing online. If Lewis interests you, and if you can find the time, I highly recommend it:

Sentences

Alan Jacobs, Wayfaring: Essays Pleasant and Unpleasant (Eerdmans, 2010), page 3:

I may not be much of a writer, but I do like sentences; indeed I love them, and think about them a lot–shockingly often, really. I am one of the few remaining Americans blessed with the opportunity to walk to and from work each day, and as I walk I am likely to be rolling sentences around in my head. I have even stopped listening to This American Life on my iPod, the better to facilitate concentration. Sometimes, when I want extra time to consider my options–the walk is only about fifteen minutes–I take a detour to Starbucks. I enjoy the coffee, but I’m really just prolonging my commute for the sake of the sentences.

Reading for Pleasure

Alan Jacobs, The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction (Oxford University, 2011), 17:

For heaven’s sake, don’t turn reading into the intellectual equivalent of eating organic greens, or (shifting the metaphor slightly) some fearfully disciplined appointment with an elliptical trainer of the mind in which you count words or pages the way some people fix their attention on the “calories burned” readout—some assiduous and taxing exercise that allows you to look back on your conquest of Middlemarch with grim satisfaction. How depressing. This kind of thing is not reading at all.

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