Contribution to Book
The Image of the Library in the Life and Work of Charles WilliamsInklings Forever, Volume X: Papers from the 10th Frances White Ewbank Colloquium on C.S. Lewis & Friends (2017)
Charles Williams, the “third” or “oddest” Inkling, was an author and a publisher whose life was significantly shaped by books. But every book he read, wrote, published, or discussed was a compromise—of meaning, form, or craft. Yet each book participated in the hope of redemption and reconciliation through its connections with other books. The way these connections co-inhere suggests an important image for understanding Williams’s books as well as his life: the library.
Focusing on the Masques of Amen House, a trilogy of plays set in the library of the Oxford University Press London office, this paper explores the central role of the library—real and mythical—for Williams. Though he would have suppressed any references to these midlife masques in a biography, because of his relationship with the figure of the librarian (who compared Williams to “a perfect, heavenly sort of” library), the image of the library in these plays was one that had been present in Williams’s past and remained present in future years. Due to the premature end of Williams’s life and work, the image of the co-inherent library that is continuously transforming communication into communion provides a richer perspective for understanding Williams than any book by or about him.
EditorJoe Ricke and Rick Hill
PublisherWinged Lion Press
Citation InformationMichael J. Paulus. "The Image of the Library in the Life and Work of Charles Williams" Hamden, CTInklings Forever, Volume X: Papers from the 10th Frances White Ewbank Colloquium on C.S. Lewis & Friends (2017) p. 444 - 453
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/michael_paulus/55/