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 Post subject: "Descent into Hell" - Charles Williams
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 12:55 pm 
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Journeyman
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Did anyone read this?
I'm a handful of pages into it and finding it to be an interesting read.

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 Post subject: Re: "Descent into Hell" - Charles Williams
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 1:17 pm 
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Odd, as Charles Williams tends to be, and be aware of occasional sketchy theology. But readable and worth it.

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 Post subject: Re: "Descent into Hell" - Charles Williams
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 1:55 pm 
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I have tried and failed, couldn't get into it. Wasn't Charles Williams a universalist? Or am I confusing him with George MacDonald (another writer I have tried and failed to read.)

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 Post subject: Re: "Descent into Hell" - Charles Williams
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 2:13 pm 
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Doom wrote:
I have tried and failed, couldn't get into it. Wasn't Charles Williams a universalist? Or am I confusing him with George MacDonald (another writer I have tried and failed to read.)



You are confusing him with MacDonald.

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 Post subject: Re: "Descent into Hell" - Charles Williams
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 2:14 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Odd, as Charles Williams tends to be, and be aware of occasional sketchy theology. But readable and worth it.


Williams is the oddest of the Inklings.

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 Post subject: Re: "Descent into Hell" - Charles Williams
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 2:26 pm 
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p.falk wrote:
Did anyone read this?


I'm a handful of pages into it and finding it to be an interesting read.



I have collected Williams only slightly fewer years than I have collected Chesterton and Lewis and those other folks.

I own all his major fiction works and can recommend all the novels, or spiritual or theological thrillers, as they are sometimes called.

This is no guarantee you will enjoy them, but I did.

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 Post subject: Re: "Descent into Hell" - Charles Williams
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:17 pm 
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I like what I've read of Williams: War in Heaven and Many Dimensions.

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 Post subject: Re: "Descent into Hell" - Charles Williams
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:56 am 
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Peregrinator wrote:
I like what I've read of Williams: War in Heaven and Many Dimensions.


As favorites, I suggest THE PLACE OF THE LION and THE GREATER TRUMPS.

But Williams is ...not transparent.

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 Post subject: Re: "Descent into Hell" - Charles Williams
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 3:15 pm 
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GKC wrote:
p.falk wrote:
Did anyone read this?


I'm a handful of pages into it and finding it to be an interesting read.



I have collected Williams only slightly fewer years than I have collected Chesterton and Lewis and those other folks.

I own all his major fiction works and can recommend all the novels, or spiritual or theological thrillers, as they are sometimes called.

This is no guarantee you will enjoy them, but I did.



Some sections of Descent Into Hell are alittle confusing.

But I was hoping you might be able to shed some light on something that I'm struggling with:

Is one of the themes acceptance of the joy you get and not struggling against the joy you don't?
And in doing that (not being content with the joy you're given) can lead to that descent into Hell

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 Post subject: Re: "Descent into Hell" - Charles Williams
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 5:07 pm 
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p.falk wrote:
GKC wrote:
p.falk wrote:
Did anyone read this?


I'm a handful of pages into it and finding it to be an interesting read.



I have collected Williams only slightly fewer years than I have collected Chesterton and Lewis and those other folks.

I own all his major fiction works and can recommend all the novels, or spiritual or theological thrillers, as they are sometimes called.

This is no guarantee you will enjoy them, but I did.



Some sections of Descent Into Hell are alittle confusing.

But I was hoping you might be able to shed some light on something that I'm struggling with:

Is one of the themes acceptance of the joy you get and not struggling against the joy you don't?
And in doing that (not being content with the joy you're given) can lead to that descent into Hell


Give me a little time with that. You've started with what some critics consider Williams' most complex novel. And I'm in a sort of a complex spot personally, myself, right now.

What I want to do is look over is the best study of Williams novels I know of, Thomas Howard's THE NOVELS OF CHARLES WILLIAMS. I'll be back.

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 Post subject: Re: "Descent into Hell" - Charles Williams
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 6:44 pm 
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did anyone say it like the schwarzenator? ::):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgPePk3kGZk

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 Post subject: Re: "Descent into Hell" - Charles Williams
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 9:37 pm 
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Thanks GKC... I'll be looking forward to your thoughts on this.


Frustrating: there's an almost hour long discussion on this book by Peter Kreeft on YouTube but it has possibly the worst audio I have ever heard.

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 Post subject: Re: "Descent into Hell" - Charles Williams
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 10:03 pm 
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Here's the quote from the book that got me thinking about Joy:

Quote:
so long as you accepted what joys the universe offered
and did not seek to compel the universe to offer you joys of your
own definition. She would die soon; she expected, with hope and
happiness, the discovery of the joy of death.




I listened to a bit of the talk by Kreeft and he touches on another theme of the book "Bearing the burden of another"... substitutionary suffering.
It sounds as if this 'bearing another's burden' can be both a willful/active acceptance (on the part of the one who is in effect saying "I'll shoulder that burden for you") as well as a passive bearing.

In the former you're saying "I want to take on your suffering so you won't have to suffer".
In the latter you simply find that you're suffering (to any various degree) and you willfully accept it... but in doing that someone else doesn't have to suffer.
Maybe you're of the demeanor in which you struggle to find happiness in your life. But instead of getting angry and demanding things be easier for you, you simply accept that condition.... while some unknown benefactor finds that she has an easier time in finding happiness in her life.


You accept the joys that you do get in life.... not struggle with those that you don't get.

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 Post subject: Re: "Descent into Hell" - Charles Williams
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 10:23 pm 
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It's been some time since I read the book, but if memory serves, the theme that Kreeft points out is the more important one.

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 Post subject: Re: "Descent into Hell" - Charles Williams
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 10:40 pm 
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Thanks for the input, Obi.

The ramifications for that topic are interesting.... hard topic for a book I would imagine. But so far he's doing an interesting job with it.

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 Post subject: Re: "Descent into Hell" - Charles Williams
PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 8:20 am 
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p.falk wrote:
Here's the quote from the book that got me thinking about Joy:

Quote:
so long as you accepted what joys the universe offered
and did not seek to compel the universe to offer you joys of your
own definition. She would die soon; she expected, with hope and
happiness, the discovery of the joy of death.




I listened to a bit of the talk by Kreeft and he touches on another theme of the book "Bearing the burden of another"... substitutionary suffering.
It sounds as if this 'bearing another's burden' can be both a willful/active acceptance (on the part of the one who is in effect saying "I'll shoulder that burden for you") as well as a passive bearing.

In the former you're saying "I want to take on your suffering so you won't have to suffer".
In the latter you simply find that you're suffering (to any various degree) and you willfully accept it... but in doing that someone else doesn't have to suffer.
Maybe you're of the demeanor in which you struggle to find happiness in your life. But instead of getting angry and demanding things be easier for you, you simply accept that condition.... while some unknown benefactor finds that she has an easier time in finding happiness in her life.


You accept the joys that you do get in life.... not struggle with those that you don't get.


You are correct. But as Father Obi-Wan says, the Way of Exchange, substituted love, is more central. It is Charity, when Stanhope offers, and takes Pauline's fear of the doppelganger and it is opposed to the self obsession shown by Wentworth. Who far from accepting what joys he might receive, obsesses on the disappointments for what he does not, the failure to achieve or receive what he desires, what he obviously deserves. And closes himself off (pride and division and anger). It is the way to Hell.

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Save that the sky grows darker yet
And the sea rises higher."


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 Post subject: Re: "Descent into Hell" - Charles Williams
PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 8:21 am 
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p.falk wrote:
Thanks for the input, Obi.

The ramifications for that topic are interesting.... hard topic for a book I would imagine. But so far he's doing an interesting job with it.



How far in are you?

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 Post subject: Re: "Descent into Hell" - Charles Williams
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 8:46 pm 
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Close to half way through.
THere are some long paragraphs that I want to say are rambling.... but I'm sure there's important content in it, but it's so hard to make any sense of.

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 Post subject: Re: "Descent into Hell" - Charles Williams
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 8:49 pm 
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p.falk wrote:

Some sections of Descent Into Hell are a little confusing.

l


Indeed, I am confused by the part that comes between the front cover and the back cover. Everything else makes complete sense.

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 Post subject: Re: "Descent into Hell" - Charles Williams
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 8:55 pm 
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p.falk wrote:
Close to half way through.
THere are some long paragraphs that I want to say are rambling.... but I'm sure there's important content in it, but it's so hard to make any sense of.



True. And lots of readers agree.

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