Discarded Image, The
by C.S. Lewis
C. S. Lewis is now remembered as an apologist, but he cut his teeth and earned his living as a medieval scholar. Christian readers may be familiar with An Experiment in Criticism, his remarkable examination of how we form literary judgments, but many are unaware of Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Literature and his enormously helpful guide to the medieval mindset, The Discarded Image.
Reading Lewis on any subject is a pleasure. His prose is clear, polished and urbane. But for the student of medieval literature, The Discarded Image is indispensable. Lewis looks at the influences that helped shaped the medieval synthesis of classical and Christian philosophy. Whatever we may think in retrospect of medieval scholasticism, the fact remains that, starting from their belief in God as creator, theologians and philosophers of the middle ages attempted to construct a complete, integrated model of the whole of reality—a Christian worldview, so to speak. To understand the period and appreciate its literature, it helps to have a sound grasp on this worldview, and that is what The Discarded Image provides.
by J. Mark Bertrand