Tolkien, Lewis, Barfield, Williams and the rest — the Inklings are the focus of a happening in Wichita, Kansas, this weekend, put on by the Eighth Day Institute. On Friday night, the festal banquet:
We invite you to join us as we travel back in time and space. We’ll pass through a wardrobe to enter The Eagle & Child, the famous British pub where so many of the Inkling publications were read aloud and discussed before publication. We’ll have a British-themed meal, plenty of pints, and Inkling music. To cap it all off, Louis Markos will introduce you to the world of the Inklings.
If you’ve never seen Louis Markos lecture, run, don’t walk, to do so. I say get to this event if you can. Aside from the fun you’ll have there, you get to visit the great Eighth Day Books. What’s not to like?
In his review of the new book out about the Inklings, Michael Dirda writes:
All four of these writers, as well as a handful of other friends, met regularly over beer in an Oxford pub to discuss their scholarly and literary projects — or almost anything else. One evening’s conversation, according to Lewis’s brother Warnie, touched on “red-brick universities . . . torture, Tertullian, bores, the contractual theory of medieval kingship, and odd place-names.” In general, the all-male group shared a longing for that half-imaginary time before man’s alienation from God, nature and self, the time before the chaos and materialism of the post-industrial era had displaced the elegantly organized cosmos of the Middle Ages. In their various ways, each hoped to spearhead a rehabilitation, a re-enchantment of our fallen world.
That sounds like a pretty good description of what the crowd gathered around Eighth Day Books is trying to do. If that Dirda paragraph strikes a chord in your heart, reserve a spot online at the Inklings Festival, and hit the road for Wichita.