Writing Co-op (Just Put Words in the Bucket)
"Just put words in the bucket," and "All good writing comes from bad writing." Sage advice from Professor Susan Felch, Director of the Calvin Center for Christian Scholarship, and the driving force behind the Writing Co-op. The aim of the co-op is to provide faculty with a quiet, solitary space in which to advance or complete a writing project. They must apply each year by April 15. Once accepted, they pledge to spend a week in the library writing and revising.
David Urban, Professor of English, worked on two essays during the Writing Co-op week. In both essays, he traces the critical response to C.S. Lewis’ 1942 A Preface to "Paradise Lost." A Preface is the only substantive work on Milton that Lewis authored, yet it has been and continues to be very influential on Milton scholarship in the decades since its publication. Urban's first essay specifically addresses the critical response from 1943-1952 to Lewis's chapter on Milton's Satan, in which Lewis depicts Satan as both a magnificent poetic creation as well as a deceitful and even foolish character whose evil Milton exposes. Urban noted in the interview that Lewis was likely deeply affected by the German's bombing of London going on while he composed his book, and that there may have been a connection in his mind between the character of Satan in Paradise Lost and Hitler.
The second essay addresses critical responses to Lewis's A Preface to "Paradise Lost" from the 1960s to the present. These essays are connected to a book Professor Urban is writing on the influence of Milton's Paradise Lost upon Lewis's various works.