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That High Truth: Lewis, Williams, Chesterton, and Bradbury

The Marion E. Wade Center
Event organized by The Marion E. Wade Center

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The Marion E. Wade Center presents a lecture by Jonathan R. Eller of the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies on Monday, April 9, 2018 at 7 pm.

In his 1969 study, "Enemies of the Permanent Things," Russell Kirk celebrated the "reviving art of moral fantasy, the ancient and persistent power of myth, fable, allegory, and parable." He found this revival most evident in the work of C.S. Lewis, Charles Williams, J.R.R. Tolkien, and, among the next generation of writers, Ray Bradbury. Bradbury's similar mythopoeic tendencies and his resistance to corrupting materialism are, perhaps, best studied by exploring his abiding interest in the works of Lewis, Williams, and G.K. Chesterton. Conversely, the myths generated in "The Martian Chronicles" and related Bradbury stories may also offer the key to understanding why prominent mid-century British intellectuals and writers admired Bradbury's works in the 1950s. As Russell Kirk observed, Bradbury was a master at presenting "that high truth which is best revealed by allegory and proliferating fancy."

Jonathan R. Eller is a Chancellor's Professor of English, director of the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies, and senior textual editor of the Institute for American Thought at Indiana University's School of Liberal Arts (IUPUI). He first met Ray Bradbury in the late 1980s, eventually developing a working relationship that lasted until Mr. Bradbury's death in 2012. Most recently, Professor Eller authored "Becoming Ray Bradbury" (2011) and "Ray Bradbury Unbound" (2014), biographical studies of Bradbury's early and middle career. He also edits "The Collected Stories of Ray Bradbury," a multivolume series that recovers the original versions of Bradbury's earliest tales. In 2013 he prefaced and prepared a new historical section for Simon & Schuster's 60th anniversary edition of Fahrenheit 451. Three of Professor Eller's books on Bradbury have been LOCUS award finalists for best nonfiction title in the science fiction and fantasy field.

The lecture will be held in the Marion E. Wade Center's Bakke Auditorium and is free and open to the public. The Wade Center is located on northwest corner of Wheaton College's campus on the corner of Washington St. and Lincoln Ave. in Wheaton. For more information, contact the Wade Center at 630.752.5908 or wade@wheaton.edu.