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Still Standing

In response to:

The Other Country from the December 21, 1967 issue

To the Editors:

In his review of The Golden Key (NYR, Dec. 21, 1967), Denis Donoghue writes: “In MacDonald’s stories the local evils are considerable, especially when they are our own construction, like Mr. Vane’s house which falls upon him in Lilith.”

The evils of Lilith are, in fact, considerable; and Mr. Vane experiences a sense of “unspeakable despair, hopelessness blank and dreary” when he finds himself again in his house. My reading, however, reveals no mention of the actual collapse of the house.

C. S. Lewis, in his introduction to George MacDonald: An Anthology (p. 20), refers to “the terror of his own house which falls upon Mr. Vane in Lilith.” I am curious as to whether I am misreading MacDonald or Mr. Donoghue is misreading Lewis.

Andrew Blasky

Princeton, New Jersey

Denis Donoghue replies:

Mr. Blasky is right. It is five or six years since I read Lilith, and my memory is not as reliable as I often hope. Lewis’s reference reminded me of Lilith‘s atmosphere, which I wanted to invoke, as a comparison. I recalled atmosphere, but not enough of event. I am sorry. I should have gone back to text.

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