CONTOURS OF CULTURE
It's a Wonderful World
For many years, I have seen references to C. S. Lewis's story about how his imagination was "baptized" upon a chance reading of George MacDonald's Phantastes. The episode is often cited to affirm a vague Christianizing of Lewis's inner life. Recently, while re-reading an essay by MacDonald about the nature of the imagination, I finally understood the fittingness of Lewis's use of sacramental language to describe this conversion.
Lewis's recounting of this event is at the end of Chapter XI of Surprised by Joy, "Check," in which he recalls that before reading MacDonald, his imaginative life . . .