Excerpt: "In sum, it is clear that Lewis owes a great debt to Wordsworth’s idea of Joy, a debt he acknowledges explicitly through the title of his autobiography. Their views of the experience have much in common: for both it is an intense long- ing, for both it undergirds their sense of the reality of an eternal realm, as well as guiding them toward either virtue (in Wordsworth’s case) or a contemplation of and belief in the eternal (in Lewis’ case). Both of their experiences connect, ei- ther explicitly or implicitly, with the philosophical notion of the sublime. There are significant differences as well; most important is Wordsworth’s early sense that Joy is fully achievable on earth. But even this early assertion of the Roman- tic poet is complicated by his hesitant rhetoric and his later poetic markings of the experience. For both, Joy is fundamental: for Wordsworth, by all the evi- dence we have, the experience is both crucial and evanescent; he never explic- itly connects it to a longing for an orthodox Christian eternity. For Lewis, on the other hand, Joy becomes a crucial precursor of Christian commitment and a strong impetus to continuing faith."
Helfers, James P.
"A Time for Joy: The Ancestry and Apologetic Force of C.S. Lewis' Sehnsucht,"
Sehnsucht: The C. S. Lewis Journal: Vol. 1
, Article 3.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.georgefox.edu/cslewisjournal/vol1/iss1/3
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