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Excerpt: "As professor and scholar of medieval and Renaissance literature, C. S. Lewis wrote and published well-respected and influential literary criticism. At the same time, following his conversion to Christianity around 1930, he felt a duty to apply his argumentative and philosophical skills to the writing of Christian apologetics-defenses of traditional Christian principles against the attacks of skeptics and religious liberals. More important, Lewis lived in an age largely hostile to his attitudes and thought, both in literature and Christianity. In a period that such startling literary productions as The Waste Land and Ulysses, Lewis chose to defend traditional literary forms such as epic poetry and allegory. And in a century enamored with the theories of Darwin, Freud, Nietzsche, and Jung, Lewis offered a standard of mere Christianity, accepting, without apology, the sinfulness of man and God's supernatural involvement in human affairs. Thus, Lewis was faced with an extremely difficult rhetorical problem: how does a writer communicate his ideas to his audience when every social, cultural, and intellectual force is at work to undermine the very concepts he presents? A study of Lewis's nonfiction prose reveals clearly the rhetorical interplay of author, subject, and audience and the ways in which these elements manifest themselves in the style of the prose works."


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