The Joy of Conversation with Friends

The Inklings

Left to right: C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkein, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams

An hour’s conversation on literature between two ardent minds with a common devotion to a neglected poet is a miraculous road to intimacy.
– Charles Williams, War in Heaven (1930)

It has become a regular custom that Tolkein should drop in on me of a Monday morning and drink a glass. This is one of the pleasantest spots in the week. Sometimes we talk English school politics: sometimes we criticize one another’s poems: other days we drift into theology or “the state of the nation”: rarely we fly no higher than bawdy and “puns.”
– C. S. Lewis, letter to Warnie Lewis on 22 November 1931

My happiest hours are spent with three or four old friends in old clothes tramping together and putting up in small pubs – or else sitting up till the small hours in someone’s college rooms talking nonsense, poetry, theology, metphysics over beer, tea and pipes. There’s no sound I like better than adult male laughter.
– C. S. Lewis, from an autobiographical sketch for the American editions of his popular Christian works in 1944


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