• The Discarded Image

  • An Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature
  • By: C. S. Lewis
  • Narrated by: Richard Elwood
  • Length: 5 hrs and 59 mins
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (73 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The Discarded Image paints a lucid picture of the medieval worldview, providing the historical and cultural background to the literature of the middle ages and renaissance. It describes the 'image' discarded by later years as "the medieval synthesis itself, the whole organization of their theology, science, and history into a single, complex, harmonious mental model of the universe". This, Lewis' last book, has been hailed as "the final memorial to the work of a great scholar and teacher and a wise and noble mind".

©1964 Cambridge University Press (P)2021 Upfront Books

What listeners say about The Discarded Image

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

I hope more of Lewis's scholastic stuff is coming

Know in advance that this is not (mainly) spiritual nourishment, but a book about the assumptions of medieval writers & readers versus modern writers & readers. And Lewis was careful not to proseletyze in his "day job." So don't expect apologetics or Christian inspiration except in the most latent way.

But if you are intoxicated by Lewis's prose voice and turns of thought, there is treasure here even for listeners barely interested in medeival literature.

I hope this is a sign of more (scholastic) work from Lewis coming to audible. This is his area of extreme expertise.

6 people found this helpful

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Smart and enlightening

This is an erudite and pithy account of the medieval worldview (through the eyes of C.S. Lewis.) This is his real academic area, and he has (as he says) read all the hard books, which means we don't have to! All very engaging and smart. But, crikey, the narration is a bit on the over-caffeinated side. Calm down, pal - these are lectures on the medieval intellectual outlook, not political screeds. What are you so outraged about? This would have been the right thing for the regular readers of Lewisian non-fiction (Geoffrey Howard/Ralph Cosham or Simon Vance.)

2 people found this helpful

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This is my favorite book by CS Lewis

The Narnia Chronicles have to two tributaries that join together to flesh out the flow of the cycle: christian apologetics and medieval scholarship. Far and away his apologetics are more widely read then his medieval scholarship—but readers who cherish his more apologetics or just love the Narnia stories don’t know what they’re missing when they neglect his medieval scholarship. It’s by far the most original and eye-opening territory in his body of work. The apologetics are uniquely fascinating only BECAUSE of the depth and subtlety of medieval scholarship.

2 people found this helpful

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Lewis at his scholarly best

This is a wonderful book, and one that I’ve read many times over the years. It’s an essential vademecum for any reader of medieval literature, and provides a fascinating glimpse into the structural and stylistic features of Lewis’s (and Tolkien’s) own fiction as well. It’s great to finally have an audio recording of this one!

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  • Ducarta
  • 01-08-22

I'm sure I grew brain cells reading this book.

In all honesty, this is not the typical kind of book I read but I'm a big fan of CS Lewis and heard this was one of his best. I now see why (I think 🤔).
It opens up a world I never knew existed while shedding light on how modern humanity differs in their conception of the cosmos.

It also served as a massive reading list. I'm excited to pick up an old poem and see how I fare in comprehension beyond the plain (and probably modern) meaning of the text.

In summary, this taught me a lot and is written in such an engaging way that I will have to come back to it. It's worth a read.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Alex Jackson
  • 05-27-22

Too fast

Narrator read too fast for the level of complexity of the book. Slowing down the speed doesn’t sound very good.

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  • anthony r.
  • 03-19-22

unique

It was recommended and I'm not disappointed. I will probably have to buy the book to see the references and sources and reread, but decided to listen to the audio first as I wouldn't have to wait and could just get it with my credit.