Ben had called a few months ago and asked if I would be interested in Lewis's diary, 1922-27, All My Road Before Me. He was handling it at a used book store outside Houston and wondering. One would hardly think so, as this precedes his conversion by a few years and diaries include more minutiae than one would ordinarily sign on for. But fanatics know no bounds, and I gave the go-ahead, later receiving it as a present.
Lewis's tone came under criticism recently on this blog and I discussed this. Even in his diary, I like his phrasing and atmosphere. I don't get the complaint. Perhaps it would be clearer if I were English. I am also entirely humbled to encounter someone who reads Kant and Thucydides of a morning and has positive and negative things to say about each. He can like the translating abilities of a thinker and certain aspects of his philosophy, yet reject others. Lewis is a larger soul than I am. I strive for this but tend to muddle them. It is work and effort for me, seems to come naturally for him.
I am also liking the diary for itself, just getting a greater feel for Lewis and his personality. There isn't much religion or literary opinion at any depth - just all the discussions together about walks, and weather, and personalities. what he is reading and what beer he is drinking, and how financial concerns loom over so much of his week. (I noticed this also in Tolkien's letters. Oxford dons were not prosperous in that day, and fellows even less.)