23 January 2019

C S Lewis and ... porn ..

There is a tiny exhibition in the atrium of the New Bod (you young things probably call it the Weston Library) devoted to the old Phi classification in Bodley. This denoted indecent books which undergraduates were not allowed to order up.

Not allowed, that is, unless their tutor wrote a note authorising them to do so. Among the exhibits is a note written by C S Lewis authorising one of his pupils to order up some Phi books.

Trouble is, I am growing some interesting things called cataracts, which means that my eyesight, formerly A1, is now poor.

Out of prurient curiosity, I would like to know what the books were which Lewis allowed his pupil to read. If anyone who habitually passes along Broad Street could pop in and find out for me, I would be grateful.

6 comments:

David Todd said...

Do get the cataracts done - I have just had one removed with amazing results. Due to age the NZ health service covered cost and procedure was 10 minutes with no side effects. I'm sure the ever generous NHS would do likewise ! You won't know yourself.

Society of St. Bede said...

According to Google and the Sydney Morning Herald...

"on display is a 1941 note from Narnia author CS Lewis, testifying that one of his pupils had academic reasons to read A Modest Defence of Public Stews, an English translation of an anonymously-authored Dutch book about Amsterdam’s ‘maisons de joye’."

Michael Sullivan said...

It's probably Ovid.

Calvin Engime said...

A recent write-up of this exhibition in the Sydney Morning Herald mentions this note and says it pertains to the anonymous 1724 tract A Modest Defence of Publick Stews: Or, an Essay upon Whoring as it is now practis'd in these Kingdoms, now attributed to Bernard Mandeville, which makes the case for the establishment of state-regulated houses of ill repute.

PDLeck said...

Do get your cataracts done. The procedure is brief and it is more discomfort for a few days than pain. The most inconvenient bit is having to have each eye done on a separate occasion. I don't know what incentive you have but for my mother it was to see her youngest grandchild - she had allowed them to get very bad.

Daniel Hayes said...

Do not procrastinate for cataract removal surgery! With time the cataracts become harder to detach.