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Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Monday, November 07, 2011

MUIRHEAD`S MYSTERIES: C.S. LEWIS`S AUNT AND CHINESE DWARF LIONS

Now I know what you are all thinking- Muirhead has now gone completely crackers, lost all his medication in his attempt to find the legendary Atlantis or become ill trying to memorize the complete Works of Chairman Downes-tse-tung, or perhaps whilst celebrating Bonfire Night a stray firework on an anomalous horizontal trajectory passed through his ear drum and blew away that small part of his brain capable of rational thought, but no!

The other day I found the following passage in the Letters of C.S. Lewis edited, with a Memoir by W.H. Lewis (1966) and dated 29 October 1922:

Aunt Lily has been here for about three days and has snubbed a bookseller in Oxford, written to the local paper, crossed swords with the Vicar`s wife, and started a quarrel with her landlord….She is still engaged on her essay which started three years ago as a tract on the then state of woman`s suffrage, is still unfinished and now embraces a complete philosophy on the significance of heroism and maternal instinct, the nature of matter, the primal one, the value of Christianity, and the purpose of existence….She thus combines a good deal of Schopenhauer with a good deal of theosophy; besides being indebted to Bergson and Plontinus……She told me…that women had no balance and were as cruel as doctors, that what I needed for my poetry was a steeping in scientific ideas and terminology, that many prostitutes were extraordinarily purified and Christ-like, that Plato was a Bolshevist, that the importance of Christianity could not have lain in what He said, that Pekinese were not dogs at all but dwarfed lions bred from smaller and ever smaller specimens by the Chinese, that matter was just the stop of all motion and that the cardinal error of all religions made by men was the assumption that God existed for ,or cared for us……I got away, with some difficulty , at one o.c……. (1)


Now Aunt Lily, if you are a regular reader of Muirhead`s Mysteries, will you please contact me for tiffin and scones at one of Oxford`s Colleges or the Bodleian Library so we can discuss this. Thank you!

1. Letters of C.S.Lewis p. 83

1 comment:

Dale Drinnon said...

*AHEM*
I'm afraid I'm partly to blame for this in admonishing Richard that when Plato SAID 8000 years he MEANT 8000 years, for completely logical and verifiable reasons: that you could NOT divide his figures by a factor of ten across the board and get reliable figures, and that anybody that says to do that has NOT checked their math.

In this case, the very large Chinese lion war dogs were diminshed through generations of breeding down to Pekinese dogs

No actual lions to that part at all. although I am certain that the Chinese idea about lions ultimaely derived from real cave lions that once abounded in their country.

Best Wishes, Dale D.