Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Taproot

I can't believe I've never come across this quote before; I must have and simply forgot it.

"The taproot, Anglo-Saxon, can never be abandoned. The man who does not know it remains all his life a child among real English student. There we find the speech-rhythms that we use every day made the basis of metre; there we find the origins of that romanticism for which the ignorant invent such odd explanations. This is our own stuff and its life is in every branch of the tree to the remotest twigs. That we cannot abandon." -- C.S. Lewis*

*qtd. in Tripp, Raymond P., "Power as a Measure of Humanism in Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight," Arthurian and Other Studies presented to Shunichi Noguchi. Ed. Takashi Suzuki and Tsuyoshi Mukai. Cambridge: D.S. Brewer: 1.

1 comment:

  1. One of my favorites!

    The source you give is a quotation of a quotation. Tripp sources it to the Green/Hooper biography, but writes in his footnote, "From a letter? Source not given." Yet if Tripp knew his Lewis, the source is not so hard to find. It's from Rehabilitations and Other Essays (Oxford University Press, 1939), p. 92.

    By the way, Tripp errs with "taproot"; in both Lewis's original essay and in Green/Hooper, the word is "tap-root".