Two Hope College professors have received a book-of-the-year award for the second time. "The Rhetoric of Vision," edited by Charles A. Huttar and Peter J. Schakel, has been presented with the Mythopoeic Society's 1997 Scholarship Award.
Six years previously, their co-edited book "Word
and Story in C.S. Lewis" was selected for the same prize.
The Mythopoeic Society is a nonprofit educational
and literary organization based in Los Angeles devoted to
the study of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and
Charles Williams, and the genres of myth and fantasy which
they helped shape. Annually for the past 28 years, the
society has held a national convention, "Mythcon," during
which it awards prizes honoring the best scholarly and
creative work in its areas of interest.
"The Rhetoric of Vision," published by Bucknell
University Press in 1996, is a collection of 18 essays on
Charles Williams by scholars in North America, Europe and
Australia. It explores the rhetorical means and theories
which guided Williams as he conveyed his metaphysical,
ethical and social vision.
Williams, a close friend of British writer C. S.
Lewis, was a prolific author of fiction, poetry, literary
criticism and theological writings.
About half of the collection deals with Williams's
fiction, examining general themes and techniques and
analyzing several of his most important works. Essays in
the other half study Williams's poetry and drama, and his
writings in history, theology and criticism. The volume
includes an introduction by Huttar and an essay on
Williams's drama by the late George Ralph, a member of the
Hope College theatre faculty from 1966 until retiring in
Huttar was a professor of English from 1966 until
his retirement in 1996, and served as chair of the
department from 1971 to 1976. He is a graduate of Wheaton
College with a Ph.D. from Northwestern University, and
taught for 11 years at Gordon College before moving to Hope.
He has published widely on renaissance and 17th-century
literature and the works of Lewis, Williams and Tolkien, and
is currently at work on a book on angels in the literary
Schakel, who is the Peter C. and Emajean Cook
Professor of English and chair of the department of English,
came to Hope in 1969 after a year at the University of
Nebraska. He is a graduate of Central College in Iowa, and
holds graduate degrees from Southern Illinois University and
the University of Wisconsin. He is author or editor of two
books on Jonathan Swift and four on C. S. Lewis. His
"Reason and Imagination in C. S. Lewis" received the
Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in 1984.