By: C. S. Lewis (1898-1963)
This is a narrative poem written by C.S. Lewis, begun in his teen years and published when he was a tutor at Oxford. It appeared in print under the pseudonym of "Clive Hamilton," which is the author's own first name and his mother's maiden name.
The story begins in "The Perfect City," a place instantly recognizable to a modern audience as a classic dystopia. Dymer lives in this city until the age of nineteen, when he suddenly rebels, breaking the laws of the city and striking out into the wilderness alone. The rest of the story tells of his search for meaning, identity, and the fulfillment of his longings.
This book was not well received at the time of its publication and remains largely unknown. Many reasons for this have been suggested, but perhaps the simplest is just that the poem is difficult to understand. It is a complex work, and Dymer's character changes in some profound ways throughout the story. Especially for those who are familiar with Lewis' other work, however, or that of his "master," George MacDonald, this will be an engaging experience. - Summary by Devorah Allen