Some think Aldous Huxley a greater prophet than C.S. Lewis, and others still make films about Lewis.
Oddly, of the three famous men who died on November 22, 1963, Jack Kennedy—more powerful than the other two by many orders of magnitude in his ability to command and see it done—may have the least enduring legacy. No surprise there: The shape of political issues changes, and so does the cast of characters who deal with them. But great ideas endure.
Here’s education prof M. D. Aeschliman on Lewis’s legacy:
C. S. “Jack” Lewis, at the time of his death on that same autumn day in 1963, surely was seen by many as the least interesting, most backward-looking, most dated figure of the three, even a kind of surviving “dinosaur,” as he once described himself: a late Victorian as the swinging Sixties moved into high gear and the gates of Eden seemed to be opening. Yet 50 years after Lewis’s death, his books have been translated into many languages, 200 million of them have been sold, and a wide variety of people affirm the crucial role in their lives of one or another of his works. Plays and films have been made of his Narnia Chronicles for children, of his Screwtape Letters, of imagined dialogues between him and Sigmund Freud in London at the beginning of World War II, and of his life. A book of essays on his views of science, scientism, and society, The Magician’s Twin, has been published recently, and conferences and celebrations are taking place all over the world; these include a symposium at Westminster Abbey and the dedication there of a memorial to Lewis in Poets’ Corner. According to Publishers Weekly, 150,000 copies of Lewis’s Mere Christianity were sold in the U.S. alone in the last year, with “lifetime sales of about 18 million in the U.S.” The dinosaur is far from extinct.
One hears the claim decade after decade, from a certain sort of lit prof, that Lewis’s star has dimmed. See here, for a classic example.
Changes nothing. Good thing too. Those profs are way easier to replace than Lewis would be.