So, after working away at it full-tilt for weeks, putting aside pretty much everything else (including posting here), I finally finished up my MythCon Guest of Honor speech. Turned out I had more to say than I originally thought, and the finished piece runs to almost ten thousand words, not to mention another three thousand or so in the endnotes (which are still not quite done).
The final title is THE LOST LETTER: SEEKING THE KEYS TO WILLIAMS' ARTHURIAD.
This is my third (or fourth) piece on Williams, depending on how you count.
The first, "Something Else Remains to be Said", was on Tolkien and Williams' friendship; delivered at the '85 Mythcon in Wheaton and afterwards published in MYTHLORE (I forget which issue).
The second, "TERROR OF LIGHT", was a look at his best play; it was written in 1991 for Huttar and Sckhal's collection THE RHETORIC OF VISION, where it appeared in 1996 under the accurate but uninspiring title "Rhetorical Strategies in Charles Williams' Prose Play".
The third would have been "The Failure of Williams' Arthuriad", which I gave as a work-in-progress at a seminar in Madison in 2000 or 2001, but it was never fully written up or published. It's effectively superseded by my current piece.
Now to practice my delivery and work out which sections can be trimmed to make it work better as an oral piece.
current reading: about to be something not by Charles Williams, for a change.
inside Edmund Wilson
12 hours ago