Sheldon Vanauken Message Board
Stuart Buck posts on 6/25/2011 10:35:35 AM
I have 9 letters from Sheldon Vanauken that I posted on my blog (I can't post the link, but look at the May 2011 post.)
Peter David posts on 6/17/2010 7:33:28 PM
Is it possible to purchase full-size prints of Davy's paintings? I'd like to gift some newlywed friends.
Wenda Kingma posts on 11/16/2007 10:36:05 AM
Floyd would you please e-mail me off the board. Thanks.
Floyd Newman posts on 12/5/2006 11:00:18 PM
Nick, it sounds as if you already have a good source of information about the book in your friend. But I would be glad to answer your questions when I have a few minutes to compose a proper response. It might take a few days, but I'll do my best to get back to you.
Under the Mercy,
Nick posts on 11/26/2006 8:54:40 PM
Hi, my name is Nick, i am a senior in a catholic high school. I was directed by a close friend of mine who teaches at my school to read this book and i finished it over thanksgiving and found it to be very interesting. i will admit i am not hte most devoute and holy individual but i did find the book some what inspiring and relatively interesting. i just wanted to ask some other people who probably know more about the story (and life) than i.
the first one is kinda random but for some reason when i read about how they had to share everything and expirence everything together (1.) did anyone else get a sense of communism? i say that not with a negative intention just curiousity. ok now more serious question that came into my mind and my freinds mind when i discussed it with him (he is a preist if i did not mention that before and we talked on saturday for about and hour on this and a few things came up that were debated between us, which is where hte following quesiton are from.) a big topic was (2) Does their relationship, exemplify the church's teching on marriage, and what aspects of their relationship does NOT exemplify the church's teaching. Another thing that i found interesting was their views on children the fact that they view them as a separating thing, i am pretty sure that is not hte view of hte chuch so i asked my friend (3.) how do children impact their relationship? this topic wasn't covered that thorughly bcz neigher of us had hte exprience in life ot argue a point so that is why i am asking other readers on here. (4.) probably hte second most discussed topic between the two of us was jesus christ's role / impact in their relationship. we talked about how he played a role in the begining even when they wenr't aware (this was more his thought not mine i didn't see it as well). (5.) then we discussed virtues in their relationship bcz being in a catholic school virtues is a topic discussed greatly in theology class.
sherree rogers posts on 3/1/2006 7:07:15 AM
Like all of you, I was moved by the love story and adventures of Van & Davie. As I am english I even named a couple of budgies after the pair. When you are 19, when I read A Severe Mercy, you are impressionable and touched easily. However, not long after that Van had moved to Lynchburg and wrote the heartbreak of a story Under The Mercy. To many there could have been inspiration; however, I saw a man broken, unable to mend and decided, as God moves people to do at times, to go and see him. My message was clear.. "change your life, stop living under the mercy and begin a new with exciting friendships, love and a new life". One of the strangest things that moved over me was the strong desire to tell him that Davie would not have been happy to see the remains of his life after her death, that he had become a shell of a man. So I drove from MD, with a friend, and went to his home. Amazingly, all described in his book and it was all so interesting.
I knocked on the door at 19. When Van answered the door he had a look of fright and astonishment. He politely asked me in for tea. We sat opposite one another after a tour of his darling little cottage, as perfectly described in his book down the to cross over the bed, in the wing back chairs amongst the hundreds of books. He then said, after putting the kettle on, "my God, I can't believe how much you look like my wife". We talk for several hours and he was moved as was I. I told him what I came to tell him and he agreed and was almost apologetic. He felt as though I had re-opened his heart and for a while returned to a feeling of love in his presence, me.
Naturally, I had no idea that I resembled her so. So you can imagine the impact that I had on Van without knowing it.
He invited me back for tea... many times.. but I declined. It seemed I had a task for him, a message. Once that was done, I just moved on knowing what I had done was a good thing and perhaps caused change to a sad soul that had known so much love and the friendship of CS Lewis.
My friends, you have been so touched by a lovely man. Cherish all the "things" and correspondence from Van. Like all of you, I would have love to have known them both. God moved in their life, through me, after Davies death and onto the new life that Van had created for himself.
Yours in faith. Sherree
Greg Borchert posts on 2/28/2006 4:24:26 PM
That's interesting Kathleen. I've only got one typewritten letter, the rest in his longhand. One of the things he and I discussed was "the Movement", the Freedom Movement and Anti-War Movement of the 60's, and how what had been an idealistic endeavor "became in '68 - '71, wilder, more violent, more hating". Van had gotten involved for idealistic Christian reasons. He wrote, "The thing was, gradually Movement goals became first, Christ went back to the rear ranks - that is THE danger of social action ... I suspect it was so with the Berrigans and other churchmen ... I'm glad I began to realise what was happening after the Mayday busts - that was when I decided I wasn't marching anymore." Anyway, I recently came across a couple of his letters stuck in the binding of an old book that I hadn't looked at in years. It strikes me how unusual it was that he took the time to write thoughtful letters to people who had become "friends, known and unknown" through ASM. I wonder how many authors care enough to do that kind of thing.
Kathleen posts on 2/28/2006 3:35:20 PM
I still have several post cards from Van, plus a couple of letters, some typewritten and some in his tiny handwriting! I have treasured them over the years. We discussed many topics, an unsaved husband, travel, Catholicism vs. Protestantism. In his book Under The Mercy, he converts to Catholicism and I was quite interested in that.
Greg Borchert posts on 2/28/2006 10:08:29 AM
I corresponded with Van in the years following "A Severe Mercy." I read ASM shortly after it was published and like many people was so moved that I sent him a letter. I got a very personal hand-written note from him in reply. Then, in 1980, shortly after GTH had been published, more regular communication began. I never met him face-to-face, and never talked to him on the phone, but have a couple wonderful letters.
I now of course regret that I was "too busy" or "too distracted" or to accept his invitation to come to Lynchburg, 'to come round for a drink.'
I'm wondering how many other readers had a similar experience with Van, to have developed a long-distance acquaintance or friendship of sorts as a result of reading his books and sending him a note?
Bud Fadness posts on 2/22/2006 9:52:08 PM
I read "A Severe Mercy" many years ago with not a lot of enthusiasm. I recently read it again and was completely captured by the beauty of the story and Vanaukens writing style. I would appreciate seeing some pictures of Van and Davy.
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