Sunday, February 5, 2012

daily doses of Lewis

It does not always take the form of an Island, as I have said. The Landlord sends pictures of many different kinds. What is universal is not the particular picture, but the arrival of some message, not perfectly intelligible, which wakes this desire and sets men longing for something East or West of the world; something possessed, if at all, only in the act of desiring it, and lost so quickly that the craving itself becomes craved; something that tends inevitably to be confused with common or even with vile satisfactions lying close to hand, yet which is able, if any man faithfully live through the dialectic of its successive births and deaths to lead him at last where true joys are to be found.

--Pilgrim's Regress

"When I was in my cradle, a wood woman, a Dryad, spoke this verse over me: 'Where sky and water meet, Where the waves grow sweet, Doubt not, Reepicheep, To find all you seek, There is the utter East.' I do not know what it means. But the spell of it has been on me all my life."

--The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

"I idly turned the pages of the book and found the unrhymed translation of Tegner's Drapa and read, 'I heard a voice that cried, Balder the beautiful Is dead, is dead.' ...I knew nothing about Balder, but instantly I was uplifted.... I desired with almost sickening intensity something never to be described....I will only underline the quality common to the three experiences; it is that of an unsatisfied desire which is itself more desirable than any other satisfaction. I call it Joy, which is here a technical term and must be sharply distinguished both from Happiness and from Pleasure. Joy (in my sense) has indeed one characteristic... in common with them; the fact that anyone who has experienced it will want it again."

--Surprised by Joy

Here's the Thing about C.S. Lewis: he finds some brilliantly beautiful concept-such as Joy- and then weaves it into all his stories. It's like one of those good infections he's always talking about. All of his work is infused with these beautiful concepts. And that's the wonderful thing about reading Lewis. The more you read his books, the more familiar they become- you begin to see the beautiful consistency and overlap in his thought.

I love the man.

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