I bought a hardcover edition of The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. I had a paperback, which I now can't find. The book consists of letters from Screwtape, an older devil who is mentoring his devil nephew Wormwood. It's funny and insightful at the same time. It cleverly reveals how evil seduces people. Here are some excerpts from Screwtape's letters:
- Your man has been accustomed, ever since he was a boy, to have a dozen incompatible philosophies dancing about together inside his head. He doesn't think of doctrines as primarily "true" or "false", but as "academic" or "practical", "outworn" or "contemporary", conventional" or ruthless". Jargon, not argument, is your best ally in keeping him from the church.
- Above all, do not attempt to use science (I mean, the real sciences) as a defense against Christianity. They will definitely encourage him to think about realities he can't touch and see.
- The best thing, where it is possible, is to keep the patient from the serious intention of praying altogether.
- Of course a war is entertaining. The immediate fear and suffering of the humans i a legitimate and pleasing refreshment for our myriads of toiling workers.
- One of our great allies at present is the Church itself.
Etc. etc. - the book is great! Blurb from the back cover, "Screwtape is an experienced devil. His nephew Wormwood is at the beginning of his demonic career and has been assigned to secure the damnation of a young man. Their letters are one of C.S. Lewis's most brilliant imaginative creations."
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Excerpts from The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
Cecilia Manguerra Brainard is the award-winning author of 9 books, including When the Rainbow Goddess Wept, Magdalena, Vigan and Other Stories, and Out of Cebu: Essays and Personal Prose. She edited four books, co-edited six books, and co-authored a novel, Angelica's Daughters. Her work has been translated into Finnish and Turkish; and many of her stories and articles have been widely anthologized. Cecilia has received many awards, including a California Arts Council Fellowship in Fiction, a Brody Arts Fund Award, a Special Recognition Award for her work dealing with Asian American youths, as well as a Certificate of Recognition from the California State Senate, 21st District, and the Outstanding Individual Award from her birth city, Cebu, Philippines. She has received several travel grants from the USIS. She has lectured and performed at UCLA, USC, University of Connecticut, University of the Philippines, PEN, Shakespeare & Company in Paris, and many others. She teaches creative writing at the Writers Program at UCLA-Extension.