This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Saturday Rave: The Screwtape Letters by C S Lewis.

I have no intention of explaining how the correspondence which I now offer to the public fell into my hands

says CS Lewis, and then he goes on to explain why:

The sort of script which is used in this book can be very easily obtained by anyone who has learned the knack; but ill-disposed or excitable people who might make a bad use of it shall not learn it from me.

Screwtape, you see, is a devil - by which I mean not a nasty human being but genuine devil from Hell. Screwtape, in fact, has quite a senior position in the Lowerarchy there. 

His letters are written to his nephew Wormwood, who is a mere Junior Tempter.

Wormwood is having trouble with his patient (that's the human he is charged with...what's the opposite of saving? With leading down the primrose path to damnation, anyway).

Screwtape's wit and cunning are both charming and fascinating. No one could more delicately exploit our human frailty. Here he is on one of his own patients.

I saw a train of thought in his mind beginning to go the wrong way...I struck instantly at the part of the man which I had best under my control and suggested it was just about time he had some lunch. 

If you're looking for an appallingly funny book about the way people's minds really do work, then Screwtape is a most expert guides.

Don't forget, though, as CS Lewis reminds us on the very first page, that the devil is a liar.

Word To Use Today: primrose. This word is from the Old French primerose, from the Mediaeval Latin prīma rosa, which means first rose.

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