"That our affections kill us not, nor dye." - Donne
I think I made up for Mrs. Tittlemouse. By, George what a book.
I almost can't say anything because there is too much to say. About 40 pages in I began tearing bits of newspaper to stick into the pages I just had to remember. Yet:
And I was discriminating.
I adore C.S. Lewis. He can explain anything. Just from a shallow enjoyment standpoint he is probably my favorite writer purely for his style or voice or whatever you call it. A review on the back of this book declares that he, "writes with one of the most self-effacing and congenial pens in the language". His writing makes me want to weep, it is so perfect.
Anyways, I liked this book. I accompanied every other page with a ghastly soundtrack of "Oh my gawsh that makes so much sense!" noises. I really can't say much else, because if I try to just hit highlights we will be here all night. (And I really made an effort to be diligent and was done reading by 11:00. Be proud of me, imaginary readers.) Much was explained to me. Learned much, I did, Master Yoda. I won't say it was a breeze to read - I had to go over a few sentences several times before I got them. But then, my usual literary fare isn't particularly strenuous.
His books always throw my balance off, or something like that. They mess with the ideas I was standing on, make me really evaluate where I am. Dash it all, they make me go wacko for at least a week.
For me, reading a C.S. Lewis book usually results in, among many other things:
1. Better living. This is sort of to be expected.
2. An increase in thoughtfulness. Not, like, being nicer to people - I mean thinking more. (Writing more coherently is, unfortunately, not a side effect.)
3. Exponential increase in my awareness of my own ignorance. Just being confronted with how little I've actually read, thanks to his constant (though never obnoxious) literary references, makes me want to crawl off and hide under my blanket. I was proud of vaguely recalling that I read Lovelace in British Lit a year or two ago - and I couldn't tell you the name of the poem (yes, singular) we read to save my life. By and large, I have no idea what he's talking about. Most of the time I fancy that, for a slightly lower middle class kid, I had a jolly good education - but C.S. Lewis is very shattering. Dorothy L. Sayers too. Major ouch.
4. Lots of tweed-wearing.
Okay! I have to stop now or I never will.
CONCLUSION: HOW HAVE I NEVER READ THIS BEFORE? It was rather good. I love, love, love, C.S. Lewis. Imaginary readers, if you haven't read it, I urge you to check this book out. And everything else he's written too, while you're at it.