Book of the Week: The Screwtape Letters.

Ahem. From CS Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters:

The characteristic of Pains and Pleasures is that they are unmistakably real, and therefore, as far as they go, give the man who feels them a touchstone of reality. Thus if you had been trying to damn your man by the Romantic method — by making him a kind of Childe Harold or Werther submerged in self-pity for imaginary distresses — you would try to protect him at all costs from any real pain; because, of course, five minutes’ genuine toothache would reveal the romantic sorrows for the nonsense they were and unmask your whole stratagem.


We have made men proud of most vices, but not of cowardice. Whenever we have almost succeeded in doing so, the Enemy permits a war or an earthquake or some other calamity, and at once courage becomes so obviously lovely and important even in human eyes that all our work is undone, and there is still at least one vice of which they feel genuine shame.

It’s worth a re-read at least, is what I’m saying.


  • Finrod says:

    When I went to college I lucked into a class on CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien. I think (but am not certain) that The Screwtape Letters was one of the books we covered, hence bought as a college textbook, along with the Space Trilogy (but not Narnia), and of course Lord of the Rings.

    • Luke says:

      I’m pretty sure you’d have remembered this one. It’s brilliant.

      • nicklevi86 says:

        Judging by Finrod’s username, the other author made more of an impact. 🙂

        • Finrod says:

          I still remember reading CS Lewis _The Great Divorce_ for the first time. Here I am, literally on the last page because I’m holding just the back cover, and I didn’t see the ending coming until the end of the last sentence.

  • jeboyle says:

    That book gives me the shivers.

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