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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » The Screwtape Letters

   
Author Topic: The Screwtape Letters
RivalOfTheRose
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What did you guys think? I thought the whole concept is pretty nifty; the concept is a literary version of negative space. The space around an object is what defines it. In the case of this book, Christian ideals are defined by a demon point of view. Miles Davis the trumpet player used the same concept in his playing, the notes were defined by the rests. Cool stuff!
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TomDavidson
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I enjoyed the Screwtape Letters, although Lewis is by far better when he's not trying to be didactic.
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Kwea
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Isn't he always?
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aspectre
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I liked it a lot; found the ScrewtapeLetters to be FAR more enjoyable than either the Narnia or the Planet series. (Read them all within the same preteen month)
When it comes to adventure novel-writing, Lewis is excruciatingly patronizing and AnnRandianly bad at inserting his opinions into the text.

[ March 17, 2012, 03:47 AM: Message edited by: aspectre ]

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Scott R
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quote:
When it comes to adventure novel-writing, Lewis is excruciatingly patronizing and AnnRandianly bad at inserting his opinions into the text.
I haven't read the Planet series, but I disagree. He's okay-- better, in my opinion, than JK Rowling-- but The Last Battle is the only book in which his opinions get in the way of the story.

Mmm...well, maybe at the end of the The Silver Chair, too.

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mr_porteiro_head
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The Screwtape Letters and The Great Divorce are my two favorite Lewis books.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
quote:
When it comes to adventure novel-writing, Lewis is excruciatingly patronizing and AnnRandianly bad at inserting his opinions into the text.
I haven't read the Planet series, but I disagree. He's okay-- better, in my opinion, than JK Rowling-- but The Last Battle is the only book in which his opinions get in the way of the story.

Mmm...well, maybe at the end of the The Silver Chair, too.

Well, I would point to the ending of The Dawn Treader, when Aslan turns into a lamb, and then he and Edward pretty much look directly "into the camera," and he says: "I am known this way in your land..." :facepalm:

I was 12 and it seemed heavy handed.

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BandoCommando
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
quote:
When it comes to adventure novel-writing, Lewis is excruciatingly patronizing and AnnRandianly bad at inserting his opinions into the text.
I haven't read the Planet series, but I disagree. He's okay-- better, in my opinion, than JK Rowling-- but The Last Battle is the only book in which his opinions get in the way of the story.

Mmm...well, maybe at the end of the The Silver Chair, too.

Well, I would point to the ending of The Dawn Treader, when Aslan turns into a lamb, and then he and Edward pretty much look directly "into the camera," and he says: "I am known this way in your land..." :facepalm:

I was 12 and it seemed heavy handed.

To say nothing of Aslan's sacrifice and resurrection for the redemption of the sins of Edmund "son of Adam" Pevensie.
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Scott R
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quote:
I would point to the ending of The Dawn Treader, when Aslan turns into a lamb, and then he and Edward pretty much look directly "into the camera," and he says: "I am known this way in your land..." :facepalm:
Not quite. Aslan starts out as a lamb, then turns into a lion. After some discussion, and after Reepicheep starts his journey into the Utter East, Lucy and Edmund ask if they'll ever return to Narnia. Aslan says, no; but he has another name in their world, and they must come to know him by it.

I didn't find that particular element detrimental to the story. It did not feel heavy handed.

quote:
To say nothing of Aslan's sacrifice and resurrection for the redemption of the sins of Edmund "son of Adam" Pevensie.
It's allegorical for those that know the story; it only becomes heavy handed when in order to understand the one story, you have to know the other.

That's not the case with most of the Narnia series.

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I Used to Be a Drummer
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quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
I haven't read the Planet series, but I disagree. He's okay-- better, in my opinion, than JK Rowling...

A better writer? Undoubtedly. I can't imagine how much better Harry Potter would be with a Lewis rewrite. (or an OSC rewrite, Stephen King rewrite, Dan Simmons rewrite, etc.)

A better world-creator? Hmmm, I'm not sure about that. The Harry Potter universe is pretty awesome.

But yeah, I have tremendous love in my heart for Lewis, although I'm not a believer. You can really feel the love coming through the Narnia books. He was a special soul.

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Amanecer
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quote:
it only becomes heavy handed when in order to understand the one story, you have to know the other.
I think something's heavy handed when it's extremely overt and unavoidable. That doesn't necessarily make it bad. Sometimes heavy handed messages that I agree with seem that much more poignant.
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docmagik
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If you enjoy either the Screwtape Letters or John Cleese, you should check out his perfomance of the audiobook.

Actually, it looks like it's up on Youtube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mynmAqABzgU

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:

If you enjoy either the Screwtape Letters or John Cleese, you should check out his perfomance of the audiobook

He's pretty much perfect for the role.
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kmbboots
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I enjoyed the Screwtape Letters and thought it was profound theology. I was 12, though.
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Scott R
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quote:
Originally posted by docmagik:
If you enjoy either the Screwtape Letters or John Cleese, you should check out his perfomance of the audiobook.

Actually, it looks like it's up on Youtube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mynmAqABzgU

That's fantastic. Thanks for the link.
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Dogbreath
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
I enjoyed the Screwtape Letters and thought it was profound theology. I was 12, though.

Lewis is like a gateway drug for theology, especially since most of his non-fiction books reference theologians and concepts you can move on to study. The man had a gift for explaining confusing and difficult ideas with such simplicity you don't even realize how brilliantly he pulled it off. Read The Problem Of Pain, for example.

I prefer his later books, though, like A Grief Observed or Til We Have Faces, where he lets some of the doubt and difficulty show through.

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Boothby171
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I listened to it as an audio-book (more like an audio-pamphlet), with John Cleese. Cleese is the absolutely PERFECT guy to do this!
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Emreecheek
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I love the screwtape letters. I thought they had a lot of wonderful concepts. (My favorite being the demon advising his nephew to keep all of the man's love directed "outward" and outside of his sphere of influence, but all of his annoyances directed at people whose lives he could actually improve)

Til We Have Faces is the best of Lewis' fiction, in my opinion. Probably because it didn't reek of Christianity. (I say this as a Christian)

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