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Which is your favourite of the ST?

Open the pod bay doors, Hnau!

What is your favourite?

OOSP
12
22%
Perelandra
20
37%
THS
22
41%
 
Total votes : 54

Postby Coyote Goodfellow » 12 Jun 2008, 16:48

I'll have to think before I respond to your post Ben. But thank you for making me think.

repectabiggle wrote:
Ben, it's the guy behind movies like Clerks, Mall Rats, Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back, Chasing Amy, Dogma, and. . .er. . .okay, I haven't actually seen all of those (only two, thankfully), and I didn't like either of those. They're very vulgar movies that pretend to be. . .something. Come to think of it, I'm not really sure what their appeal is supposed to be outside of merely being vulgar.


Re Kevin Smith. He uses far too much profanity, and I think some of his worldview reflects that sloppiness writ large. However, is Dogma that muchmore bawdy than some mystery plays they used to perform in the Marketplace during the Middle Ages. And I heard him talking about sitting down to watch it with some official in the Catholic Anti-Defamation league. I think he used the protests from the group as free advertising, but when they saw the final product they weren't as angry. But Smith was raised Catholic, and went to mass with his cinematographer (or some one from the crew) regularly during Dogma. He now apparently only goes to mass before beginning the movie, and before it premieres.
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Postby repectabiggle » 12 Jun 2008, 17:16

Coyote Goodfellow wrote:I'll have to think before I respond to your post Ben. But thank you for making me think.

repectabiggle wrote:
Ben, it's the guy behind movies like Clerks, Mall Rats, Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back, Chasing Amy, Dogma, and. . .er. . .okay, I haven't actually seen all of those (only two, thankfully), and I didn't like either of those. They're very vulgar movies that pretend to be. . .something. Come to think of it, I'm not really sure what their appeal is supposed to be outside of merely being vulgar.


Re Kevin Smith. He uses far too much profanity, and I think some of his worldview reflects that sloppiness writ large. However, is Dogma that muchmore bawdy than some mystery plays they used to perform in the Marketplace during the Middle Ages. And I heard him talking about sitting down to watch it with some official in the Catholic Anti-Defamation league. I think he used the protests from the group as free advertising, but when they saw the final product they weren't as angry. But Smith was raised Catholic, and went to mass with his cinematographer (or some one from the crew) regularly during Dogma. He now apparently only goes to mass before beginning the movie, and before it premieres.


Don't get me wrong—I'm no opponent of vulgarity per se. It's just that a movie that's only vulgarity ends up being boring, and boring is an unforgiveable quality, whether it comes from monotone vulgarity or monotone saccharine sweetness.
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Postby Ben2747 » 12 Jun 2008, 18:21

Coyote Goodfellow wrote:I'll have to think before I respond to your post Ben. But thank you for making me think.


There are two additional passages from The Wasteland that I think warrant particular consideration, given our conversation. I have to say that I often associate THS with this poem - there are so many similar themes and images. The first passage relates to the prior passage about rock and water - sterility:

Here is no water but only rock
Rock and no water and the sandy road
The road winding above among the mountains
Which are mountains of rock without water
If there were water we should stop and drink
Amongst the rock one cannot stop or think
Sweat is dry and feet are in the sand
If there were only water amongst the rock
Dead mountain mouth of carious teeth that cannot spit
Here one can neither stand nor lie nor sit
There is not even silence in the mountains
But dry sterile thunder without rain
There is not even solitude in the mountains
But red sullen faces sneer and snarl
From doors of mudcracked houses
If there were water
And no rock
If there were rock
And also water
And water
A spring
A pool among the rock
If there were the sound of water only
Not the cicada
And dry grass singing
But sound of water over a rock
Where the hermit-thrush sings in the pine trees
Drip drop drip drop drop drop drop
But there is no water


This second is the other part of the "wobble" - physical "license" - but do you see the same image of sterility - there is no intimacy, no passion - it is an act apart from its end. It cannot be fruitful in procreation, and therefore cannot be whole and passionate and fruitful in its consummation:

At the violet hour, when the eyes and back
Turn upward from the desk, when the human engine waits
Like a taxi throbbing waiting,
I Tiresias, though blind, throbbing between two lives,
Old man with wrinkled female breasts, can see
At the violet hour, the evening hour that strives
Homeward, and brings the sailor home from sea,
The typist home at teatime, clears her breakfast, lights
Her stove, and lays out food in tins.
Out of the window perilously spread
Her drying combinations touched by the sun's last rays,
On the divan are piled (at night her bed)
Stockings, slippers, camisoles, and stays.
I Tiresias, old man with wrinkled dugs
Perceived the scene, and foretold the rest—
I too awaited the expected guest.
He, the young man carbuncular, arrives,
A small house agent's clerk, with one bold stare,
One of the low on whom assurance sits
As a silk hat on a Bradford millionaire.
The time is now propitious, as he guesses,
The meal is ended, she is bored and tired,
Endeavours to engage her in caresses
Which still are unreproved, if undesired.
Flushed and decided, he assaults at once;
Exploring hands encounter no defence;
His vanity requires no response,
And makes a welcome of indifference.
(And I Tiresias have foresuffered all
Enacted on this same divan or bed;
I who have sat by Thebes below the wall
And walked among the lowest of the dead.)
Bestows on final patronising kiss,
And gropes his way, finding the stairs unlit...

She turns and looks a moment in the glass,
Hardly aware of her departed lover;
Her brain allows one half-formed thought to pass:
'Well now that's done: and I'm glad it's over.'
When lovely woman stoops to folly and
Paces about her room again, alone,
She smoothes her hair with automatic hand,
And puts a record on the gramophone.
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Postby cyranorox » 13 Jun 2008, 23:03

Ben offers the image
the next step is a complete rejection of any biological constraints - a hatred of warmth, sweat, skin, odor, taste, and sleep, the little humiliation that reminds us we are not gods . . . wipe it all off the globe, and let there be only rock, and cold, and unblinking awareness.
. As dramatized in the Matrix movies, including a surplus of sunglasses..

Rus, wrt Eve's submission: remember the NT is authoritative over the OT [children of the reformation take note] and there is neither male nor female in Christ - meaning, among many things, the old subordination is abolished - as Mary Magdalene 'threw away the ancestral curse' after the resurrection [from liturgy texts]- and this curse includes female submission, as a minor part of the curse of death, alienation, and ignorance. In the new creation, i have no doubt degree and hierarchy will be recreated, because, as CSL said in another context, that is the Divine 'style'; however he does not repeat or roll back the past, so we may expect there to be a new criterion or pattern.
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Postby rusmeister » 14 Jun 2008, 02:51

cyranorox wrote:Ben offers the image
the next step is a complete rejection of any biological constraints - a hatred of warmth, sweat, skin, odor, taste, and sleep, the little humiliation that reminds us we are not gods . . . wipe it all off the globe, and let there be only rock, and cold, and unblinking awareness.
. As dramatized in the Matrix movies, including a surplus of sunglasses..

Rus, wrt Eve's submission: remember the NT is authoritative over the OT [children of the reformation take note] and there is neither male nor female in Christ - meaning, among many things, the old subordination is abolished - as Mary Magdalene 'threw away the ancestral curse' after the resurrection [from liturgy texts]- and this curse includes female submission, as a minor part of the curse of death, alienation, and ignorance. In the new creation, i have no doubt degree and hierarchy will be recreated, because, as CSL said in another context, that is the Divine 'style'; however he does not repeat or roll back the past, so we may expect there to be a new criterion or pattern.


Nice analogy with the Matrix.
I'd be curious as to any Orthodox Church teachings you have to support your idea (and the way you express it - "subordination" - something which is limited to marriage, anyway). It would be easy to quote Scripture at each other in the Protestant (Sola Scriptura) manner - "You quote "neither male nor female". I quote Pauline references, etc etc. But that just isn't truth.
Yes, Christ defeated death in the eternal sense, but the earthly consequences remain. Yes, the old covenant is replaced with a new covenant, but sin remains.
At the marriage service Ephesians 5:20-33 is read. Doesn't look like anything changed there. The yoke placed on men and women is difficult, deep, and different. Shallow men like to read the part about submission of wives, shallow women like to read the part about loving the wife as Christ loved the Church. Deeper thought reveals how incredibly profound and necessary these requirements are. To put it the way the Orthodox Study Bible puts it, "wives are called to submit to their husbands as equals". It's not forced. It's voluntary submission, just as a man in the army submits to the authority of rank, even though all men are ontologically equal. (He could rebel and desert, but then, you wouldn't have an army.) And the peculiar call to love as Christ loved is made to men, not women. This is not a command to experience feelings. It is a call to action, no matter what we feel like.

From an encyclical letter of the Bishops of the OCA (Orthodox Church of America):
The crowning which takes place in the Marriage Service reveals the bridegroom and the bride to be a new community in Christ. The husband is the head of this community, as God is the head of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:3) and as Christ "is the head of the Church" (Ephesians 5:23). His headship is not a power over his wife and family, but a divinely-given responsibility, to be discharged after the image of Christ, the perfect man. ". . . a man approved of God among you" (Acts 2:22). His headship is a service of love and sacrifice. He is to nourish and cherish his wife and family "as Christ does the Church" (Ephesians 5:29). The wife is the helpmate of her husband, his beloved companion for life, his source of joy and wellbeing. In Eve, the mother of life, the fullness of life was revealed, for without her Adam was alone and had no companion fit for him (Genesis 2:18). As the bearer of life in the conception of children, the wife has an immediate concern for life and its quality. It is she who gives content to the life of her husband and family: purity, kindness, peace, gentleness and the concern for others. Her true adornment is "the imperishable jewel of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious" (1 Peter 3:4).

http://www.oca.org/DOCencyclical.asp?SID=12&ID=4
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Postby cyranorox » 15 Jun 2008, 00:28

rus, every time i see your tagline i think of quadratic equations, and problems for which the answer is iherently multiple.

I think you missed my point, then went on to elaborate it as if you were contradicting me. As persons, men and women are equal in Christ. What that means is somewhat myseterious, and neither side should presume to press that claim without charity.

As spouses, there is a difference of role, and should be. Any woman who marries in the OC accepts a submission to one man; not a subordination to men. Any man who marries in the OC is head of his wife, not ahead of women. This shows up most clearly as spouses encounter others of opposite sex: Mrs Jones owes no submission to her brother in law, brother, or any such relations.

Similarly, the absolute authority of a father, as the Roman world thought of it, is transformed to duty and synergy - for no one ought to think that a father or husband does right to wantonly impose his will on his adult child or wife. To a degree, the husband is to his wife as the Patriarch to any bishop - first among equals. He may settle disputes by authority, occasionally -But a good king sees that his people prosper, so he cannot suppress or override the wife's will regularly without impoverishing her life.

the Matrix is delibarately constructed out of literalizations of theological and philosophical ideas, which accounts for my ongoing interest.

Ben, TSE is thinking about class there - these "low" people and their cheap lives. unsexy sex, absence of affection or charity, his use of her, is the main sinfulness here.

The OC does not think that fertility is the only purpose of sex: the ideal couple is Joachim and Anna, parents of Mary, who were obviously sexually active long after her natural fertility was extinct. Sarah and Abraham, too, were active without any natural continuation of fertility - that's what made Sarah laugh. Couples who know their mutual fertility is lost for age, health or injury are still eligible to marry, and their marriages are not of a lesser sort, though they miss out on the blessing of children.

fertility is a great good, and children are the best blessing of God, but we must not think fertility is the only true end of every marriage.
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Postby rusmeister » 15 Jun 2008, 01:58

cyranorox wrote:rus, every time i see your tagline i think of quadratic equations, and problems for which the answer is iherently multiple.

I think you missed my point, then went on to elaborate it as if you were contradicting me. As persons, men and women are equal in Christ. What that means is somewhat myseterious, and neither side should presume to press that claim without charity.

As spouses, there is a difference of role, and should be. Any woman who marries in the OC accepts a submission to one man; not a subordination to men. Any man who marries in the OC is head of his wife, not ahead of women. This shows up most clearly as spouses encounter others of opposite sex: Mrs Jones owes no submission to her brother in law, brother, or any such relations.

Similarly, the absolute authority of a father, as the Roman world thought of it, is transformed to duty and synergy - for no one ought to think that a father or husband does right to wantonly impose his will on his adult child or wife. To a degree, the husband is to his wife as the Patriarch to any bishop - first among equals. He may settle disputes by authority, occasionally -But a good king sees that his people prosper, so he cannot suppress or override the wife's will regularly without impoverishing her life.


Sorry about the misunderstanding. If your point is ontological equality, then it wasn't very apparent from your previous post, as you said
the old subordination is abolished - as Mary Magdalene 'threw away the ancestral curse' after the resurrection [from liturgy texts]- and this curse includes female submission
Since the only subordination was of that to a husband, I don't see how the resurrection changed anything in this regard, and that was what I was responding to. You appeared to be linking the "neither male nor female" statement with a cancellation of submission to husbands.

I in my turn was not making any claim that women owe general submission to men.
Since I said
something which is limited to marriage
it appears that we don't disagree on that.

On the good king, this is where the part about husbands loving their wives doesn't get enough press, imo.

My tagline obviously carries a different point. "Points of view" have a practical limit, and are used in the modern world to suggest that there is no Truth, only multiple points of view. This is not to be confused with complex answers with different aspects - but there is still only one answer.
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Postby Ben2747 » 15 Jun 2008, 06:33

cyranorox wrote:Ben, TSE is thinking about class there - these "low" people and their cheap lives. unsexy sex, absence of affection or charity, his use of her, is the main sinfulness here.


Take out of it what you will. If you think it's a bit of class snobbery, that's fine. I think it has rather more universal applicability - but really, what is the point about arguing over the interpretation of poetry? I would only ask that you read the image in the context of the whole poem, and everything else that he tries to say. But, whatever . . .
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Postby Ben2747 » 15 Jun 2008, 07:10

cyranorox wrote:Ben, TSE is thinking about class there - these "low" people and their cheap lives. unsexy sex, absence of affection or charity, his use of her, is the main sinfulness here.


I wanted to add that, although I think your class interpretation is not supported by the text (again, something we can always debate), you might also like to look at some of his essays: from "The Idea of a Christian Society"

We may say that religion, as distinguished form modern paganism, implies a life in conformity with nature. It may be observed that the natural life and the supernatural life have a conformity to each other which neither has with the mechanistic life: but so far has our notion of what is natural become distorted, that people who consider it "unnatural" and therefore repugnant, that a person of either sex should elect a life of celibacy, consider it perfectly "natural" that families should be limited to one or two children. It would perhaps be more natural, as well as in better conformity with the Will of God, if there were more celibates and if those who were married had larger families. But I am thinking of "conformity to nature" in a wider sense than this. We are being made aware that the organization of society on the principle of private profit, as well as public destruction, is leading both to the deformation of humanity by unregulated industrialism, and to the exhaustion of natural resources, and that a good deal of our material progress is a progress for which succeeding generations may have to pay dearly. I need only mention, as an instance now very much before the public eye, the results of "soil-erosion" - the exploitation of the earth, on a vast scale for two generations, for commercial profit: immediate benefits leading to dearth and desert. I would not have it thought that I condemn a society because of its material ruin, for that would be to make its material success a sufficient test of its excellence; I mean only that a wrong attitutde towards nature implies, somewhere, a wrong attitude towards God, and that the consequence is an inevitable doom."


If I were you, I would rethink that interpretation. I'm not trying to argue that it's primarily about contraception - but about a society in which tradition and family and an organic participation in nature have been replaced by profit and propaganda and the relentless subordination of ALL holy boundaries to the profit of industry - the earth, the bed, the family, art . . . everything. He is issuing a warning that transcends class distinction - if anything, his sympathy is NOT with those who create the propaganda or primarily profit from the violation of Church, family, and earth.

The contraceptive mentality is clearly part of this decline, in his mind, and in that of the Church. Making the decision not to allow this to happen in my life, as a Protestant, was perhaps the most liberating decision I ever made, and has given me more clarity than anything else I have done - - - and it was largely influenced by THS. Nobody can claim that my wife or I took "the easy way" - but on the other hand, nobody who practices contraception can honestly say that they are able to objectively consider its moral implications, its influence on society, or its place in the general subjugation of nature to technology - for EVERYONE who practices it has some reason to justify its use and benefit. The only people who can choose freely are the people who actually have the power to do so. Everyone else has been enslaved on a voluntary basis - they think they are choosing, just like the alcoholic says "I can stop anytime I want - this is just to be sociable." Riiiiiiiiiiiight.
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Postby rusmeister » 16 Jun 2008, 03:57

cyranorox wrote:The OC does not think that fertility is the only purpose of sex: the ideal couple is Joachim and Anna, parents of Mary, who were obviously sexually active long after her natural fertility was extinct. Sarah and Abraham, too, were active without any natural continuation of fertility - that's what made Sarah laugh. Couples who know their mutual fertility is lost for age, health or injury are still eligible to marry, and their marriages are not of a lesser sort, though they miss out on the blessing of children.

fertility is a great good, and children are the best blessing of God, but we must not think fertility is the only true end of every marriage.


Looking back at this, I want to echo what cyranorox is saying.
First, on an extreme of "fertility only", I get the impression from some serious Catholics that fertility is the only purpose of consummation. That could be a totally wrong impression, but I do occasionally pick that up. It has to be obvious that the sex act between spouses is blessed even if fertility is not possible. (I'm not sure we know exactly what aspect of the situation made Sarah laugh, but otherwise agree with your point, CR.)

But the real problem, that I think we are totally chiming in with the Catholics on, is the other extreme of deliberately cutting fertility out of consummation, which is clearly a theme of THS. Despite Lewis's reluctance to comment extensively on the issue, it's clear that he also saw this. I can't go past a check-out stand without seeing rows and rows of condoms (and this in Russia!) and thinking of GKC's words:
"Our materialistic masters could, and probably will, put Birth Control into an immediate practical programme while we are all discussing the dreadful danger of somebody else putting it into a distant Utopia."
- GK's Weekly, 1/17/31

On Contraception

It has been left to the last Christians, or rather to the first Christians fully committed to blaspheming and denying Christianity, to invent a new kind of worship of Sex, which is not even a worship of Life. It has been left to the very latest Modernists to proclaim an erotic religion which at once exalts lust and forbids fertility . . . The new priests abolish the fatherhood and keep the feast - to themselves.

{The Well and the Shallows, New York: Sheed & Ward, 1935, 233}
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Postby Ben2747 » 16 Jun 2008, 05:28

rusmeister wrote:Looking back at this, I want to echo what cyranorox is saying.
First, on an extreme of "fertility only", I get the impression from some serious Catholics that fertility is the only purpose of consummation. That could be a totally wrong impression, but I do occasionally pick that up. It has to be obvious that the sex act between spouses is blessed even if fertility is not possible. (I'm not sure we know exactly what aspect of the situation made Sarah laugh, but otherwise agree with your point, CR.)


Anyone who has read Humanae Vitae knows that there is a two-fold purpose - union, and begetting. What you may be picking up is that Catholics have the only voice in the West to contradict the prevailing trends (sorry, Rus - we love you guys and your support on this, but Orthodox theology is just not a major influence in the Americas or Western Europe - you guys have your battles, we have ours). Given that the trend is for contraception, we have to remind Christians of the one end of conjugal union which they have deliberately eliminated from the equation. We don't need to remind them of the unitive purpose, since that's all they accept, at present. What we can help them understand, as well, is that the unitive purpose of marriage is enhanced and strengthened through faithfulness in the procreative purpose. The data gathered by both the Creighton people as well as Couple to Couple League show something like a 5% divorce rate for couples who practice natural family planning. I'm sure there is a strong selection bias, since people who use NFP must be serious about their faith, and therefore serious about their commitment to marriage - but the numbers are so radically skewed, that I would bet money that an independent multi-variate analysis would show that NFP, as opposed to artificial contraception, is itself a contributor to strengthened marriages.

It forces spouses to look at one another as complete beings, and at conjugal union as a gift to the other, instead of two parallel and independent forms of self-pleasure. Without this, a wall of resentment can build up, as well as an objectification of the other - both Jane and Mark have to contend with this issue. In a sense, they have to learn to be husband and wife, and to give of themselves fully, rather than keep themselves for themselves.
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Postby rusmeister » 16 Jun 2008, 09:41

Ben2747 wrote:
rusmeister wrote:Looking back at this, I want to echo what cyranorox is saying.
First, on an extreme of "fertility only", I get the impression from some serious Catholics that fertility is the only purpose of consummation. That could be a totally wrong impression, but I do occasionally pick that up. It has to be obvious that the sex act between spouses is blessed even if fertility is not possible. (I'm not sure we know exactly what aspect of the situation made Sarah laugh, but otherwise agree with your point, CR.)


Anyone who has read Humanae Vitae knows that there is a two-fold purpose - union, and begetting. What you may be picking up is that Catholics have the only voice in the West to contradict the prevailing trends (sorry, Rus - we love you guys and your support on this, but Orthodox theology is just not a major influence in the Americas or Western Europe - you guys have your battles, we have ours). Given that the trend is for contraception, we have to remind Christians of the one end of conjugal union which they have deliberately eliminated from the equation. We don't need to remind them of the unitive purpose, since that's all they accept, at present. What we can help them understand, as well, is that the unitive purpose of marriage is enhanced and strengthened through faithfulness in the procreative purpose. The data gathered by both the Creighton people as well as Couple to Couple League show something like a 5% divorce rate for couples who practice natural family planning. I'm sure there is a strong selection bias, since people who use NFP must be serious about their faith, and therefore serious about their commitment to marriage - but the numbers are so radically skewed, that I would bet money that an independent multi-variate analysis would show that NFP, as opposed to artificial contraception, is itself a contributor to strengthened marriages.

It forces spouses to look at one another as complete beings, and at conjugal union as a gift to the other, instead of two parallel and independent forms of self-pleasure. Without this, a wall of resentment can build up, as well as an objectification of the other - both Jane and Mark have to contend with this issue. In a sense, they have to learn to be husband and wife, and to give of themselves fully, rather than keep themselves for themselves.

Yeah, that sounds very much like what any of our Bishops would say. Like I said, it was just an impression. I think it's the same battle today - it's no longer so much of an east-west thing. Secular pluralism, like Savior-Faire, is everywhere.
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Postby blindlemonpie » 16 Jun 2008, 22:20

My favorite would be Perelandra. I felt that That Hideous Strength was too uneven. It held me in anticipation of a much greater climax on a cosmic scale. I will admit that the cover art is partly to blame for this. Lewis' portrayal of evil throughout his works which I have read is of something which has frightening implications but is weak and pitiful at the core. THS held true to this, but all the same, it made for a weak climax.
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Postby repectabiggle » 16 Jun 2008, 23:31

Welcome, blindlemonpie.

I'd disagree that the climax of THS is weak, but I'd agree that the cover art (assuming you mean the editions that show the two sides of the moon in THS) is quite misleading. If it were up to me, all cover art would be done away with for all books. Nice plain cloth covers are so much better and never misleading.
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Postby Cet » 17 Jun 2008, 05:43

Very interesting conversations going on here...afraid I can't add much to them without feeling like an intruder (or without feeling like I'm lowering the intelligence of the room, more importantly :wink: ), but I just wanted to jump in and answer the original poster...

Perelandra is surely my favorite, with THS as a close second. Reading Perelandra provided me with a lot of "firsts." It was the first time I was really struck with the idea of evil being mundane, even childish, instead of grand and, somehow, romantic. When Ransom says he could have dealt more easily with a creature like Mephistopheles, I knew what he meant. It was also the first time I honestly looked at the sin of disobedience in any sort of mature way. The biggest draw for me though...I'm not sure how to describe it. Perelandra discusses the reasons we fail, the ways by which we're broken (kind of like The Screwtape Letters actually), and as one who often fails, I think the book just went straight to my heart, as silly as that always sounds to me.
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