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Questions about The Screwtape Letters

Comprising most of Lewis' writings.

Postby Roonwit » 16 Oct 2008, 22:39

rusmeister wrote:I think AK mostly hit it on beards. I would add that, as a distinctly masculine feature, getting people to see it as a "fashion" rather than a natural growth (after all, the unnatural act is shaving) is just chipping away at the differences between men and women, working on the development of a society that no longer sees any difference at all. "Vive la difference" becomes "sexism".

Also of note, in Orthodox culture the clergy pretty much always wears beards - I think you will only find beardless priests in America, and it's a result of not having an Orthodox heritage (Orthodoxy in the US is quite young, hardly 200 years old and has really seen growth only in the last few decades). In a hundred years or so, likely the beard will make a full clerical comeback in America as well, as that heritage develops.

Anything that establishes that we are different is good to me. :smile:



:thinking: All of my priests have had beards... except for one :idea: and he happened to be a convert... so there you go!
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Re: Questions about The Screwtape Letters

Postby Lark » 24 Jan 2009, 18:19

Paul,

Hopefully your annotationswill include some short description of each letter so people can easily go reread some of there favorites in the future; or find some extended comments on selected subjects.

For example, in the front of my SL I have written the page numbers of different topics that I thought was good:

p. 26-27 Temptation, focusing in versus outward.
34-36 How God guides us, desire versus intending.
etc.

Wishing you success with the project .
Lark

You are not your own. You have been bought with a price. 1 Cor 6:19,20
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Re: Questions about The Screwtape Letters

Postby Paul F. Ford » 29 Jan 2009, 22:10

Lark wrote:Hopefully your annotations will include some short description of each letter so people can easily go reread some of there favorites in the future; or find some extended comments on selected subjects.


Yes, they will!
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Re: Questions about The Screwtape Letters

Postby rkettering » 06 May 2009, 04:21

I'm new to this forum, and I was wondering if anyone knew where Lewis came up with the name Screwtape, or if it has some kind of meaning?

Thanks,

Rodger
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Re: Questions about The Screwtape Letters

Postby Tuke » 07 May 2009, 15:43

Wormwood is Biblical, but I assume Screwtape is concocted.
"The 'great golden chain of Concord' has united the whole of Edmund Spenser's world.... Nothing is repressed; nothing is insubordinate. To read him is to grow in mental health." The Allegory Of Love (Faerie Queene)

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Re: Letters 17-18

Postby Mornche Geddick » 10 May 2009, 15:04

Peepiceek wrote:What is the difference between unchastity and intemperence? My dictionary suggests that chastity only refers to sexual relations.
Intemperance refers to overindulgence in physical pleasure. Unchastity usually involves a whole lot of other sins such as breach of faith, abandoning your children (like Willoughby or Tom Riddle senior) and leading another human being into sin. What's more, unchastity is often not motivated by a simple desire for physical pleasure.
Screwtape mentions the notorious lustfulness of soldiers and sailors. Is this to contradict that excessive exercise can mitigate gluttony because soldiers and sailors get plenty of exercise?
Gluttony? Screwtape's talking about over-indulgence in Venus, not food. But yes, he is claiming that excessive exercise encourages lust instead of dampening it.

For soldiers and sailors, there were probably other reasons for their higher immorality. The hyper-macho "pocket" they inhabited, the long absences from home and family, and a life of severe discipline punctuated by episodes of laxity ("leave" in which they were turned loose on the town with plenty of money in their pockets) all no doubt contributed. Miners worked quite as hard, if not harder, but when they were living with their families (in Wales and Yorkshire for example), they mostly led respectable lives. In Apartheid South Africa, where the black miners were not allowed to have their families with them, there were drinking dens and prostitutes clustering around their barracks - just as in a seaport.

What games is Screwtape talking about?
In the upper class boarding schools of the 19th and early 20th century, Games, or sports, were a big thing. Besides boxing and athletics they included team games, some of which became famous. Cricket and rugby were developed at the Public Schools, along with less well-known games like Fives and the Eton Wall Game. American football, which is derived from rugby and developed at Yale and Harvard, is a spiritual descendant of the Games tradition. Games were considered even more important than success in class. They were supposed to build character; manliness and fortitude, and to teach "team spirit" in which everyone on the team pulled together for the common good. On the playing field this meant scoring goals, but the virtues learnt would stay with them when they grew up and were called upon to play their part in building the empire - even on the battlefield
John Henry Newbolt wrote:But the voice of a schoolboy rallies the ranks
"Play up, play up and play the game!"
(This proud tradition was carried on by the organisers of American Football, who believed that it would forge the discipline and enterprise necessary to beat communism. I read an excellent book on the subject: Nice Guys Finish Last by Paul Gardner, pub. A. Lane 1975, which is unfortunately out of print but probably available on Amazon.)

In the Public School system, the boys who were good at Games often got promoted to prefect, which gave them colossal perks, including the right to make the junior boys do menial tasks for them, and even (it seems unbelievable) to cane them. In some schools (like Lewis's own) it was impossible to make prefect unless you were good at Games, which meant you were doomed to second-class status. The dark side of the "team spirit" ideology was a prejudice that boys who were no good at Games were good for nothing and would probably end up failures in life.

Sometimes a boy who was a natural athlete was still excluded from the prefecthood. Roald Dahl was Captain of the Fives team and the Squash team at Repton, but the masters still felt he wasn't prefect material, because he was a conscientious objector to caning the smaller boys!
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Re: Questions about The Screwtape Letters

Postby Mornche Geddick » 10 May 2009, 15:07

rkettering wrote:I'm new to this forum, and I was wondering if anyone knew where Lewis came up with the name Screwtape, or if it has some kind of meaning?

Thanks,

Rodger
Screwtape comes from "thumbscrew" and "red tape", as I remember Lewis writing somewhere.
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Re: Questions about The Screwtape Letters

Postby cyranorox » 12 Jun 2009, 23:45

Not all ethnicities produce bearded men. Like a lot of traits marked masculine, the beard is often coarse, rough, and messy; it can carry quite a load of flora, and, without plentiful water, it can turn sour. It needs tending, grooming and editing, and a good deal of feminine rejection comes from the lack of these things.

But near the end of Perelanda, Ransom comments [through his facial hair] that he had not seen a real man before; most of what we call masculine, as well as much we call feminine, is a set of makeshifts, forced polarities, customs, impositions [on women] and attempts for better or worse to act out or symbolize our concepts of gender.
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Re: Questions about The Screwtape Letters

Postby Sven » 13 Jun 2009, 12:10

Let's try to stay somewhat on topic, folks. I split and moved the digression on beards to its own thread in the RSP forum.
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Re: Questions about The Screwtape Letters

Postby JJJ » 23 Jun 2009, 18:20

Question for You - A number of years ago I came across a reference to a German Text that was composed of letters from a senior devil to a junior about a patient; the same form as TSL. I have always wanted to find the reference and the book? Any knowledge?

Thanks.

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Re: Questions about The Screwtape Letters

Postby Sven » 23 Jun 2009, 19:10

JJJ, you sure you're not just thinking of TSL in the German translation?


Image
Rat! he found breath to whisper, shaking. Are you afraid?
Afraid? murmured the Rat, his eyes shining with unutterable love.
Afraid! Of Him? O, never, never! And yet -- and yet -- O, Mole, I am afraid!
Then the two animals, crouching to the earth, bowed their heads and did worship.
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Re: Questions about The Screwtape Letters

Postby JJJ » 23 Jun 2009, 19:21

Hi - certain I am not thinking of this. My memory for numbers is sometimes abysmal, but somehow I remember a publishing date in the latter 19th c. - 188_ something comes to mind.

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Re: Questions about The Screwtape Letters

Postby Paul F. Ford » 23 Jun 2009, 19:48

You are thinking of Valdemar Adolph Thisted, Letters from Hell, for the English edition of which George MacDonald wrote the Preface, A. C. Kollymer, trans. (New York: Hunter, Robinson, 1889).
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Re: Questions about The Screwtape Letters

Postby Sven » 23 Jun 2009, 20:06

*moans* not another book I have to find and read!

ETA: For anyone looking for the book, Amazon has a paperback reprint of the English translation with the MacDonald preface, but it's listed under the translator's name, A. C. Kollmyer.

Be sure and use the Wardrobe's bookstore link! *points to the upper right corner of the page*
Rat! he found breath to whisper, shaking. Are you afraid?
Afraid? murmured the Rat, his eyes shining with unutterable love.
Afraid! Of Him? O, never, never! And yet -- and yet -- O, Mole, I am afraid!
Then the two animals, crouching to the earth, bowed their heads and did worship.
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Re: Questions about The Screwtape Letters

Postby Tuke » 24 Jun 2009, 02:09

Paul F. Ford wrote:You are thinking of Valdemar Adolph Thisted, Letters from Hell, for the English edition of which George MacDonald wrote the Preface, A. C. Kollymer, trans. (New York: Hunter, Robinson, 1889).
Wow, did Lewis ever make reference to this, especially MacDonald's Preface?
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2 Corinthians IV.17 The Weight of Glory
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