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That's the deal

That's the deal

Postby Katisha » 29 Aug 2007, 17:34

My public library has been on strike for six weeks, so I am turning to this forum for guidance. There is a line in the play and the film Shadowlands that I have always particularly liked and found comforting. But I've never known whether it was something CS Lewis actually said, or whether it was William Nicholson's: "Why love if losing hurts so much? I have no answers any more, only the life I have lived. [...] The pain now is part of the happiness then. That's the deal."

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Postby Sven » 29 Aug 2007, 19:28

Welcome, Katisha!

That's Nicholson's writing. If you'll recall, earlier in the movie, when Joy finds out she has cancer, she says to Jack, in response to his asking how he will go on without her, “The pain then is part of the happiness now... that's the deal.” Then Nicholson has Lewis reverse it towards the end of the movie, saying "The pain now is part of the happiness then. That's the deal."

Hope this helps.

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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Postby ABC » 12 Sep 2007, 16:21

Hi Katisha!

The style is certainly Nicholson's, but the idea itself might, I think, be a combination of two ideas of Lewis's own: the inherent vulnerability of love and the way both pain and pleasure change in retrospect.

1. "Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket--safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers of love is Hell.” (The Four Loves, Chap. 6).

2. "... both good and evil, when they are fully grown, become retrospective. [...] That is what mortals misunderstand. They say of some temporal suffering, "No future bliss can make up for it", not knowing that Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even that agony into a glory. And of some sinful pleasure they say, "Let me have but his and I'll take the consequences", little dreaming how damnation will spread back and back into their past and contaminate the pleasure of the sin." (The Great Divorce)

Hope your library opens soon!
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