Saturday, February 12, 2005
The Screwtape Letters

I just started this book last night and I'm sure it will be on my Recently Read list by tomorrow morning. So far it's a fascinating read. I'll likely post a review when I've digested the book.

I wanted to quick share a paragraph from the introduction. He first talks about the depiction of devils and angels in art. Angels are often shown with birds' wings and devils with bats' wings, "not because anyone holds that moral deterioration would be likely to turn feathers into membrane, but because most men like birds better than bats." He goes on to explain his choice of symbols in the book:

I like bats much better than bureaucrats. I live in the Managerial Age, in a world of "Admin." The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid "dens of crime" that Dickens loved to paint. It is not done even in concentration camps or labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried and minuted) in clean, carpeted, warmed, and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voice. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the offices of a thoroughly nasty business concern.
This is one of the most well written paragraphs I've read in a long time. It is carefully worded and perfectly conceived.

I've been reading a library's worth of books on World War II and the Holocaust (mainly survivor stories) lately. I actually started a post about how it's affecting me and why I keep finding more books on the subject, and couldn't express it. This isn't that, but it relates to it in terms of how evil plays itself out and how individually we can steer clear of the traps that stunt spirituality. I think this is going to be an excellent read.
posted by lochan | link
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Name: Laura

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