Screwtape to my dear Wormwood!

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Screwtape to my dear Wormwood!

Post  Thereforeiam on Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:41 pm

LOL. How does this guy (Lewis) come up with this stuff? I'm 10 letters into the book and enthralled despite the subject matter and characters.

After fast forwarding to the epilogue, I realized that C.S. was screwed up for a few months after completing this book. Taking on that identity so easily and so skillfully was almost too much for him. His insightful revelations as to the works and techniques of the evil ones will not be forgotten going forward in my daily life.
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Thereforeiam

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Dear Therefore

Post  AustenFan on Mon Jun 15, 2009 9:04 am

I am so glad that you are reading so much of C.S. Lewis and I bet that your daughter is as well. Smile

I think I can understand why writing such a book would be psychologically disturbing. Try to read some uplifting stuff after you finish that.

On a related note, there is a recently Confirmed teen in the church I serve. He is a very nice, polite, smart and interesting boy of depth and has a sincere faith in Jesus. He happens to be interested in acting so he and I have that in common. He told me that he wants to be involved in a teen version of the musical "Sweeney Todd." that is being done by some community theatre, Now, I like dark musicals, and I enjoy ST, but my immediate reaction-which I Ididn't tell him-was that the emotional investment into preparing for that part might very well have a negative spiritual effect on him. I often wonder how the original actors on Broadway (one of whom was Angela Lansbury playing Mrs. Lovitt) coped with playing those dark parts for months and months,
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I am glad you are enjoying it...

Post  stihl on Mon Jun 15, 2009 10:13 am

This book had a tremendous impact on my view of Faith (for the good). I have read two other Lewis books and still working on "Miracles".

Flirting with the dark side can have its price. The death of Heath Ledger has been partly blamed for his role as the Joker in the last Batman movie. Ledger apparently had other issues that made him suseptible but, if you have seen the movie you realize that to portray the Joker that effectively it would cost a normal person something. Just like Lewis.
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Therefore,

Post  AustenFan on Mon Jun 15, 2009 10:25 am

If you haven't yet read it yet, I suggest "The Great Divorce" as an excellent spiritual follow-up to Screwtape. That is about a bus trip from hell to heaven (much more time is spent on heaven) and the kinds of themes Lewis delves into and the characters he meets make the book very thought provoking. It is quite a posiitve book-as opposed to Scretape. I mush appreciated the concept that even in heaven we grow in our faith and become closer to God.
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I didn't realize

Post  AustenFan on Mon Jun 15, 2009 10:38 am

that playing The Joker might have contributed to Ledger's death, but I can see that if he also had a tendency to clinical depression and no source of spiritual support, and didn't have-or wasn't taking-medication that he would take his life. I'll also say it again at the risk of sounding like a bible thumperr. I think that there are powers and principalitries at work that want people in be involved in all kinds of things that wil destroy them spiritually, emotionally and physically. C.S. Lewis certainly thought so. I did a number of shows in Community theatre with a guy who was a brilliant comic. He worked in a vet's office. They found him dead from having shot himself up with horse tranquilizers. I think he might have had bi-polar disorder or not and was not taking his meds. His family never knew if it was a accident (In the sense he was trying to kill himself) or whether he was trying to get a high. Either way, he died at age 24 leaving heartbroken frends and family. He was so creative. I seriously think that the Prince of this World is absoutely against life and creativity. The folks in hell (and the ones who choose to go back to hell)l in ""The Great Diviorce" are sterile and angry, hell is nosy clamor but has no life . Screwtape is very clever and has an incisive wit. Some people complained at the time SL came out that ST was too appealing. Evil can be appealing. Following it only leads to death-literally and/or figuratively.
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I agree with you, Austen.

Post  cradlerc on Mon Jun 15, 2009 12:20 pm

I can look back over my life and see consistently where I've been drawn in to things that seemed really appealing, even good, on the surface but eventually led to misery. Lauren Winner makes this point in her book on chastity, that too often church officials ignore the fact that sexual immorality feels just fine, thanks, while you're engaging in it. I think it's true of a lot of things we become involved in to our detriment, because there is still an element of life-giving goodness in it.

I don't act, but I love to read and write. But I get very, very involved in my reading and it's sometimes hard to separate myself from the world of the fiction. I finally realized that it's not that safe for me to, say, take on vacation a book I haven't read before. I need to take something that's a known quantity if I really want to relax and enjoy myself. And I need to be a good place to read certain writers; I love Toni Morrison, for example, but it's a bad idea for me to read her in February. Too harrowing. I also used to always try writing these kind of depressing, based-in-suburbia Margaret Atwood type stories. Then I read something recently where a writer said "I don't want to write about that, because I don't want to live in that place for a year or more." Ah, I thought, so that's why I can never finish them. I can't stand being there! I admire writers like Morrison who can go to hell and back in their writing, but I'm not sure that I have the consitution to do it.

So I'm in complete agreement about your feelings about that particular yound person playing in Sweeney Todd--the phrase "not for the faint of heart" comes to mind with that one. It's also why I never say "oh, it's just fiction," to things like The Da Vinci Code. I know too much about how fiction works to say that.
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Wow Marion

Post  Thereforeiam on Tue Jun 16, 2009 9:28 am

It appears we have some things in common from our earlier days. In my twenties I was involved in several community theater musicals, some that shaped my future opinions about the arts.

One show, Carousel was rather dark and depressing throughout and I got romantically involved for a short time with the girl who played Louise. She was an accomplished dancer but didn't have much of a life (in my opinion) outside the theater. I always wondered what happened to her and to many others in the casts of shows. It's such a disconnect after the final performance and cast party.

My voice (baritone) was ok but not great. It never held up to the demands at that level although my friends claim I can still do a mean David Clayton Thomas and Eric Burton. LOL
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Thanks for sharing that

Post  AustenFan on Wed Jun 17, 2009 5:26 pm

TF. I didn't realize that you were interested in theatre. I am not much of a singer; I would call my singing voice "rather pleasant." I also prefer doing straight comedy or drama to musicals-maybe because I don't have a strong voice. I also do some directing and until the pastorate made it impossible to do community theatre (because the rehearsals were at night when church meetings are) I tried to do a show every so often. I think I shared at syracuse.com that while I was in the most recent church I served before this one, I was in a lesser known play by Tennessee Williams. called "Small Craft Warnings" where I played a Texan hair stylist who drank too much and took swings at her boyfriend when I got drunk. I received at community theatre acting award nomination for it Now, I know that you're impressed. Laughing I told the people in the church who were coming to see it, "This not real life. Your pastor does not have a drinking problem. " It did, however allow me to get out my shadow side in a reasonable way. My greatest joy recently has been directing two collegaues in a moving show about Judas and Peter. One of my collagues had been a professional actor before he became a minister. We toured it around at different churches. I also hope to have the kids in the church get more involved with drama ministry next year.

I hade to go to about three productions of Carousel over a two year period because some church kids were in it. When Julie sings her "stand by your man song" (I forget the name) after the S.O.B hits her I wanted to get up and protest. That is also my reaction to "As long as he needs me" from "Oliver". Sykes later murders Nancy. I guess I think too much about musical lyrics.

A number of theatre folks are very weird. I am probably weird, but not THAT weird Smile
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