Monday, October 11, 2010

CS Lewis's letters

Guess what I'm reading? I borrowed The Collected Letters of CS Lewis from my friend sopraninigabi and it's the book I read before sleeping.

It's the type of book that fits right into the bedtime routine because his thoughts and insights still ring true today, and yet you're given a glimpse of the early 20th century (that is, a time long gone) because you're taken in on even the most ordinary of everyday life: Jack (CS Lewis's nickname) asking for a new jacket or pair of socks, talking about the books he's reading (I really MUST pick up a Bronte sister now), and making travel plans... aren't these the stuff of everyday? Only now, we text and email--so I find myself constantly marveling at the fact that back then you needed to set aside at least an hour everyday just to attend to (meaningful) correspondence. Seems like such a nice way to spend an hour.

Here's a snippet from a letter sent from Gastons on 5 Oct 1914 (date not exact because Lewis had the bad habit of not dating his letters) to his father in Bookham:

My dear Papy,


Thanks so much for the photographs, which I have duly received and studied. They are artistically got up and touched in: in fact everything that could be desired--only, do I really tie my tie like that? Do I really brush my hair like that? Am I really as fat as that? Do I really look so sleepy? However, I suppose that thing in the photo is the one thing I am saddled with forever and ever, so I had better learn to like it. Isn't it curious that we know anyone else better than we do ourselves? Possibly a merciful delusion.


I am very amused by such self-scrutiny coming from a man like Lewis (he would be about 16 years old here)--don't we all do that? (I can especially relate to "Do I really look so sleepy?" LOL!)

Must stop blogging now because I am catching up on my writing. I leave you with a quote about letter-writing:

"It is the immemorial privilege of letter-writers to commit to paper things they would not say: to write in a more grandiose manner than that in which they speak: and to enlarge upon feelings which would be passed by unnoticed in conversation."

3 comments:

sopraninigabi said...

Am glad you're enjoying it!! I also have Volume 2 (it's the 3rd volume I haven't found yet *le sigh*), so just let me know if you want me to bring it on the 23rd.

I personally enjoyed Volume 2 better... it's got the delightful scenes of everyday plus deep discussions on life and God. It's the kind of book one can reread, over and over again, and each time glean a precious new lesson. :)

petrufied said...

Sure I'd love to read that too Gabi!! I'm also looking for a GK Chesterton book--I hear CS Lewis was influenced a lot by him.

You know, a friend tipped me saying I should visit Totus Bookstore in Amici Building in Connecticut st., Greenhills. It has a lot of spiritual readings and other reflective stuff, including Scott Hahn!

sopraninigabi said...

Mika Lastrilla lent me EVERLASTMING MAN by G.K. Chesterton, waaaa, I've yet to read it! I made a copy already, though. I'm supposed to return his copy on the 23rd. I'm sure papayag siya if you'd like to borrow it first!

Sige, will bring Volume 2 next next Saturday! I also recently bought "The Man Who Was Thursday," it's been described to be a metaphysical thriller. Can't wait to find out what that's like!

Ooooh Totus Bookstore! I want to go! Scott Hahn's HOME TO ROME was downright life-changing, for me, hehe. He's one of my idols.