Monday, April 28, 2014

Review: The Screwtape Letters

The Screwtape Letters
The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I came to this work expecting it to be a clever yet annoying apologetic for Mr. Lewis' vision of Christianity. While it is an apologia, it's remarkably fun listening. Mr. Lewis puts into Screwtape's letters some things he probably couldn't have gotten away with in a different format. I'm not sure, but it certainly seems like there were some very direct personal jabs in "Screwtape's" letters. Much to my surprise, there is a whole lot of really juicy insights into human psychology and the human condition here. Even when I disagree with his conclusions (most of the time) I have to admire his insights.

I also have to admire his rhetorical skills. For all that I disagree with him, I wouldn't want to debate him. The man is damn good at constructing a logical argument.

If I were a younger person, and had been raised in Mr. Lewis' variety of Christianity, I probably would have loved this work. I imagine a lot of liberal Christians take great comfort in Mr. Lewis's implicit contention that loveing Christianity is objectively true. I can see why this work has stayed so popular for so long.

Weirdly enough, this felt less directly didactic than his Narnia books. Then again, I read the Narnia series expecting a fantasy adventure story. If I had expected it to be apologetics in fantasy form I might have felt less beaten by the metaphor hammer.

I am very likely to re-read this one. While "simply" a series of letters, what Screwtapes includes and excludes from his letters shapes a story with a lot of depth and complexity. Aside from that, this is worth examining for the quality and depth of the rhetorical/argumentation skills displayed. I think I can learn alot about constructing persuasive arguments from this work.

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Friday, April 25, 2014

April Poem-a-Day 25

Friday's prompt: a "last straw" poem.
The Last Straw
The broom went bald over
the years. She tucked
the final straw into
her hat, smashed a
window with the handle, and
used it as a
walking stick on her way to
find her destiny.

April Poem-a-Day 24

Tell It to the Reflection
If you cannot
love yourself,
At least say
loving words
to the one
looking back
from the mirror

Inspired by yesterday's Writer's Digest prompt.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Gratitude 20140421

~putting my hair in a pretty up-do today

~driving Kiddo to school
~No-Nonsense size 9 - 12 trouser socks
~using my bluetooth headset w/my iPod Touch
~discount Easter candy
~finding a couple air plants at a really good price
~playing Magic: The Gathering with the Kiddo
~Choice Of games!!!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Gratitude 20140418

~sunny spring days
~cold Dr. Pepper
~lots of fruit with my breakfast
~wearing jeans to work on Friday
~taking pictures while I walk my doggie
~Gardenia perfume
~ending the workweek without needing to bring work home
~chatting online with faraway friends

April Poem-a-Day 18

Today's prompt from Writer's Digest is a weather poem.

Weather driven sartorial decision
cold mornings call for
red&white stripey socks
legwear like candy canes
red to be warm
and stripes to make work
go that much faster

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

April Poem-a-Day 16

My mother died many years ago. It's been strange being the same age as when mom died. I thought of her when I read today's Writer's Digest Elegy prompt

Life after Death
My mother lives on
in my voice
his dextrous hands
her smiling eyes
his ready charm
and her grandchild's fierce hugs

Thursday, April 3, 2014

April Poem-a-Day 2&3

Day 3 prompt from Writer's Digest Message

What message would she send to me from her silent grave?
If those long dead watched over how their children's lives are played.  

Day 2 prompt from Writer's Digest Journey

Wanton Hydrogen,
Hooking up with ions
giving it a charge

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April Poem-a-Day 1

I've had mixed success with doing something creative every day, even less so at documenting that creativity. Nevertheless, I'm going to write a poem every day in April!

The Writer's Digest Poem-a-Day prompt today is either Beginnings or Endings. Here's my contribution:
sunlight shoos night's chill
warms stored power to open
petals to the sky