Screwtape Letters Audiobook John Cleese
Screwtape Letters Audiobook John Cleese – All Things Screwtape: A Pilgrim in Narnia List of resources on The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis by Brenton Dickieson
In book form in the UK. Since it’s been a decade since I gave my last “Infamous nod to our favorite degenerate demon” back in ’70, I figured I’d bring readers up to speed on all things Screwtape in the intervening years. After all, it was this collection of demonic letters that catapulted C. S. Lewis to international fame as a controversial Christian and public intellectual.
Screwtape Letters Audiobook John Cleese
It was also the book that provided me with a whole new adventure of faith and scholarship that has carried me through all the years since.
Journeying Through The Inferno: Canto 4
C.S. Lewis heard Hitler’s strangely compelling speech before the Reichstag on the radio in the summer of 1940 in that volatile first year of World War II. A couple of days later, Lewis snuck into church on Sunday morning after a few weeks of absence due to illness and fatigue. With some reluctance, Lewis sat through a sermon preached by the Reverend T.E. Blieben. Although Lewis found this clergyman boring, during that same sermon he came up with an idea for the book. He wrote about the experience to his brother:
“Before the service ended, a cd. I wish these things were more timely. An idea for a book caught my attention. I think it could be useful and entertaining. be wd. It will be called Like a Devil for Another and would consist of letters from a retired old demon to a young demon who has just started working on his first “patient”. The idea wd. be to give the whole psychology of temptation from the other point of view.” (Hooper, Letters 2, 427).
You can read the full story of Screwtape’s imaginative beginnings here, where I also try to clear up some complications in academic history. What is clear is that from July 1940 to the spring of 1941, Lewis wrote
When he had finished the letters (as far as I know), he sent them as a package to
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From May 2 to November 28, 1941, the letters were published in series: a weekly burst of creativity and artistry that brought spiritual life into focus during a period of fear, worry, violence, and loss.
We will now return to the issue of the Screwtape Preface, where Lewis prepares the reader in a creative way to read these pieces of demonic epistolary fiction. The preface is essential for reading.
As he prepares the reader for the backwards nature of the content within a fictitious preliminary note. Interestingly, the first public release of the
“My dear Wormwood: I take note of what you say about guiding our patient’s reading and seeing that he sees much of his materialistic friend. But aren’t you being a bit naive? It seems as if you assumed that discussion was the way to keep him out of the Enemy’s clutches.
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As I discuss in detail here, it’s an impressive start for the unprepared. Who is Screwtape? Who is Wormwood? Why is Wormwood praised for encouraging connections with materialists (atheists, naturalists, worldlings)? Why is he rebuked for using arguments as a basis for action?
Now because the genre of demonic epistolary fiction is something to be expected. It’s part of pop culture. Back then, though, it was brand new. While the little note from the editor may prepare regular readers to expect a Christian scholar, readers not expecting a new satirical genre may be surprised.
And he persuaded Geoffrey Bles to publish them. Until 1941, Lewis prepared the manuscript for publication, which included writing the preface on July 5, 1941, sending manuscripts to friends for safekeeping (see story here, here, and here), and going through a revision process that it is now mostly lost to us in history.
Knowing the world is a bit complex, from the initial moment that sparked Lewis’s imagination, to Lewis’s 1959 sequel, “Screwtape Proposes a Toast” in the
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The influence of in the world. For those who are interested in the details, I solve them here in this article.
It was so immediately popular that it was reprinted several times a year for the next decade. I know of no biographer of the life of C.S. Lewis as a writer or of his life after his death as an author that does not include
As a critical characteristic of who he was and what influence he had on the world. I found it intriguing to put his writing somewhat surprising
Magazine was one of the reasons Lewis rose in the literary and religious imagination of Americans. In a review of The Great Divorce, Lewis is described as a
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“Ruddy, balding British author (The Screwtape Letters, etc.), a convert (1930) from well-bred skepticism to the Church of England…” (Time, 3/11/1946, Vol. 47, Number 10).
Likewise, in Time’s review of Lewis’s George Macdonald anthology, he is most prominently credited as the author of
, 6/2/1947, vol. 49, number 22). Finally, in 1948, C.S. Lewis landed a Time cover with two headlines: “Don Versus the Devil” and “C.S. Lewis of Oxford: your heresy of him? Christianity”, where he is described as a “celebrity” whose platform was built on
Has had within popular culture as a whole. That Monty Python’s John Cleese narrated a Grammy-nominated audiobook of
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It remains a powerful resource for spiritual growth and cultural criticism. Even for people who saw the world differently from Lewis,
They are part of a curriculum I designed called “A Weekend of Reading to Change Your Literary Life.” teaching
To local Bible studies has been extremely fruitful for me. More generally, this peculiar book has been formative for the likes of Billy Graham, W.H. Auden, Neil Gaiman, Oh Hellos, William Lindsay Gresham, and Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.
Many writers have attempted a Screwtape voice from his pen, including Os Guinness, Dorothy L. Sayers, Charles Williams, and myself (it’s harder than you think). I have used this method in my teaching, which resulted in my first Lewis Fellowship paper (Teaching Screwtape for a New Generation). And Screwtape begs for an adaptation, like The Screwtape Letters Special Illustrated Edition by artist Wayland Moore or my “holiday miracle,” The Screwtape Letters Marvel Comic Book, for which Neil Gaiman provided an introduction. It seems to me that we see a revival of Wormwood and Screwtape in various parts of popular culture.
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As a writer, teacher, and blogger, Screwtape has stimulated my thinking over the years. I have written about Screwtape and Impossible Beauty, Screwtape about Pleasure and Distraction, and more complex reflections, such as “The Living Lie, But the Dead Tell the Truth: The Letters of Screwtape and Ivan Ilych”. And then, in our “current social moment”. ” (I’ll love when you finish with that sentence), “Enslaved to the pressure of the ordinary: What the cheeky taught me about my experience with COVID”. I am still navigating through the intimate pressures of life.
In the wider digital world, like my conversations on the “Pints with Jack” podcast (“Screwtape Letters on Extremism and Spiritual Living During a Pandemic” or my convocation speech at Maritime Christian College. I also enjoyed conversations about “Screwtape You Propose Toast” on “Pints with Jack” (part 1 and part 2) and the “All About Jack” podcast.And I’ve occasionally been able to feature other people’s work, like William O’Flaherty and his new book,
Was an essential part of my path to becoming a C.S. scholar. Lewis first, and I tell the story in some detail here.
The preface has become a famous part of the history of speculative literature. In writing the preface to guide the reader through this peculiar new work, Lewis followed the long tradition of epistolary fiction: novels written as letters, diary entries, logs, and the like. As we meet the
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“I have no intention of explaining how the correspondence that I now offer to the public came into my hands.”
It is a beautiful work. But behind this “published preface” is an archival piece, a handwritten preface that Lewis wrote as his first attempt to invite a wider audience to
Beyond all the intriguing aspects of the handwritten preface, there is the particular discovery that Lewis makes a link between
“Nothing will induce me to reveal how my friend Dr. Ransom got hold of the script which is translated on the following pages.”
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This is the original discovery I made in the Wade Center Archive at Wheaton University in 2012. Since that time, I have spent years working out the implications of a “Rescue Cycle” which includes the ineptly named “Space Trilogy” Lewis combined with
In 2014, I traveled to Mythcon at Wheaton College in Norton, MA to share my discovery and initial thoughts with the fantastic (in more ways than one!) community of myth lovers and fantasy fans. Then in 2016 I returned to the C.S. Lewis and his friends at Taylor University with a more detailed analysis in an article I titled “When Screwtape Haunts in Eden: Testing the Possibilities of the Screwtape-Ransom Speculative Universe” (see more here and here). . Then I worked on this material in a conference for my students, which I have published on YouTube.
–the journal of the society that hosted the original Mythcon where I presented my initial findings. This document is the culmination of several years of analyzing and testing the material in writing, teaching,