Monday, January 4, 2010

Quoting C.S.Lewis

Our daughter over at Mt. Hope Academy, has been talking about books and has listed all the books read and needing to be read by her and her family. Her lists are massive, ambitious and wonderful. They put my reading list to shame so I won't list what I've read, but I'm going to quote here from the C.S. Lewis biography, 'Jack -A Life of C.S. Lewis' by George Sayer, which I recently finished. In it C.S Lewis is quoted as saying in one of his books~(and he can say it better than anyone!)

Literature enlarges our being by admitting us to experiences not our own. They may be beautiful, terrible, awe-inspiring, exhilarating, pathetic, or merely piquant. Literature gives the entree to them all. Those of us who have been true readers all out life seldom realize the enormous extension of our being that we owe to authors. We realize it best when we talk with an unliterary friend. He may be full of goodness and good sense but he inhabits a tiny world. In it, we should be suffocated. My own eyes are not enough for me. Very gladly would I learn what faces things present to a mouse or bee.

In reading great literature I become a thousand men and yet remain myself. Like the night sky in a Greek poem, I see with a thousand eyes, but it is still I who see. Here, as in worship, in love, in moral action, and in knowing, I transcend myself: and am never more myself than when I do.

And I had to find a picture to go with this post since a picture is worth--well, you know. And who better a picture of than Ilex, one of our family's great readers.

Flare 3


Anonymous said...

Great post and very darling pic of Ilex!!! Sure enjoying the C.S. Lewis Biography that you are sharing with me!

nanajoy said...

oops! that comment was from Nanajoy!!

Jan J. said...

I LOVE this quote and am about to copy it to use on a scrapbook page - thanks for posting it! It reminds me of a chapter I read by, I believe, Richard Bach who said good authors are like friends we have never met, and a little bit of each of them becomes part of us. I love taking my girls to the library - my daughter Lily (12) always emerges with an armful of the most eclectic books - recently it was Eyewitness Seashells, a novel set in a Japanese concentration camp in America, Nancy Drew, National Geographic magazines, a book on birds, a book set in Thailand. We can barely get through school time every day because she asks a question after nearly every sentence out of my mouth - I love it and how broad and wide her world is even though we mostly are at home and cannot afford to travel. From the age of 3 she has carried books around with her everywhere and embraced the whole world with fascination and eager interest. She's my little soulmate in that way and she has energized me to be more alive and interested than I have been in a while. We have family members who don't read and have no hobbies and Lily says she feels sorry for them as they are a bit, um, dull LOL!

Heidi said...

Oh, that is a FABULOUS quote! Can't wait to read his biography. Think I'll start it today. :)

And, mother dear, you read *a lot* this year!

K-Sue said...

So true! Now I think I want to read that biography.

Molly @ A Bit O' Shine said...

Wow I love that quote! I wish I'd known it when the school told me not to teach so much literature in my English class (I did fight them and eventually they gave me a literature class, but still...)

That is a truly lovely photo. I love the light and the wisps of hair blowing in the breeze.