Read Along,  Show Notes,  Writing

Episode 201: “The Mind of the Maker” by Dorothy L. Sayers, Ch. 9-End

On The Literary Life today, we wrap up our series on The Mind of the Maker by Dorothy L. Sayers. Angelina, Cindy, and Thomas begin the conversation with C. S. Lewis’ critique of Sayers’ work, both what he agreed with and disagreed with in this book, as well as touching on Tolkien’s idea of artists as sub-creators. Cindy talks about what it is like writing a book in relation to Sayers’ thoughts on the subject of authorship. Thomas shares why he took issue with part of her examples of scalene triangles and the Trinity in relation to aesthetic failures. Angelina shares her dilemma with this same portion, and they discuss the principle they think Sayers was trying to illustrate.

The House of Humane Letters is currently having their Christmas sale until December 31, 2023. Everything is now 20% OFF, so hop on over and get the classes at their best prices now. In addition to the sale, you can also sign up for Atlee Northmore’s webinar “A Medieval Romance in a Galaxy Far, Far Away: How to Read Star Wars.”

Cindy is also offering at 20% OFF discount throughout the holidays. Use coupon code “advent2023” on until January 2024.

If you missed it, go back to last week’s episode to get all the information about our 2024 Reading Challenge, Book of Centuries.

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Commonplace Quotes:

Truth herself will, at the promptings of Nature, break forth from even unwilling hearts.

“Veritas ipsa cogente natura etiam ab invitis pectoribus erumpit.”

Lactantius, from Divine Institutes, Bk. II

Curiosity may elicit facts, but only real interest may mold these facts to wisdom.

Anna Botsford Comstock, from Handbook of Nature Study

I must therefore disagree with Miss Sayers very profoundly when she says that ‘between the mind of the maker and the Mind of the Maker’ there is ‘a difference, not of category, but only of quality and degree’ (p. 147). On my view there is a greater, far greater, difference between the two than between playing with a doll and suckling a child. But with this, serious disagreement ends.

This is the first ‘little book on religion’ I have read for a long time in which every sentence is intelligible and every page advances the argument. I recommend it heartily to theologians and critics. To novelists and poets, if they are already inclined in any degree to idolatry of their own vocation, I recommend it with much more caution. They had better read it fasting.

C. S. Lewis, from Image and Imagination


by Thomas Beddoes

Sweet are the thoughts that haunt the poet’s brain
Like rainbow-fringed clouds, through which some star
Peeps in bright glory on a shepherd swain;
They sweep along and trance him; sweeter far
Than incense trailing up an out-stretched chain
From rocking censer; sweeter too they are
Than the thin mist which rises in the gale
From out the slender cowslip’s bee-scarred breast.
Their delicate pinions buoy up a tale
Like brittle wings, which curtain in the vest
Of cobweb-limbed ephemera, that sail
In gauzy mantle of dun twilight dressed,
Borne on the wind’s soft sighings, when the spring
Listens all evening to its whispering.

Books Mentioned:

Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy Sayers

Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers

Home Economics by Wendell Berry

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