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.
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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.
Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy Sayers
Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers
Home Economics by Wendell Berry
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