Posts Tagged ‘C.S. Lewis’

Two Trees

In the world of Genesis, knowing the difference between good and evil seems to be a bad thing. Adam and Eve develop what in English we call modesty, the sense that some things should stay private, which they experience as embarrassment. And somehow that makes them God-like. And even more confusingly, God treats this as a bad thing, objecting as if He were afraid of the competition. What a thematic mess, at least for a modern-day Christian!

Trying To Have It Both Ways

Perhaps a lot of us sing loudly of feelings that are not quite our own, assert kinships and allegiances we do not exactly feel, try to feel familiar and comfortable in places where we are not thoroughly welcomed.


I knew from having my ear well trained over the preceding decade what a good song sounded like. I knew what the proper approach to literature looked like. I knew that mysticism didn’t sell ice cream. And now I was in a world where no one who ran the show cared what I knew; they thought they knew better and were going to do it their way.

Off- and Off-Off-

Is it more important for a memoirist to avoid inflicting pain on those close to him or to tell the truth as he remembers it? Is the allure of suicide to be taken on its own terms or treated with the taboo our society generally imposes upon it? Which should sway the thinking person: the less than conclusive evidence for God’s existence and meaning in the universe or the less than conclusive evidence against God and meaning? There is not going to be an objectively final resolution to these problems. Should drama therefore not “go there”? And if it does “go there,” must the dramatist furnish a right answer? Not in my book.

Revival Meetings: ANYTHING GOES, HAIR, and FOLLIES

Revivals pose a unique set of challenges to those who stage them, and a unique set of questions to be considered by a contemporary audience. But great shows get invited back.

Of Love and Caffeine

Thanks in good measure to Herbie Hancock and Ramsey Lewis and Minnie Riperton and Macke Vending, I became an intellectual…

An Unexpected Open Door

That was kind of the impression I got of Dorothy Ashby’s harp – that she had some abnormal number of fingers and strings to syncopate with. It was a preternatural experience. Which, come to think of it, is exactly the kind of thing orchestrators rely on harps to convey anyhow. I wanted to locate things that no one else knew were there, not just my parents but my contemporaries. Developing a taste for something obviously objectively very good, not just an affectation, which no one else I knew even knew about, that was one way to do it.

Dances for Tolkien

I very specifically recall the thrill of reading Tolkien sitting there. And while I was reading it, I often had playing softly, so as not to wake my parents, one particular record from The Treasury of the World’s Great Music. This LP combined on one side the symphonic version of Borodin’s Polovetsian Dances and Dukas’ The Sorceror’s Apprentice. Now with all respect to Howard Shore’s estimable soundtrack for the Peter Jackson’s near-definitive movies, once you’ve listened to these pieces, you will never think of Shore as being in the same class in capturing the thrill of those books.