What are Modern Uses of Screwtape Letters
During the 2nd World War, the demon Wormwood, who just did the Tempter's Training College has completed, commissioned to win the soul of a young man to hell. Easily overwhelmed with this task, he trustingly turns to his uncle Screwtape, who holds the post of undersecretary in hell. He sent Wormwood well-meaning advice in the form of a letter. The newbie doesn't seem to notice that his uncle's affection is not entirely unselfish
We can read Screwtape's correspondence because it got into human hands in an unknown way.
Rated withStars (visitor review):
The Screwtape Letters is certainly Lewis' best known and most popular adult fiction work. Lewis himself was not particularly fond of the epistolary novel, however. (Lewis' colleague Tolkien got quite angry when he heard this, as the novel is dedicated to JRRT!) That explains why Lewis wasn't doing more as originally planned Screwtape-Wrote novels. Except the Letters there is only the short speech Screwtape Proposes a Toast.
It is not difficult for me to share the author's view. Screwtape's letters enabled Lewis to condemn all that he hated and despised about the modern world in one massive blow to hell. This ranges from the philosophy of life and historicism to reform pedagogy. That Lewis attributes the occurrence of all thought currents he rejected to satanic influence (even if only in fiction) does not throw a good light on old Jack, and makes reading the Screwtape letters not exactly pleasant. The Great Divorce and the Cosmic Trilogy are among my favorite books; the Letters do not belong to it. Perhaps this is also the reason for Lewis' dislike of his own novel, apart from the explanations in the epilogue.
Nonetheless, Screwtape's world is brilliantly thought out. It is structured in a strictly bureaucratic manner. There is a police force, a secret service and even a philological department that creates language confusion on earth. In view of the current use of vocabulary and catchphrases such as peacekeeping, internal security, preventive measures and the war on terror, it is not a too strange idea. Lewis' hell is teeming with fat-eaten, complacent officials and young schemers who stalk each other with greed. Of course we learn all of this from Screwtape's correspondence, so it is not described in detail. Nevertheless, it is precisely the joy of telling stories hidden in such details that The Screwtape Letters despite everything makes it worth reading.
The Sixtieth Anniversary Edition comes with the letters and Screwtape Proposes a Toast in one band.
(reviewed by: Marengo)
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