Friday, July 24, 2015

Lewis and Sitwell

So, sometimes when working on one thing (Charles Williams' Arthurian poems) you make a discovery, or what seems to be a discovery, on something entirely unrelated (Edith Sitwell's possible influence on C. S. Lewis).

Case in point: having noted CSL extravagant (and, I can now attest, undeserved) praise for Edith Sitwell's 1924 book SLEEPING BEAUTY, I hunted down a copy and read it. And in the course of forcing my way through its doggerel, I found two lines that really stuck out:

Hell is no vastness, it has naught to keep
But little rotting souls and a small sleep
(p. 61)

Now that sounds remarkably like one of the key underlying premises of Lewis's THE GREAT DIVORCE (1945). Or perhaps it's just a coincidence. In any case, I thought it worth sharing.


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