Explanation of the letters

I have no intention of explaining how the correspondence which I now offer to the public fell into my hands.

          There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils.  One is to disbelieve in their existance.  The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them.  They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist of a magician with the same delight.  The sort of script which is used in this book can be very easily obtained by anyone who has once learned the knack; but ill-disposed or excitable people who might make a bad use of it shall not learn it from me.

          Readers are advised to remember that the devil is a liar.  Not everthing that Screwtape says should be assumed to be true even from his own angle.  I have made no attempt to identify any of the human beings mentioned in the letters; but I think it very unlikely that the portraits, say, of Fr Spike or the patient’s mother, are wholly just.  There is wishful thinking in Hell as well as on earth. 

          In conclusion, I ought to add that no effort has been made to clear up the chronology of the letters.  Number 17 appears to have been composed before rationing became serious; but in general the diabolical method of dating seems to bear no relation to terrestrial time and I have not attempted to reproduce it.  The history of the European War, except in so far as it happens now and then to impinge upon the spiritual condition of one human being, was obviously of no interest to Screwtape.

C. S. Lewis

Magdalen College,

5 July 1941

 

 

This blog is simply a recreation of The Screwtape Letters, a book written by C.S. Lewis in 1942.  The author does not intend to make any money by publishing this blog.  His only aim is to interest readers in the work of C. S. Lewis, and to make readers aware of the subtle workings of the Devil, according to Lewis’ clever mind. 

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