Friday, July 23, 2010

Quote from Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis

"Since I cannot mend the book, I must add to it. To leave it as it was would be to die perjured; I know so much more than I did about the woman who wrote it. What began the change was the very writing itself. Let no one lightly set about such a work. Memory, once waked, will play the tyrant. I found I must set down (for I was speaking as before judges and must not lie) passions and thoughts of my own which I had clean forgotten. The past which I wrote down was not the past that I thought I had (all these years) been remembering. I did not, even when I had finished the book, see clearly many things I see now. The change which the writing wrought in me ( and of which I did not write) was only a beginning - only to prepare me for the gods' surgery. They used my own pen to probe my wound......I looked at the roll in my hand and saw at once that it was not the book I had written. It couldn't be; it was far too small. And too old - a little, shabby, crumpled thing nothing like the great book that I had worked on day after day......There was utter silence all around me. And now for the first time, I knew what I had been doing. While I was reading, it had, once and again, seemed strange to me that the reading took so long; for the book was so small. Now I knew that I had been reading it forever, quick as I could, starting the first word again almost before the last was out of my mouth.....and the voice I read it in was strange to my ears. There was given to me a certainty that this, at last, was my real voice....there was silence in the dark assembly long enough for me to have read my book out yet again. At last the judge spoke, "are you answered?"
"Yes," said I. The complaint was the answer. To have heard myself making it was to be answered.....'to say the very thing you really mean, the whole of it, nothing more or less or other than what you really mean; that's the whole art and joy of words.'"

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