“Those of us who have been true readers all our life …

“Those of us who have been true readers all our life seldom fully realize the enormous extension of our being which we owe to authors. We realize it best when we talk with an unliterary friend. He may be full of goodness and good sense but he inhabits a tiny world. In it, we should be suffocated. The man who is contented to be only himself, and therefore less a self, is in prison. My own eyes are not enough for me, I will see through those of others. Reality, even seen through the eyes of many, is not enough. I will see what others have invented . . .

Reading great literature I become a thousand men and yet remain myself. Like the night sky in the Greek poem, I see with a myriad eyes, but it is still I who see. Here, as in worship, in love, in moral action, and in knowing, I transcend myself; and am never more myself than when I do.”

– C.S. Lewis, An Experiment in Criticism

Posted in parallel with Words for the WeekendRead. Read. Read. Read everything. (Then Write.) – Vol. 25

“We read of spiritual efforts, and our imagination makes us believe …

“We read of spiritual efforts, and our imagination makes us believe that, because we enjoy the idea of doing them, we have done them.
I am appalled to see how much of the change I thought I had undergone lately was only imaginary.
The real work seems still to be done.
It is so fatally easy to confuse an aesthetic appreciation of the spiritual life with the life itself – to dream that you have waked, washed, and dressed and then to find yourself still in bed.”
 – C. S. Lewis (in a letter to Arthur Greeves)