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Although I'm not particularly religious, I've recently been seeking out any C.S. Lewis books that I can find. Some might say that Lewis wasn't particularly religious either, what with his eccentric take on Christianity. But he did write lots about it, and they were fairly influential.

 

One in particular was influential to me. It was given to me when I was a callow youth at high school, and was the gift of the visiting chaplain, who cleverly detected that I was showing an interest in the subject that he taught. I wasn't, really, but I accepted the book with a hope that he would consider his duty done, and leave me in peace. 

 

I did try to read it, though. And this brings me to my point. I can vividly recall a paragraph in which Lewis says, (and I paraphrase), "Prehistoric man slept with his eyes open, so that he could better enjoy being asleep".  Now, this curious oddity stuck in my mind, not least because it was obviously a very stupid thing to say. I remember relating it to my schoolmates and receiving howls of scorn in reply.

 

But looking back, as I frequently do these days, I feel I'd like to read that book again, if only for the nostalgic connection. Unfortunately, I cannot remember its name.

 

I'm wondering if anyone is familiar enough with Lewis to remember which book contains that content. I'd be grateful.

 

Thanks.

S

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(Apart from biographies about C.S Lewis) I've read Mere Christianity, Surprised By Joy and possibly A Grief Observed, but I'm sorry I don't remember that line. Google didn't throw up anything either. What surprised me about his non-fiction was how easy it was to read and understand. I was expecting them to be rather dry, scholarly tomes but instead he was very honest about his struggles and compassionate towards others.

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On 7/9/2022 at 12:16 AM, poppy said:

(Apart from biographies about C.S Lewis) I've read Mere Christianity, Surprised By Joy and possibly A Grief Observed, but I'm sorry I don't remember that line. Google didn't throw up anything either. What surprised me about his non-fiction was how easy it was to read and understand. I was expecting them to be rather dry, scholarly tomes but instead he was very honest about his struggles and compassionate towards others.

 

Yes, that's what I found, too. His writing is almost conversational, as if it's almost a transcription of casual speech, complete with all the "ums" and "ahs" and "y'knows?" Not a heavy writer by any means.

 

When I googled the line I got so many off-topic results that I gave up. But I'll keep trying.

 

Thanks for your reply, Poppy.

.  

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The quote sounds vaguely familiar to me but I can't think of where I saw it either. I haven't actually read any of C.S Lewis' non-fiction in full, which makes me think I've probably seen it in relation to another author - maybe George MacDonald. I'll let you know if I find it!

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There are The Screwtape Letters too which used to be read to us in assembly at school about an inefficient devil trying to corrupt souls so they got sent to hell. There were definitely amongst the more amusing things we had to listen to.

 

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Yes, I've been lucky enough to get a copy of The Screwtape Letters just this week, France. Haven't got far into it yet, but I'm hoping that quote is there. 

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