Dear Reader 2/14/2024

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Reading C.S Lewis’ An Experiment in Criticism and not that I am looking over anybody’s shoulder, or peeking at their library titles but he has great points about exchanges between reader and writer..


(Many readers) (and reviewers on Amazon) demand a swift-moving narrative. Something must always be ‘happening’. Their favorite terms of condemnation are ‘slow’, ‘long-winded’ and the like…”

“Some people read only narrative because only there will he find an Event. He is dead to the aural side of what he reads because rhythm and melody do not help him to discover who married who (or rescued, robbed raped or murdered) whom”

I’m not totally in agreement with this — it’s important to find out who. But I think it’s true about narratives that leap wildly from event to event becoming tedious.

And, “In the course of my inquiry I rejected the notion that literature is to be valued A) for telling us truths about life and b.) as an aid to culture…while we read, we must treat the reception of the work we are reading as an end in itself.”

That’s because non-fiction — polemics, essays, journalism sermons— does those things much better than dressing it all up as a “novel”.

Every dawn is different, the sun is moving north again, shadows are different on the hills day by day and Orion is leaving us. Last night I stepped outside and I never saw such a sky full of blazing stars.