Dorothy Sayers

Check out what Dorothy Sayers, a contemporary of C.S. Lewis, writes about the diminishing appreciation for literature in her time.

I couldn’t help thinking that the same line of reasoning could be applied to the decline of appreciation for “church” within the Christian community in our time.  It is amazing how we ride the tides of fashion.

What do you think?

Now, when a whole department of literature is thus unanimously and, as it were, automatically condemned for the mere crime of being itself, and excluded from serious critical attention, it is pretty safe to say that we have simply forgotten how to judge it.  It is extremely improbable, to say the least of it, that a genre that, in the past, produced such acknowledged masterpieces as The Divine Comedy, The Faerie Queene, and The Pilgrim’s Progress, is altogether worthless.  Neither is it probable that a genre that enjoyed so many hundreds of years of popularity corresponds to no fundamental need in human nature.  It is much more likely that we have fallen out of touch with it, so that we no longer remember how this particular literary game should be played—what its intention is or what its rules are—and thus are in no position to tell whether it is well or badly done, or what it is all about.  We are in the same situation as an American, who, not knowing the first thing about a cricket, is planked down in the pavilion at the Lord’s to watch a test match.  The only impression he is likely to carry away is that this is a slow and formal game, and not in the least like baseball.  He will have only a vague notion of what everybody is so earnestly trying to do, and the finer points of the play will escape him altogether.



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