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C. S. Lewis

  • Irish author
  • Born November 29, 1898
  • Died November 22, 1963

Clive Staples Lewis (29 November 1898 – 22 November 1963) was a British writer and lay theologian. He held academic positions in English literature at both Oxford University (Magdalen College, 1925–1954) and Cambridge University (Magdalene College, 1954–1963). He is best known for his works of fiction, especially The Screwtape Letters, The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Space Trilogy, and for his non-fiction Christian apologetics, such as Mere Christianity, Miracles, and The Problem of Pain. Lewis and fellow novelist J. R. R. Tolkien were close friends.


I think that all things, in their way, reflect heavenly truth, the imagination not least.




'Good English' is whatever educated people talk; so that what is good in one place or time would not be so in another.




If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.




Telling us to obey instinct is like telling us to obey 'people.' People say different things: so do instincts. Our instincts are at war... Each instinct, if you listen to it, will claim to be gratified at the expense of the rest.




Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself less.




What we call Man's power over Nature turns out to be a power exercised by some men over other men with Nature as its instrument.




Humans are amphibians - half spirit and half animal. As spirits they belong to the eternal world, but as animals they inhabit time.




Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.




We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.




Part of every misery is, so to speak, the misery's shadow or reflection: the fact that you don't merely suffer but have to keep on thinking about the fact that you suffer. I not only live each endless day in grief, but live each day thinking about living each day in grief.




Affection is responsible for nine-tenths of whatever solid and durable happiness there is in our lives.




I'm tall, fat, rather bald, red-faced, double-chinned, black-haired, have a deep voice, and wear glasses for reading.




Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.




Real joy seems to me almost as unlike security or prosperity as it is unlike agony.




Always try to use the language so as to make quite clear what you mean and make sure your sentence couldn't mean anything else.




Thirty was so strange for me. I've really had to come to terms with the fact that I am now a walking and talking adult.




Let's pray that the human race never escapes from Earth to spread its iniquity elsewhere.




'The Lion' all began with a picture of a faun carrying an umbrella and parcels in a snowy wood. This picture had been in my mind since I was about sixteen. Then one day, when I was about forty, I said to myself, 'Let's try to make a story about it.'




How incessant and great are the ills with which a prolonged old age is replete.




If we cut up beasts simply because they cannot prevent us and because we are backing our own side in the struggle for existence, it is only logical to cut up imbeciles, criminals, enemies, or capitalists for the same reasons.




I gave in, and admitted that God was God.




The long, dull, monotonous years of middle-aged prosperity or middle-aged adversity are excellent campaigning weather for the devil.




I sometimes wonder whether all pleasures are not substitutes for joy.




Nothing is more dangerous to one's own faith than the work of an apologist. No doctrine of that faith seems to me so spectral, so unreal as one that I have just successfully defended in a public debate.




Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.




If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair.




Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.




A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading.




Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ, and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in.




Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.

Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.




Joy is the serious business of Heaven.




There is, hidden or flaunted, a sword between the sexes till an entire marriage reconciles them.




Everyone has noticed how hard it is to turn our thoughts to God when everything is going well with us... While what we call 'our own life' remains agreeable, we will not surrender it to Him. What, then, can God do in our interests but make 'our own life' less agreeable to us, and take away the plausible sources of false happiness?




Satan, the leader or dictator of devils, is the opposite, not of God, but of Michael.




Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.




Always prefer the plain direct word to the long, vague one. Don't implement promises, but keep them.



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