Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Screwtape Annotated

HarperOne's C.S. Lewis Blog describes a book I really want, to be published in about a week, The Screwtape Letters: Annotated Edition:
Have you ever wondered if the patient in The Screwtape Letters could actually see Bus #73 from the British Museum? Remember? It's when Screwtape distracted him away from his curiosity toward the things of God. How about the name Wormwood? Is there a reason for it? ....

The annotated edition of The Screwtape Letters is wonderful–and not only for the triviality mentioned above–but also because it does what the introduction says it would do: (1) it places the author's work in its historical context; (2) it helps to illuminate themes and ideas that would be explored in other works by Lewis; (3) it helps an American audience, especially, realize the meaning of English phrases or words that are not common–then or now–in the States. ....

I want to add three additional reasons: (1) the pointers to Scripture and the references to Anglicanism; (2) the careful citing of literary works that Lewis gleaned from or mentions in passing; (3) the many references that point to Lewis's other works and letters, which help to round out the idea in Screwtape. ....

So much is compressed into this edition, with the annotations nicely placed in red alongside the Lewis's text. I encourage you to pick up this edition whether you have Screwtape or not. .... [more]