The Discarded Image: An Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature by C.S. Lewis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
It has been too long since I read C.S. Lewis, and this was one I hadn’t read yet. For those interested in understanding the medieval view of the cosmos, and who wouldn’t, this is such a helpful and colorful presentation of what that cosmology entailed.
When the ancients looked into the night sky, they had the perception that they were looking upward and inward into a vast dance of life. We humans were in a world full of variation and change, but the heavens were full of song, light, and life. Modern scientism has convinced us to view the universe as a cold expanse, where life is a rare exception to the rule of inorganic prevalence.
There is much beauty in the medieval model, and we would do well to remember that their explanation for the heavens was not as far fetched and “fairy tale-ish” as we might think. After all, we try to explain the universe in terms of mathematical equations, but this doesn’t get us any closer to actually understanding what the universeÂ is. Lewis is wonderful in all of his writings, no less so here. He is the master writer that all of us other writers aim to mimic. I’d also recommend reading Michael Wards “Planet Narnia” after this. It will change your whole view of Narnia, for the better.