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Letter to Dom Bede Griffiths, O.S.B.: from Magdalen College, 16 April 1940

I do most thoroughly agree with what you saw about Art and Literature. To my mind they are only healthy when they are either (a) Definitely the handmaids of religious, or at least moral, truth – or (b) Admittedly aiming at nothing but innocent recreation or entertainment. Dante’s already, and Pickwith is alright. But the great serious irreligious art – art for art’s sake – is all balderdash; and, incidentally, never exists when art is really flourishing. In fact one can say of Art as an author I recently read says of Love (sensual love, I mean) ‘It ceases to be a devil when it ceases to be a god.’ Isn’t that well put? So many things – nay, every real thing – is good if only it will be humble and ordinate.

From Letters of C. S. Lewis

Letters of C. S. Lewis. Copyright © 1966 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. and W. H. Lewis. Copyright © 1988 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

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