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I admit that some writers have told me for the first time of heavens and hells I never met before; but many, equally great or greater, have told me only of those we all have to bear whether we choose to call them “unbearable” or not. What hells can be harder to bear than those in which many of our unpoetic fellow creatures live? What man, after forty years in the world, has not experienced enough (if that were all that was needed) to be raw material for all the tragedies of Shakespeare? Once again, the view I am fighting depends on a gross under-estimation of common things and common men. “To be a man,” as Professor Tolkien recently reminded us, “is tragedy enough.” Yes, and comedy enough too. The Naturalistic doctrine is a mere assumption, first made by the arrogance of poets and since accepted by the misdirected humility of an irreligious age.

From The Personal Heresy

The Personal Heresy: A Controversy. Copyright © 1939 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

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