April 28, 2005

Inspired by forced-listening to popular music at various retailers...

From the Screwtape Letters, written by an experienced demon to a younger one, whom he instructs in the art of temptation, and the destruction of souls. Screwtape is referring to a description of heaven as "the regions where there is only life and therefore all that is not music is silence'"..

My dear Wormwood . . .

Music and silence—how I detest them both! How thankful we should be that ever since our Father entered Hell—though longer ago than humans, reckoning in light years, could guess—no square inch of infernal space and no moment of infernal time has been surrendered to either of those abominable forces, but all has been occupied by Noise—Noise, the grand dynamism, the audible expression of all that is exultant, ruthless, and virile—Noise which alone defends us from silly qualms, despairing scruples, and impossible desires. We will make the whole universe a noise in the end. We have already made great strides in this direction as regards the Earth. The melodies and silences of Heaven will be shouted down in the end. But I admit we are not yet loud enough, or anything like it. Research is in progress.

      —C. S. Lewis

Actually, I think Borders is the worst. They always play eclectic stuff that trendy urbanites are supposed to like. Ethnic or foreign we're-not-middle-Americans music. I guess everybody else is used to non-stop background music, but to me it makes it impossible to hear the "music" in prose. Which is what I'm most hoping to find at a bookstore...

Posted by John Weidner at April 28, 2005 09:19 PM
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