Why does C.S. Lewis’s writing seem so original? Why is it so darn good?
Keeping Girard in mind, it seems that Lewis, unlike the vast majority of Christian writers, does not start with the Other as his launchpad.
So so so much theological writing is polemical. It is defined by what it is opposing. Pick up any book advocating a “Christian Worldview” and you’ll find most of the ink is spilled in the act of being contra this or contra that. Now that doesn’t make any of the ideas presented true or otherwise, but it is the form the discourse takes. I think this is more than just a writing style, but the evidence of a deeper philosophy – one of mimetic rivalry. Mere Christianity is more different from these than I previously realized.
So often, Lewis rarely gives his “opponents” the time of day. You barely even know they are there. His ideas are not slave to the Other. He sets the tone and in the process opens doors and sounds so positive, without the ideas losing any of their power. I think he proves that this CAN be done by simply doing it well, at least most of the time.
This is a note to myself to keep this in mind when writing int he future. Can you turn a piece of criticism on it’s head?