Chapter 9 The Love of the Creature
Chapter 10 Scalene Trinities
These two chapters are delightful to read.
"At this point, however, he encounters certain difficulties which we shall have to consider, if we are not to be led away into undue literalism by our very natural anxiety to make our analogy go on all-fours.Here we begin with a needed warning. I mean that I need it. I tend to try to make metaphors crawl until they die. This sort of unimaginative way of looking at analogies is the enemy of truth and communication.
This chapters deals with what it means to love something that you have created. To really love something you must allow it to be itself. You cannot force it into a new shape. I found Sayers' discussion of this quite humorous as she states examples where writers have done violence to the personalities of their own creations and marred their book. Great Expectations is mentions.
My favorite quote from this chapter is:
"Sacrifice" is another word liable to misunderstanding. It is generally held to be noble and loving in proportion as its sacrificial nature.. is consciously felt by the person who is sacrificing himself. The direct contrary is the truth. To feel sacrifice consciously as self-sacrifice argues a failure in love. When a job is undertaken from necessity, or from a grim sense of disagreeable duty, the worker is self-consciously aware of the toils and pains he undergoes, and will say: "I have made such and such sacrifices for this." But when the job is a labour of love, the sacrifices will present themselves to the worker-strange as it may seem-in the guise of enjoyment. Moralists, looking on at this, will always judge that the former kind of sacrifice is more admirable than the latter, because the moralist, whatever he may pretend, has far more respect for pride than for love. The Puritan assumption that all action disagreeable to the doer is ipso facto more meritorious than enjoyable action is firmly rooted in this exaggerated valuation set on pride. I do not mean that there is no nobility in doing unpleasant things from a sense of duty, but only that there is more nobility in doing them gladly out of sheer love of the job. The Puritan thinks otherwise; he is inclined to say, "Of -course So-and-so works very hard and has given up a good deal for such -and-such a cause, but there's no merit in that-he enjoys it." The merit, of course, lies precisely in the enjoyment, and the nobility of So-and-so consists in the very fact that he is the kind of person to whom the doing of that piece of work is delightful."
This principle is terribly convicting to me because I believe I should enjoy some of my sacrifices more than I do. On the other hand, I have immensely enjoyed raising my 9 children even though now it wears me out to think of it.
In the chapter on Scalene Trinities Sayers addresses the fact that we are all out of skew in our present sinful condition. We all lack the balance needed to be THE creator. Some of us are more inclined to fatherhood. We like the IDEA of the thing. Some writers are more Son-like they are all energy but often lacking a central organizing theme. Others tend to the Spirit. They are all power but no idea or work to give meaning to their work.
Sayers spends the chapter giving many excellent and fun examples of these errors. I particularly found this one amusing.
It reminded me of the P.G. Wodehouse heroine who proclaimed that the stars were God's daisy chain....was it Madeleine Bassett?
"Gnostic also is the preposterous stage-direction at the end of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Drama of Exile. This is scarcely a fair example, since it is not likely that she ever seriously contemplated production on any commercial stage; but it is a rich pleasure to quote it:
The stars shine on brightly while ADAM and EVE pursue their way into the far wilderness. There is a sound through the silence, as of the falling tears of an angel.
"How much noise," inquires G. K. Chesterton with brutal common sense, "is made by angel's tears"
All in all these two chapters left me with a smile. If you haven't gotten this far yet you are in for a treat. Don't give up. We are almost done.