"Permanent Things reminds us that some of the century's most imaginative minds - G. K. Chesterton, T. S. Eliot, C. S. Lewis, Dorothy Sayers, and Evelyn Waugh - were profoundly at odds with the secularist spirit of the age, seeing...
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"Permanent Things reminds us that some of the century's most imaginative minds - G. K. Chesterton, T. S. Eliot, C. S. Lewis, Dorothy Sayers, and Evelyn Waugh - were profoundly at odds with the secularist spirit of the age, seeing progressive enlightenment as ushering in, not a millennium of perfect freedom, but a Waste Land whose inhabitants - Waugh's "vile bodies," Eliot's "hollow men," Lewis's "men without chests" - can find refuge from their boredom and anomie only in the ceaseless acquisition of things or in the consoling illusions of pseudo religions - "distracted from distraction by distraction," as Eliot memorably put it." "How does one explain the desolation of a world which, though richly endowed with material comforts, is mentally and spiritually impoverished? The essayists here are united, as were their subjects, by a need to try to answer this question. Modern man's poverty of spirit, visible alike in so much of his art and architecture, his literature and philosophy and political science, reflects his loss of any good reasons for living - his loss of the Permanent Things." "The Christian writers whose work is eloquently interpreted in this book repay our attention for at least two reasons. First is their ability to sharpen our awareness of what, by any previous civilized standards, must be called the abnormal condition of modern man. For all the writers treated in this book, it was never enough to simply capture the spiritual aridity of modern life. It was also necessary to speak of a moral order that may yet be restored by the expressive power and beauty of the written word."--BOOK JACKET. Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved