Monday, January 03, 2005

Sir Archibald

"Ye'll understand, there are innumerable forms of this choice. Sometimes forms that one hardly thought of at all on Earth. There was a creature came here not long ago and went back--Sir Archibald they called him. In his earthly life he'd been interested in nothing but Survival. He'd written a whole shelf-full of books about it. He began by being philosophical, but in the end he took up Psychical Research. It grew to be his only occupation--experimenting, lecturing, running a magazine. And travelling too: digging out queer stories among Tibetan lamas and being initiated into brotherhoods in Central Africa. Proofs--and more proofs--and then more proofs again--were what he wanted. It drove him mad if ever he saw anyone taking an interest in anything else. He got into trouble during one of your wars for running up and down the country telling them not to fight because it wasted a lot of money that ought to be spent on Research. Well, in good time, the poor creature died and came here: and there was no power in the universe would have prevented him staying and going on to the mountains. But do ye think that did him any good? This country was no use to him at all. Everyone here had "survived" already. Nobody took the least interest in the question. There was nothing more to prove. His occupation was clean gone. Of course if he would only have admitted that he'd mistaken the means for the end and had a good laugh at himself he could have begun all over again like a little child and entered into joy. But he would not do that. He cared nothing about joy. In the end he went away."
~C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce, Chapter 9 (1946)


On this day:

1892 J. R. R. Tolkien, Lewis's longtime friend, colleague, and fellow Inkling is born in Bloemfontein, South Africa.

4 Comment(s):

At Mon Jan 03, 06:38:00 PM EST, Blogger Arevanye said...

Ok, all you C.S. Lewis scholars out there: can anyone tell us if Sir Archibald is an actual person?

At Mon Jan 03, 07:47:00 PM EST, Blogger Sandicomm said...

I don't know, but I suspect that he might be partly based on the person that Dr. Weston is.

At Thu Jan 11, 11:06:00 PM EST, Blogger David O'Hara said...

I doubt that he's based on Weston - who was apparently based on JBS Haldane. Maybe it was Sir Archibald Geikie?

At Sat May 04, 04:34:00 PM EDT, Blogger Frog said...

The description sounds like sir Richard Burton...


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