C. S. Lewis: 10 quotes on his birthday

C. S. Lewis, author of bestselling children’s series "The Chronicles of Narnia," was born on Nov. 29, 1898, in Belfast, Ireland. Ten years later, his somewhat idyllic childhood ended when his mother died and he was sent away to a boarding school in England. In 1916 Lewis began studying at University College, the oldest college at Oxford University. Lewis took time off from school in order to serve in World War I and returned to college in 1918. He graduated at the top of his class and began teaching English at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he remained for 29 years. In addition to teaching, Lewis wrote a number of books on religious and literary topics. "The Allegory of Love" (1936) took a new look at love in medieval literature, and his preface to Milton’s "Paradise Lost"  remains to this day a central piece of literary criticism. In addition to "The Chronicles of Narnia," Lewis wrote a science fiction series called the “Space Trilogy,” a work that was influenced by his close friend J. R. Tolkien’s "The Hobbit." Lewis’s works have been translated into over 30 languages and have sold millions of copies to this day. 


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"This is one of the miracles of love: It gives a power of seeing through its own enchantments and yet not being disenchanted."


"Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it."


"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one."


"Nothing that you have not given away will ever be really yours.”


"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell."

The future

"The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of 60 minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is."


"We are what we believe we are."


"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.”


“The pain I feel now is the happiness I had before. That's the deal.”


"We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive."