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    Did Geraldine McCaughrean Read Dorothy Sayers?

    November 28, 2012 by Brandy Vencel

    Since the Linky isn’t up yet for the Mind of the Maker book club, I thought I’d do an extra entry for the previous chapter. We’ve already begun our Jesse Tree book because I only do this with the children on week days, so I need a full four weeks before Christmas. We’ve read this book at least two times before, but I suppose, since I hadn’t yet read Sayers, I didn’t recognize the connection.

    Here is a copy of my summary of the “writer’s trinity” that Sayers introduces in Chapter 3:

    1. Idea: this is the whole work, complete and at once, in the mind of the author. Something about this reminded me of the book Poetic Knowledge. It is as if she is saying that writers have a poetic grasp of their own work before they ever set pen to paper. This parallels the Father.
    2. Creative Energy/Activity: this is the actual act of writing, of putting in the work to make the idea a reality. This neatly parallels the Son.
    3. Creative Power: this is the meaning of the work, and the response in the soul. This parallels the Holy Spirit.
    So guess how excited I was when I read this:

    First there was the idea, complete and perfect: the beginning, the end, and everything in between. {God is a craftsman, you see, and a craftsman always plans before he begins work.} Then God flexed his fingers and began. He made light and with it warmth and beauty…


    “But why the sun and the moon? Why didn’t you carve Adam and Eve?”

    “I told you, boy. These are symbols. They represent the time when God began his great plan. As it happens, Adam and Eve almost ruined everything…But people who come into this church will look at this sun, this moon, and remember how God created the world.”

    “And now you are creating it all over again,” said the boy.

    The old man was so angry that his fist tightened around his chisel and he shook it. “Don’t talk wickedness, boy! I don’t liken myself to God! that’d be falling into the sin of pride, that would!”

    The boy looked startled. “Why? You said it yourself: there’s a likeness. A family likeness. It’s just that you’re using wood, not clay…”

    I don’t see Creative Power, but I see the concepts of Idea and Creative Energy/Activity very strongly, as well as the idea that an artist reflects this. Wow!

    Read More:
    -More posts linked at Ordo Amoris
    Buy the book and read along!
    -Get Mind of the Maker for free from Willa’s Readlist

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  • Reply Geraldine McCaughrean November 30, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    Geraldine did indeed read Dorothy L Sayers – but not the Mind of the Maker whose existence escaped me. Just the Peter Wimsey/ Harriet Vane novels which are among my favourite books (along with Rowe-Townsend’s terrific sequels). Thank you for intriguing me.
    Give my love to Mr Butterfield will you as you meet him again this year – I gave him the name of my father’s Sunday school teacher who imparted the same bizarre piece of wisdom every week: “If a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.”

    • Reply Brandy @ Afterthoughts November 30, 2012 at 9:04 pm

      Wow! I am so honored that you dropped by my humble corner of the Internet! Thank you! And thank you for your wonderful book. We are on our third {fourth? hmmm…} year using it. The children have even made little ornaments to hang on our Jesse Tree that look like the ones in your book.

      I just acquired a Lord Peter Wimsey collection that I look forward to reading over our Christmas break. 🙂

  • Reply sara November 29, 2012 at 11:07 am

    Oh Brandy! We started the Jesse Tree last night on your recommendation and yes, I saw the connection too! I’ve got the warm fuzzies right now. It’s lovely making connections and sharing them with other people.

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