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Who Goes Home?



A short addition to my Ulysses post:

Who Goes Home? is the original title to C.S. Lewis' wonderful account of the journey through the afterlife, The Great Divorce.  There is much to write about Lewis' retelling (sort of) of the Divine Comedy, but right now I want to focus on one specific element.

For Lewis, the afterlife is always seen as the greatest of all possible adventures.  For Lewis, the purgative process consists of deciding to embark upon this journey.  It is questing perfected.  In the Narnia stories, heaven is referred to as "Aslan's Country" - the mountains are taller; the rivers are wider, deeper, and colder; the vegetation is unbending and rigid; the creatures are enormous, radiant, and perfect.

Lewis got it.  He felt the heat of the desire to quest.  He understood why knights engaged in chivalric conquest and fought in tourneys; he knew why Ulysses sought isle after isle; he also knows that the horizon is the one thing that is always impossible to reach.

His picture of heaven is the unity of these two human cravings - the desire for home and the desire for adventure.  This was the first picture of heaven that captivated me, and remains so.

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