Dorothy Sayers on Free Will and Miracle

This is not so much about popular media per se but about the Catholic humanist writer Dorothy Sayers. I have greatly admired her writings about Dante (she was a translator of the Divine Comedy, in addition to her many other talents) but I found a little book of essays titled “The Mind of the Maker,” which is truly precious.

Here are a couple of quotations at the beginning of an essay called Free Will and MIracle which takes up how writing a play or novel in many ways corresponds to God’s creation of Man.

God created man in his own image and likeness, i.e. made a creator too, calling him to free spontaneous activity, not to formal obedience to His power. Free creative-ness is the creature’s answer to the great call of its creator. Man’s creative work is the fulfillment of the Creator’s secret will.
BERDYAEV: The Destiny of Man

A character in a writer’s head, unwritten, remains a possession; his thoughts recur to it constantly, and while his imagination gradually enriches it he enjoys the singular pleasure of feeling that there, in his mind, someone is living a varied and tremulous life, obedient to his fancy and yet in a queer willful way independent of him.
W. SOMERSET MMAUGHAM: Preface to “Cakes and Ale”

Have you ever noticed how the Greatest Story Ever Told is just a great STORY – all the reasons for that are here. I find that endlessly fascinating. It’s all here.

dj

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