..desire for which pierces us like a rapier at the smell of a bonfire, the sound of wild ducks flying overhead, the title of the Well at the World's End, the opening lines of Kubla Khan, the morning cobwebs in late summer, or the noise of falling waves..."
Has there ever been an evocation of our hunger for heaven more piercing than this one, from The Pilgrim's Regress by C.S. Lewis?
I have been reading a lot of Lewis lately, and have a stack more of his books to come. I imagine most Chesterton fans are also Lewis fans, so it's almost impossible not to compare them. I would say that Chesterton is the deeper thinker, but that Lewis is the better writer. Chesterton didn't worry too much about style or even accuracy-- he cheerfully indulged in hyperbole and generalization and oversimplification. Lewis, on the other hand, writes with donnish precision, always at pains to make distinctions and avoid misinterpretation. Chesterton is a rollercoaster, Lewis is a slow country train-- like the "Cantab crawler" to Cambridge that he appreciated so much.