In the Transposition, when CS Lewis talks of the negations of what will be in heaven in their temporal form, when he said 'art' did he mean art as in 'painting' or books, music, sculpture, etc.

...Hence our notion of Heaven involves perpetual negations: no food, no drink, no sex, no movement, no mirth, no events, no time, no art. Against all these, to be sure, we set one positive: the vision and enjoyment of God. And since this is an infinite good...

It's a lovely bit of writing. I am astonished it is not one of his most quoted and cherished works. All his most famous are great but this hidden, secret beauty seems to make the boldest, most thrilling claims about Heaven.

This question is relevant to some research I'm doing.

  • 1
    @Flimzy -ask and thou shalt recieve lol! it is done! – Sehnsucht Oct 23 '13 at 12:24

I don't really think this question is on-topic for this site, since it's not about Christianity. It's probably not really on topic on any SE site, since it's just a discussion topic, and the only authoritative source for an answer died 49 years 11 months ago today.

Having said that, I think the best answer I can provide to your question:

When he said 'art' did he mean art as in 'painting' or books, music, sculpture, etc.?


It doesn't matter.

The point Lewis is making isn't about art at all. It's about "perpetual negations." He's describing how many people describe heaven as an absence of things, only to say that's not a healthy way to describe heaven. Does it really matter if, when he said "art," he was imagining the Mona Lisa, or if he was imagining something more abstract?

Likewise, when he said "food," did he mean biscuits and tea, or was he being more abstract?

It doesn't matter in the least. The entire concept he's portraying is abstract (thus one might assume each element in the list is also abstract). By getting bogged down in the details of the definition of "art," or of "food" or "events", one completely misses the point he's trying to make.

That's my 2ยข.

| improve this answer | |
  • Agreed. I HAD got the point of the essay. It's just that a friend wanted to know the answer to this question... – Sehnsucht Oct 23 '13 at 12:39
  • I suggest your friend was too busy seeing the trees, then, to notice the forest. :) – Flimzy Oct 23 '13 at 13:15

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.