Essay / Philosophy

On Dorothy Sayers’ “Mind of the Maker”

John Mark Reynolds, 2004.

Still thinking about Dorothy Sayers Mind of the Maker. Why do so few people know about this brilliant book?An artist creates. This act, according to Sayers, reflects the triune nature of God: Idea, Energy/Action, and Power. The author writes her book based on an Idea. This idea, like the Father is the ground for the books existence. Everything is dependent on it. Most of what we think of as “creating” a book is the “Energy.” Finally, the book has power to impact both its audience and author. It becomes a thing itself. If I assume ideas are found in the Mind of God, a concept I accept as almost an axiom of faith, then I am still left to wonder about fictional characters. Where do they live? Are we sub-creators as Tolkien suggests? Sherlock Holmes seems real to me. Does he live in a sub-reality, dependent on our faith in his existence? Gandalf lives. Perhaps, there is some deep truth behind the Peter Pan injunction to “believe in fairies” or one of them will die. If I believe in fairies, do I create them? Perhaps. If all the world doubted them, then they would have been, but they would be dead as a living Idea. The ugliness of heresy comes only when it has living believers. It becomes weaker as belief fades. Some believe in fairies, but too many of us believe in Darwin and ugliness. We make real a world of Images in our belief. While we are at it, if you have not read Gaudy Night, then you are missing the best description of love between a man and a women ever found in a detective story. Real passion, not airport rack wanna-be stuff.

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