Sunday, November 28, 2004 +


From Dorothy L. Sayers, The Mind of the Maker, “VIII. Pentecost”

When the writer’s Idea is revealed or incarnate by his Energy, then, and only then, can his Power work on the world. More briefly and obviously, a book has no influence till somebody can read it.

Before the Energy was revealed or incarnate it was, as we have seen, already present in Power within the creator’s mind, but now that Power is released for communication with other men, and returns from their minds to his with a new response. It dwells in them and works upon them with creative energy, producing in them fresh manifestations of Power.

This is the Power of the Word, and it is dangerous. Every word—even every idle word—will be accounted for at the day of judgment. It is of the nature of the word to reveal itself and to incarnate itself—to assume material form. Its judgment is therefore an intellectual, but also a material judgment. The habit, very prevalent today, of dismissing words as “just words” takes no account of their power. But once the Idea has entered into other minds, it will tend to reincarnate itself there with ever-increasing Energy and ever-increasing Power. It may for some time incarnate itself only in more words, more books, more speeches; but the day comes when it incarnates itself in actions, and this is its day of judgment. . . .