Donegality is the atmosphere to be Enjoyed, so pervasive that it is unnoticeable, because we are constantly experiencing it.

“In Spenser’s Images of Life, CS Lewis coined the term “donegality.”

CS Lewis thought that many places, like many books, had an indefinable quality, London has its peculiar ‘Londonness’ and Donegal has its ‘Donegality’.

Michael Ward further deploys the encompassing term “donegality” (which Lewis coined in his lesser read posthumous work, Spenser’s Images of Life), to denote this state or quality underlying and encapsulating Lewis’ philosophy of Enjoyment, a total immersive experiencing of something ….

The donegality of a story is its peculiar atmosphere or quality; its pervasive and purposed integral tone or flavour; its tacit spirit, a spirit that the author consciously sought to conjure, but which was designed to remain implicit in the matter of the text, despite being also concentrated and consummated in a Christologically representative character, the more influentially to inform the work and so affect the reader. ~Michael Ward

“Poetic Knowledge skillfully excavates an essential mode of human knowledge. It is a mode as proper to our intelligence as it is redolent of man’s transcendence and the value of knowledge for its own sake. Until we understand the philosophical rigor and precision behind the following statement, our darkened era will persist in its educational malaise: ‘[T]here can be no real advancement of knowledge unless it first begin in leisure and wonder, where the controlling motive throughout [is] delight and love.'”–David Whalen

“Poetic knowledge” is not the knowledge of poetry nor is it even the knowledge in the sense that we often think of today, that is, the mastery of scientific, technological, or business information. Rather, it is an intuitive, obscure, mysterious way of knowing reality, not always able to account for itself, but absolutely essential if one is ever to advance properly to the higher degrees of certainty. From Socrates to the Middle Ages, even into the twentieth century, the case for poetic knowledge is revealed with the care of philosophical archeology. Taylor demonstrates the effectiveness of the poetic mode of education through his own observations as a teacher, and two experimental ‘poetic schools in the twentieth century. –Poetic Knowledge

“A discipline of conduct was a reality at cathedral schools. We know some of its central values and virtues: love, friendship, and peace that make possible the cultivation of gentleness and humane kindness; elegance and beauty of manners, composed bearing , restrained and moderated conduct in gesturing, walking, eating, laughing; joviality, charm, grace, and good humor. We know that these concepts made their way outward from the schools to influence conduce and its pedagogy in other areas of society.” pg. 327, The Envy of Angels: Cathedral Schools and Social Ideal in Medieval Europe, 950-1200


Our continual apprehension of God, may produce our continual satisfaction in God, under all His dispensations. Whatever enjoyments are by God conferred upon us, where lies the relish, where the sweetness of them? Truly, we may come to relish our enjoyments, only so far as we have something of God in them. It was required in Psal. xxxvii. 4, “Delight thyself in the Lord.” Yea, and what if we should have no delight but the Lord? Let us ponder with ourselves over our enjoyments: “In these enjoyments I see God, and by these enjoyments, I serve God!”

And now, let all our delight in, and all our value and fondness for our enjoyments, be only, or mainly, upon such a divine score as this. As far as any of our enjoyments lead us unto God, so far let us relish it, affect it, embrace it, and rejoyce in it: “O taste, and feed upon God in all;” and ask for nothing, no, not for life itself, any further than as it may help us, in our seeing and our serving of our God.

And then, whatever afflictions do lay fetters upon us, let us not only remember that we are concerned with God therein, but let our concernment with God procure a very profound submission in our souls. Be able to say with him in Psal. xxxix. 9, “I open not my mouth, because thou didst it.” In all our afflictions, let us remark the justice of that God, before whom, “why should a living man complain for the punishment of his sin?” The wisdom of that God, “whose judgments are right:” the goodness of that God, who “punishes us less than our iniquities do deserve.” Let us behave ourselves, as having to do with none but God in our afflictions: And let our afflictions make us more conformable unto God: which conformity being effected, let us then say, “‘Tis good for me that I have been afflicted.”

Sirs, what were this, but a pitch of holiness, almost angelical! Oh! Mount up, as with the wings of eagles, of angels: be not a sorry, puny, mechanick sort of Christians any longer; but reach forth unto these things that are thus before you.

~Cotton Mather

A peculiar anthologic maze, an amusing literary chaos, a farrago of quotations, a mere olla podrida of quaintness, a pot pourri of pleasant delites, a florilegium of elegant extracts, a tangled fardel of old-world flowers of thought, a faggot of odd fancies, quips, facetiae, loosely tied” (Holbrook Jackson, Anatomy of Bibliomania) by a “laudator temporis acti,” a “praiser of time past” (Horace, Ars Poetica 173).


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