The Lewis Legacy-Issue 80, Spring 1999
The Influence of C. S. Lewis:
The C.S. Lewis Foundation for Truth in Publishing
March 1, 1999
Parodies of The Screwtape Letters
Compiled by Perry Bramlett
1) Screwtape Writes Again, Walter Martin, Vision House, 1975; "With Lewis's
death in 1963, correspondence from Screwtape appeared to have ceased until
the recent discovery and deciphering of additional letters from
Screwtape... continues both the fun and the fiendish fascination begun by
C. S. Lewis"
2) The Devil, Seven Wormwoods, and God, Bernard Ramm, Word Books, 1975;
"introduces seven men -- eminent scholars, writers, philosophers -- who are
'bad guys' from the perspective of Evangelical theology. Each of these men
- Sartre, Nietzsche, Camus, Heidegger, Hume, and Wittgenstein -- has done
great harm to God's cause... Ramm has christened them 'Wormwoods', after
the fictional devil who does Satan's work on earth in C. S. Lewis's
classic, The Screwtape Letters."
3) The Screwloose Lectures (Studies in the Ethics of Hell), Larry Richards,
Word Books, 1980; "clearly inspired by C. S. Lewis's classic, The Screwtape
4) The Groacher File (A Satirical Expose of Detours to Faith), Kenneth L.
Gibble, LuraMedia, 1988; "one makes an immediate reference to The Screwtape
Letters... If C. S. Lewis had owned a computer and moved Screwtape to
5) The Fleetwood Correspondence, William Griffin, Doubleday, 1989; "takes
his cue from C. S. Lewis... Like Lewis's beloved Screwtape Letters, the
letters of a master tempter to his protege, this novel contains a packet of
letters from one devil to another."
6) The Gabriel Letters (Advice to a Young Angel), Richard V. Shriver,
University Press, 1990; "The original idea came to me fifteen years ago
from C. S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters"
7) Screwtape Letters on Alcohol, Ira W. Hutchison, Sheed and Ward, 1992;
"In the form of 33 instructional letters, a senior devil, Screwtape guides
his youthful protege Rotbranch in the corruption of human lives by way of
alcohol addiction. With a wit and irony reminiscent of C. S. Lewis's
8) The Snakebite Letters (Devilishly Devious Secrets to Subverting Society
as Taught in Tempter's Training School), Peter Kreeft, Ignatius Press,
1993; "Taking his cue from the new literary genre invented by C. S. Lewis
in Screwtape Letters, Peter Kreeft has gathered together fifteen spicy
letters from Satan's agents..."
9) Walking with the Angels (The Valiant Papers, The Philippian Fragment,
and the short story "Ralph"), Calvin Miller, Baker, 1995; "C. S. Lewis in
The Screwtape Letters made it clear how devils may manipulate humans. Now
Calvin Miller fills in the blank side in the arena of supernatural
supervision by bringing the guardianship of angels into view."
10) To My Dear Slimeball (Secret Letters from a Senior Demon to His
Slippery Sidekick), Rich M
iller, Harvest House, 1995; "In the spirit of C. S. Lewis, author Rich
Miller creates the secret world of Slimeball and Spitwad - two demons
intent on making life miserable for 15-year-old David..."
The Mythopoeic Society sponsored a Screwtape Letters contest in 1998, and
the three winners were read at MythCon. The three were supposed to appear
in a Mythopoeic publication, but C. S. Lewis Pte. vetoed the plan. Such a
prohibition is puzzling, because copyright law specifically allows for
publication of parodies.
In January 1999 Douglas Gresham stated on the MERELEWIS e-mail list, "You
might be interested to know that a copyright expert told me that if you
write something (without permission) and show it to someone, you can be
said to have legally 'published it'." He was referring to Narnia stories
and other items written for private enjoyment.