“The Lord’s glory fell on the cities of the plain, on Sodom and another. We know all about Sodom nowadays, but perhaps we know the other even better. Men can be in love with men, and women with women, and still be in love and make sounds and speeches, but don’t you know how quiet the streets of Gomorrah are? Haven’t you seen the pools that everlastingly reflect the faces of those who walk with their own phantasms, but the phantasms aren’t reflected, and can’t be. The lovers of Gomorrah are quite contented, Periel; they don’t have to put up with our difficulties. They aren’t bothered by alteration, at least until the rain of the fire of the Glory at the end, for they lose the capacity for change, except for the fear of hell. They’re monogamous enough! and they’ve no children—no cherubim breaking into being or babies as tiresome as ours; there’s no birth there, and only the second death. There’s no distinction between lover and beloved; they beget themselves on their adoration of themselves, and they live and feed and starve on themselves, and by themselves too, for creation, as my predecessor said, is the mercy of God, and they won’t have the facts of creation. No, we don’t talk much of Gomorrah, and perhaps it’s as well and perhaps not.”
“But where?” she cried.
“Where but here? When all’s said and done there’s only Zion or Gomorrah,” he answered.

[from a conversation between Peter Stanhope and Pauline Anstruther in Descent into Hell by Charles Williams]


One thought on “Gomorrah

  1. I’ve read a few Charles Williams books, and “Descent Into Hell” was my favorite. I find the plotline involving the older professor to relate very much to modern day–with individuals sitting alone on the net or in video games, etc. Just the way he depicts the “descent” as being totally self chosen. Kind of a slow-motion (and very realistic) version of Lewis’ “Great Divorce”.

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