Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Work of A Master

After having read alot ABOUT C.S. Lewis' Space Trilogy online, I finally found the set in a used bookstore and absolutely devoured it.

Out of the Silent Planet ------ Perelandra -------- That Hideous Strength

These are small books that achieve a true theology of literature. Just as Tolkein achieved a fantasy world that breathes Christian oxygen, so did Lewis in this series. These are small books, little less than half inch think paperbacks each, yet Lewis weaves in themes of creation, fall, redemption, and temptation. That might sound a bit shallow and cliche', but Lewis treads through the inner thoughts and emotions of man.....and woman, then widens his vision through the cosmos, taking the classical doctrines of angelic intelligence and the nature of fallen and unfallen intellect and concupiscence and weaves an enjoyable SciFi tale with these Scholastic and Patristic ideas.

When I began reading That Hideous Strength, I thought I might have bought a book that had been taped together with the wrong cover. It did not really come together for me until I nearly reached the end when I realized that I had been led along by a master storyteller at the height of his craft. Lewis covers the whole cosmos in this series, from outer space to secret inner thoughts, from corporate corruption to sexuality and marital coldness. In the midst of all of this, his prose in describing far off worlds is so breathtakingly beautify that I found myself pausing just to muse on the images.

Very good series. Very ethics of elfland --- Orthodoxy in fictional form.

Have a great weekend.


Doug P. Baker said...

Love the Space Trilogy. A friend told me that they are a myth of the past (creation), one of the present and one of the future. So of course I had to re-read them (third or fourth time) to see what he meant. I think it is an apt description. And by the time you pull together the past, present and future, it is a pretty well all encompassing trillogy!

Dad29 said...

Agreed. It is a triumph.

Tim J. said...

I haven't read the Space Trilogy. I've read just about all of Lewis' apologetic work, plus "Surprised by Joy", Narnia and other things. "Till We Have Faces" is a favorite, also.

Lewis was the gateway to my eventual discovery of Chesterton and is in large part responsible for the direction of my spiritual life toward orthodoxy and then Catholicism.

I keep hearing the Perelandra books are great, but just haven't picked them up yet.

Anonymous said...

I've started reading the books I'm about half way through with Perelandra. I think the books are great and I agree that so far they "breath Christian Oxygen". Very nicely put.

Persiflage said...

whoa - if you haven't read this yet, leave all the modern day science fiction and/or modern day Christian fiction crap on the shelves and try something of actual quality for once

These three books still amaze me.

Was Thursday said...

Thought perhaps you might like to read yet another Chestertonian blog: 'Thursday Thoughts'