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Cosmic Trilogy & My Life's Journey.C.S. Lewis.2009
C.S. Lewis My Life's Journey.David Payne.2003.90m
Cosmic Trilogy 1.Out of the Silent Planet.Read by Geoffrey Howard.5 hours 28 minutes
Cosmic Trilogy 2.Perelandra.Read by Geoffrey Howard.7 hours 58 minutes
Cosmic Trilogy 3.That Hideous Strength.Read by Robert Whitfield.14 hours 14 minutes
If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.
It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.
The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts.
We are what we believe we are.
You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
C. S. Lewis
Have you ever wondered where the moon came from?
Have you ever contemplated how the asteroid belt Came to be?
These are basic things to WONDER about!! We need everyone’s help!! Do your part!!
When the student is ready, the teacher will present one’s self.
Come help us figure this mystery OUT!!!!
No matter what your color or belief, Sex or age, YOU can be a scientist!!
Challenge yourself, your peers, your teachers. Participate in a revolution in science!!
UNDERSTAND, IT IS YOUR WORLD!!! & TOGETHER we can Figure it OUT!!!
When WE all UNDERSTAND HOW MUCH WE ARE THE SAME,
TRUE POSITIVE things happen all around YOU!!!
Your Children, (ARE) Tomorrow's LEADERS!!!-------------->>>>>>>>>>>>
These are for Planet X, Precession & Pole/Magnetic Reversal research ONLY!
NOT!! Religious debate!! Your faith is your OWN BUSINESS!!
We are here for Research ONLY!!
If you have an open mind, you will GO far!!!
C. S. Lewis: My Life's Journey.2003.VIDEO
Actor David Payne stars in this one-man play recalling the life and times of C. S. Lewis.
Born in London, England, David Payne is becoming renowned for his unique portrayals of C. S. Lewis in his one-man shows In Search of Joy and Weep for Joy. David has also starred in a number of provincial productions of Shadowlands, including a successful UK tour and recently starred as Aslan in a 25 city tour of the US, which was preceded by a sold-out run at Nashville's Tennessee Performing Arts Center. David's portrayal of the 'Professor' in Target Practice, a play inspired by C. S. Lewis Screwtape Letters, got rave reviews. David and his wife Marilyn came to the USA in 1992 and now live in Nashville, Tennessee.
As to C. S. Lewis, he wrote theology, literary criticism, novels, and autobiographies, along with poetry. Many people know of Lewis from his famous work The Screwtape Letters published in 1942. It is a sarcastic work consisting of 31 letters where an elderly demon, named Screwtape, is instructing his pupil, Wormwood, in the art of torturing a young Christian soul.
The Abolition of Man was published in 1943, dealing with "the poisoning of western thought and civilization regarding human nature and the moral law by the notion that our moral and aesthetic judgments are necessarily subjective."
Lewis analyzed the different forms of love all the way to the Greeks in The Four Loves, published in 1960. Lewis's works in literary criticism won the hearts of scholars everywhere. The Allegory of Love, A Study in Medieval Tradition, made Lewis famous when it was published in 1936. The Allegory of Love was set as the standard dealing with John Milton's work Paradise Lost. In 1948, he published his Arthurian Torso, a criticism of the Arthurian Legends. English Literature in the Sixteenth Century is a standard reference today even though it was published in 1954.
After Lewis's death came five other works: The Discarded Image (1964), describes how literature is affected by science's perspectives on the universe, Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Literature (1966), Spenser's Images of Life (1967), Selected Literary Essays (1969), and Present Concerns (1986). Lewis also wrote fiction on topics ranging from invented worlds to universal travel. Out of the Silent Planet was his first novel in 1938. This science fiction novel is about the beautiful caverns of Mars. Then came his Perelandra in 1942, the second book in his Space Trilogy. Before he published his Chronicles of Narnia, he published That Hideous Strength in 1945 his final volume of the Space Trilogy.
His final fictional work was Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold in 1956. This story is Lewis's retelling of the myth of Psyche and Cupid. C. S. Lewis wrote two autobiographies that allow present-day readers to peer into his mind and writing. Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life was published in 1955 and described his miraculous conversion from atheism to Christianity. One of his most moving works is A Grief Observed published in 1961 two years before his death. This book describes the loss of his wife Joy Davidman Gresham. He had to challenge his faith in God to understand why he had to suffer though so much pain. Lewis' relationship with his wife Joy, and the deep grief he felt after her death, was aptly reflected in the film, Shadowlands, in which C. S. Lewis was portrayed by the Oscar-winning British actor, Sir Anthony Hopkins.
Program recording date and length: 4-11-03 ~ 1 Hour 25 Minutes (This presentation by David Payne was taped originally at UCLA.)
Cosmic Trilogy 1.Out of the Silent Planet.Read by Geoffrey Howard.5 hours 28 minutes
Out of the Silent Planet is the first novel of a science fiction trilogy written by C. S. Lewis, sometimes referred to as the Space Trilogy, Ransom Trilogy or Cosmic Trilogy. The other volumes are Perelandra (also published as Voyage to Venus) and That Hideous Strength, and a fragment of a sequel was published posthumously as The Dark Tower. The trilogy was inspired and influenced by David Lindsay's A Voyage to Arcturus (1920).
According to his biographer A. N. Wilson, Lewis wrote the novel after a conversation with J.R.R. Tolkien in which both men lamented the state of contemporary fiction. They agreed that Lewis would write a space-travel story, and Tolkien would write a time-travel one. Tolkien's story only exists as a fragment, published in The Lost Road and other writings (1987) edited by his son Christopher.
The story begins with Dr. Elwin Ransom, a professor of philology at a college of the University of Cambridge, on a hiking trip in the English Midlands. Being refused lodging in the village of Nadderby he must travel into the night the six miles to Sterk. He comes to a small, isolated cottage, the home of a woman and her mentally subnormal son, Harry. The anxious woman thinks Ransom is Harry and runs into him as he comes toward the cottage. She implicitly declines to accommodate Ransom, but tells him about where Harry works, the Rise, the small estate of Professor Weston. She also speaks of a gentleman from London staying there, Mr. Devine, whom Ransom discovers to be his former schoolfellow, a person whom he "cordially disliked." Despite the woman's doubt that Ransom would find lodging, he decides to go there anyway, assuring the woman that he will see to it that Harry is sent home.
When he gets to the front door of the Rise, Ransom hears shouting and struggling inside. When he goes around back, he sees Weston and Devine trying to force Harry to go with them on an interplanetary spaceflight to Malacandra (Mars). Ransom intervenes in the struggle, and Devine sees him as a better prospect than Harry for what he and Weston have in mind. With Weston's grudging consent Devine offers Ransom a drink and accommodations.
After enjoying what he thinks is his nightcap, Ransom loses consciousness. When he awakens shortly thereafter he realizes that he has been drugged. He tries to escape but is subdued by Weston and Devine. When he again regains consciousness he finds himself in a metallic spherical spacecraft en route to Malacandra. The wonder and excitement of such a prospect relieves his anguish at being kidnapped, but Ransom is put on his guard when he overhears Weston and Devine deliberating whether they will again drug him or keep him conscious when they turn him over to the inhabitants of Malacandra, the "sorns", as a sacrifice. Ransom, who has been put to work as cook and scullion, secrets a knife and plans to escape when he gets the chance.
Soon after the three land on the strange planet, Ransom gets his chance to run off into the unknown landscape. He wanders around, finding many differences between Earth and Malacandra, in that all the lakes, streams, and rivers are warm; the gravity is significantly less; and the plants and mountains are strangely tall and thin.
Ransom later meets a civilized native of Malacandra, a hross named Hyoi. He becomes a guest for several months at Hyoi's village, where he uses his philological skills to learn the language of the hrossa and learns their culture. In the process he discovers that gold, known to the hrossa as "sun's blood", is plentiful on Malacandra, and thus is able to discern Devine's motivation for making the voyage thither. Weston's motives are shown to be more complex; he is bent on expanding humanity through the universe, abandoning each planet and star system as it becomes uninhabitable.
The hrossa honor Ransom greatly by asking him to join them in a hunt for a hnakra (plural hnéraki), a fierce water-creature which seems to be the only dangerous predator on the planet, resembling both a shark and a crocodile. While hunting, Ransom is told by an eldil, an almost invisible creature reminiscent of a spirit or ghost, that he must meet Oyarsa, the eldil who is ruler of the planet. He refuses the summons, as he wishes to proceed with the hunt. Hyoi, after killing the hnakra with Ransom's help, is shot dead by Devine and Weston, who are trying to find Ransom. Ransom is told by Hyoi's friend (another hross named Whin) that this is the consequence of disobeying Oyarsa, and that Ransom must now cross the mountains to escape Weston and Devine and fulfil his orders. On his journey, Ransom finally meets a sorn, as he long feared he might. He finds, however, that the séroni are peaceful and kind. Augray (the sorn) explains to him the nature of Oyarsa's body, and that of all eldils. The next day, carrying the human on his back, Augray takes Ransom to Oyarsa.
After a stop at the dwelling place of an esteemed sorn scientist, wherein Ransom is questioned thoroughly about all manner of facts about Earth, Ransom finally makes it to Meldilorn, the home of Oyarsa. In Meldilorn, Ransom meets a pfifltrigg who tells Ransom of the beautiful houses and artwork his race make in their native forests. Ransom then is led to Oyarsa and long awaited conversation begins. Through the conversation Ransom finds out that there are Oyéresu (the plural) for each of the planets in our solar system; in the four inner planets, which have organic life (intelligent and non-intelligent), the local Oyarsa is responsible for that life. The Oyarsa of Earth, called Thulcandra ("the silent planet") by the Malacandrans, has turned evil and has been restricted to Thulcandra by Maleldil, the ruler of the universe. Ransom is ashamed at how little he can tell Oyarsa about Earth and how foolish he and other humans seem to Oyarsa. While the two are talking, Devine and Weston are brought in guarded by hrossa, because they have killed three of that race. Oyarsa then dissects their characters and beliefs.
Oyarsa tells Weston and Devine that he would not tolerate the presence of such creatures, but lets them leave the planet immediately, albeit under very unfavourable orbital conditions. To Ransom, Oyarsa offers him the option of staying on Malacandra. He decides he does not belong there, perhaps because he feels himself unworthy and perhaps because he yearns to be back among the human beings of earth. After a difficult return journey, the space-ship makes it back to Earth. Weston and Devine do not further molest Ransom, perhaps realizing that if Ransom were to try to expose their villainies, no-one would believe him, since there is no corroboration for the story. To prevent further intrusions in Malacandra, Oyarsa has caused the ship to disintegrate shortly after landing.
Ransom himself half-doubts whether all that happened was true, and he realizes that others will be even less inclined to believe it if he should speak of it. However, when the author (Lewis) writes him asking whether he has heard of the medieval Latin word "Oyarses" and knows what it meant, he lets him in on the secret. Ransom then dedicates himself to the mission that Oyarsa gave him before he left Malacandra of stopping Weston from further evil.
The storyline may have been influenced by H. G. Wells's First Men in the Moon which Lewis described as "The best of the sort Science Fiction I have read...." in a letter to Roger Lancelyn Green. Wells's book, like Lewis's, reaches its climax with a meeting between an Earthman and the wise ruler of an alien world, during which the Earthman makes very ill-considered boasts of his species' military prowess. The characters of Weston and Devine might be, in general, dark versions of Wells's Cavor and Bradford. In both books, a scientist with a wide-ranging mind forms a partnership with an eminently practical man who has a special attraction to extraterrestrial bars of gold, and they quietly build themselves a spaceship in the English countryside. In both stories, the interplanetary craft are spherical, though only Lewis' is called a "space-ship". According to the Oxford English Dictionary, J. J. Astor in his A Journey in Other Worlds first used the term "space-ship" in 1894, but Lewis was the fourth person to use the term in published material. Perhaps his creation of new worlds, like H.G. Wells, is particularly interesting knowing that it was only in 1923 that Edwin Hubble discovered "other" galaxies outside of our planetary system.
The eldila, who work for Oyarsa as messengers and maintainers of the planet, evidently are meant to supply the role of angels. Oyarsa is a more powerful angel, perhaps an archangel, and Oyarsa's superior, Maleldil the Young, represents Jesus. The 'Old one', the creator of Mars, is God the Father. Part of the background in Out of the Silent Planet is that Earth's Oyarsa (who is obviously Lucifer) became "bent" (corrupt), destroyed most of the life on Mars, and was forcibly imprisoned inside the Moon's orbit, having induced (as comes up later in the series) the creatures living under the Lunar surface to adopt evil ways and deliberately destroy all the life which once existed on their surface. Because the eldila, who fill space (or "the heavens," which are depicted as warm and bright under the influence of the Sun) know nothing about what goes on inside those boundaries, Earth is called Thulcandra, "the silent planet". While Earth has fallen into evil, Mars has not. This represented one of Lewis's concerns about space travel: that fallen humanity would have nothing to offer other life in space other than depravity.
As in many other science fiction works of his time and earlier, Mars in this book is conceived of as a dying world; the enormous canals believed at the time to be a major feature of its surface (until space probes proved them to be either nonexistent or a misinterpretation of natural river canyons) were conceived as a major engineering project undertaken by the Martians in their effort to survive. The logical conclusion, first made by H. G. Wells in The War of the Worlds and repeated by various others, was to assume that the Martians would eventually try to escape their dying world and settle on the younger and more vigorous Earth.
Olaf Stapledon, in Last and First Men—a monumental future history stretching over millions perhaps even billions of years, which was published shortly before Lewis' book—made a further extrapolation: humans in the far-off future escaping the dying Earth and settling on Venus, in the process totally exterminating its native inhabitants - an intelligent marine species. Stapeldon's book can be seen as condoning such interplanetary genocide as a justified act if necessary for racial survival, though some of Stapeldon's partisans denied that such was his intention.
Lewis very strongly objected to the idea, and his book can be seen as partially a rebuttal of it. Prof. Weston's arguments in his confrontation with Oyarsa, where he outrightly defends the "right" of "culturally superior" humans to displace and exterminate the Martians are clearly intended to represent what Lewis conceived as Stapledon's arguments. Counterposed by Lewis is the vision of the three virtuous Martian species, aware that their planet is dying, stoically accepting their fate and living a harmonious life under the wise guidance of Oyarsa. Members of the three species are also aware of the appointed day of their own individual deaths and accept it.
Though their ancestors possessed the technology to build spaceships and go to other planets, and though Earth's "Bent Oyarsa" (Satan) tried to put that thought into their minds, the Malacandrans have foregone this temptation. Malacandra's Oyarsa does mention that taking this momentous decision was not quite smooth, and that some rebels whom the Bent Oyarsa had made "wise enough to see the death of their kind approaching, but not wise enough to endure it" and who could not be healed had to be "unbodied" (by Oyarsa himself as Maleldil's agent). This was, however, in the distant past, many generations ago.
To Prof. Weston, such a "defeatist" attitude is intolerable, although had the Martians settled Earth, nascent mankind would have obviously received short shrift. On hearing it he declares himself on the side of the Bent One and his defiant attitude ("He fights, jumps, lives, not like Maleldil who lets everybody die").
The concepts of space and other planets in this novel are largely taken from medieval cosmology. For more information on it, see C. S. Lewis's The Discarded Image, a series of lectures on this cosmology that were published after his death.
 Hrossa, Séroni, Pfifltriggi
The hrossa (singular hross) resemble bipedal otters or seals, and are somewhat taller and thinner than humans. They live in the low river valleys (handramit in the speech of the eldila) and specialize in farming, fishing, and performing arts such as dancing and poetry. They are especially gifted in making poetry; yet they refuse to write it down as they believe that books ruin words and poems. Their technical level is low, and they wear only pocketed loincloths. The boats that they build are similar to our canoes. They add an initial /h/ sound to their words.
The séroni (singular sorn; the plural is sometimes given as sorns) are thin, fifteen-foot-high humanoids having coats of pale feathers and seven-fingered hands. They live in mountain caves of the high country (harandra in the speech of the eldila), though they often descend into the handramit where they raise giraffe-like livestock. They are the scholars and thinkers of Malacandra, specializing in science and abstract learning. Their technical level is high, and they design machinery, which is built by the pfifltriggi. Although they can write they do not compose written works of history or fiction as they feel the hrossa are superior at it.
The pfifltriggi (singular pfifltrigg) have tapir-like heads (with a bulge at the back containing the brain) and frog-like bodies; they lean their elbows on the ground when at rest, and sometimes when working with their hands. Their movements are quick and insectlike. They are the builders and technicians of Malacandra. They build houses and gadgets thought up by the séroni. They are miners who especially like to dig up "sun's blood" (gold) and other useful and beautiful minerals. They are the only species said to wear a form of clothes, other than the hrossa, and even wear goggles to protect their eyes.
All three of these races are "hnau" (a word referring to sentient or reasoning beings, in which humans are included) and "unfallen": free of the tendency to evil and sin that plagues humans. Ransom describes the emotional connection between the races as a cross between that of equals and that of person to an animal, mirrored in the way that humans tend to anthropomorphize pets. Members of the three races do not believe any one of the races to be superior to the others; they acknowledge, rather, that no single race can do everything.
In the sequels it is made clear that the language of the hrossa is the primary Old Solar language, and that the languages of the other two species are late derivatives of it. This represents Lewis' view that the symbolic and mythopoeic imagination is the primary language of the human mind and that scientific and technological analysis is a later development. In the essay Bluspels and Flalansferes: A Semantic Nightmare he argues that, though reason is the organ of truth, imagination is the organ of meaning.
 Other appearances
The hrossa, séroni, and pfifltriggi are several of the races living on Mars in Larry Niven's 1999 novel Rainbow Mars; they are referred to as the "Pious Ones" by the Barsoomian races. The hrossa are called the "Fishers", the pfifltriggi the "Smiths", and the séroni the "High Folk". The pfifltriggi are one of the races who chose to ride to Earth on Yggdrasil.
The séroni appear at the beginning of the second volume of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen as one of the Martian races allied against the "mollusc invaders" (the Martians from The War of the Worlds).
In Scarlet Traces: The Great Game, a hieroglyphics-filled chamber seems to show the hrossa, séroni, and pfifltriggi as the original races of Mars, that were wiped out by the arrival of the War of the Worlds Martians.
Weston's speech and its translation
The speech which Weston delivers at the book's climax, and Ransom's effort to render it into the Old Solar spoken by the Malacandrians, demonstrate the enormous gulf in cultural and moral perceptions, which renders Weston's value judgements utterly untranslatable and may be said to make them absurd; thus creating a sort of social criticism. The “translation” that we read is to be understood as a back-translation into English of what Ransom said in Old Solar.
Weston's speech in English Ransom's rendering into Old Solar
To you I may seem a vulgar robber Among us, Oyarsa, there is a kind of hnau who will take other hnau's food and - and things, when they are not looking. He says he is not an ordinary one of that kind.
but I bear on my shoulders the destiny of the human race. He says what he does now will make very different things happen to those of our people who are not yet born.
Your tribal life He says that, among you, hnau of one kindred all live together
with its stone-age weapons the hrossa have spears like those we used a very long time ago
and bee-hive huts and your huts are small and round
its primitive coracles and your boats small and light and like our old ones
and elementary social structure and you have only one ruler
has nothing to compare with our civilization - He says it is different with us.
with our science He says we know much.
medicine There is a thing happens in our world when the body of a living creature feels pains and becomes weak, and we sometimes know how to stop it.
and law, He says we have many bent people and we kill them or shut them in huts and that we have people for settling quarrels between the bent hnau about their huts and mates and things.
our armies, He says we have many ways for the hnau of one land to kill those of another and some are trained to do it.
our architecture, He says we build very big and strong huts of stones and other things - like the pfifltriggi.
our commerce And he says we can exchange many things among ourselves
and our transport system which is rapidly annihilating space and time. and can carry heavy weights very quickly a long way.
Our right to supersede you is the right of the higher over the lower. Because of all this, he says it would not be the act of a bent hnau if our people killed all your people.
* Arbol — the Sun (Field of Arbol - Solar System)
* crah — final section of a poem
* eldil — spirit, angel
* Glundandra — Jupiter
* handra — earth, land, planet
* harandra — high earth, plateau
* handramit — low earth, valley
* hlab — language
* hluntheline — long for, yearn for, desire (for the future)
* hnakra, pl. hnéraki — a vicious aquatic beast hunted by the hrossa. Its qualities could be those of a shark and a crocodile. Lewis may have borrowed the word from Germanic nicor, Old English niker(en), meaning "sea monster".
* hnakrapunt, pl. hnakrapunti — hnakra-slayer
* hnau — rational creature
* honodraskrud — ground-weed
* hressni — female hrossa
* hru — blood (hence arbol hru, gold)
* Malacandra — a compound noun, formed with the prefix Malac and the noun handra, which latter means earth, land, or planet, and referring to the fourth planet from the sun; in English: Mars
* Maleldil — Jesus, the second person of God with "the Old One" and "the Third One."
* Oyarsa, pl. Oyéresu — (Title) Ruler of a planet, a higher-order angel, perhaps an arch-angel.
* Perelandra — a compound noun, formed with the prefix Perel and the noun handra, which means earth, land, or planet, and referring to the second planet from the sun; in English: Venus
* Thulcandra — a compound noun, formed with the prefix Thulc, meaning "silent", and handra, meaning earth, land, or planet, referring to the third planet from the sun in English: "Silent Planet" or Earth
* wondelone — long for, yearn for, miss (from the past).
The hrossa's word for "to eat" contains consonants unreproducible by the human mouth. It is not clear how that word would be pronounced on Venus, where Ransom, in the sequel, finds humans speaking the same language spoken by the hrossa.
* 1938, UK, The Bodley Head, N/A, Pub date 1 April 1938, hardback (first edition)
* 1996, ?, MacMillan Publishing Company, ISBN 0020868804, Pub date ? June 1996, paperback
* 2003, USA, Simon & Schuster, ISBN 0-7432-3490-1, Pub date 17 March 2003, paperback
1. ^ There is an interesting parallel with Dale Russell's speculation that a likely candidate for the evolution of intelligent life would have been a theropod dinosaur such as Troodon. Some theropods are believed to have been feathered.
2. ^ Selected Literary Essays: Cambridge 1969, p. 251.
* Downing, David C, Planets in Peril: A Critical Study of C. S. Lewis's Ransom Trilogy. University of Massachusetts Press, 1992. ISBN 0-87023-997-X
Cosmic Trilogy 2.Perelandra.Read by Geoffrey Howard.7 hours 58 minutes
Perelandra (also titled Voyage to Venus in a later edition published by Pan Books) is the second book in the Space Trilogy of C. S. Lewis, set in the Field of Arbol. It was first published in 1943.
The story starts with the philologist Elwin Ransom, some years after his return from Mars at the end of Out of the Silent Planet, receiving a new mission from Oyarsa, the angelic ruler of Mars. Ransom is to travel to Perelandra (Venus), where is located a new Garden of Eden and a new Adam and Eve, to oppose the diabolically-inspired human physicist Professor Weston, who has been sent to corrupt the Eve figure. He is transported in a boxlike vessel seemingly made of ice, which contains only himself.
Ransom arrives in Venus, which he finds to be an oceanic paradise. One day is about 23 Earth hours, in contrast to the (roughly) 24 and 25-hour days of Earth and Mars. The sky is golden and very bright but opaque. The sun cannot be seen; hence the night is pitch black with no stars visible.
Strange, mythical creatures roam the planetary sweet-water ocean, which is dotted with floating rafts of vegetation. These rafts look like small islands, and actually have plant life growing on them and animals living on them; however, having no tectonic foundations, they are in a constant state of motion. A single mountain, called the Fixed Land, exists on the planet.
Ransom quickly meets Tinidril, the Queen of the planet; a cheerful being who soon accepts him as a friend. Unlike the inhabitants of Mars in Out of the Silent Planet, she is very much like a human in physical appearance (except for her green skin); this is said to be the preferred form assumed by civilized animals as a result of the manifestation of the story's God, Maleldil, in that form. She and the King of the planet, who is largely unseen until the end, are the only human inhabitants and are the Eve and Adam of their world. They live on the floating rafts Ransom has seen and are forbidden to sleep on the "Fixed Land".
The rafts or floating islands are indeed Paradise, not only in the sense that they provide a pleasant and care-free life (until the arrival of Weston) but also in the sense that Ransom is for weeks and months naked in the presence of a beautiful, also naked woman without once lusting after her or being tempted to seduce her.
The plot thickens when Professor Weston arrives in a spaceship and lands in a part of the ocean quite close to the Fixed Land. He at first announces that he is a reformed man, but appears to still be in search of power. He pledges allegiance to what he calls the "Life-Force", and subsequently shows signs of demonic possession. Weston finds the Queen and tries to tempt her into defying Maleldil's orders by spending a night on the Fixed Land. Ransom, perceiving this, believes that he must act as a counter-tempter.
Well versed in the Bible and Christian theology, Ransom realises that if the pristine Queen, who has never heard of Evil, succumbs to Weston's arguments, the Fall of Man will be re-enacted on Perelandra. He does his best during day after day of lengthy arguments illustrating various approaches to temptation, but the demonic Weston shows super-human brilliance in debate (though when "off-duty" he displays moronic, asinine behaviour and small-minded viciousness) and moreover appears in no need of sleep.
With the demonic Weston on the verge of winning, the desperate Ransom hears in the night what he gradually realises is a Divine voice, commanding him to physically attack the Tempter. Ransom is highly reluctant, and debates with the divine (inner) voice for the entire duration of the night. A curious twist is introduced here; whereas the name "Ransom" is said to be derived from the title "Ranolf's Son", it can also refer to a reward given in exchange for a treasured life. Recalling this, and recalling that his God would (and has) sacrifice Himself in a similar situation, Ransom decides to confront the Tempter outright.
Ransom attacks his opponent bare-handed, using only physical force. The Tempter, unable to withstand this despite his superior abilities of rhetoric, flees, whereupon Ransom chases him over the ocean, both riding the backs of giant fish. During a fleeting truce, the 'real' Weston momentarily re-inhabits his body, and the conversation between himself and Ransom displays Lewis' horrific vision of Hell, wherein the damned soul is not consigned to the pain of flames, but is absorbed and "digested" by the Devil, eventually losing her personality completely.
While Ransom is distracted by his horror and his feelings of pity and compassion for Weston, the demon takes control of the body, surprises Ransom, and tries to drown him. The two continue the chase and enter a subterranean cavern, where Ransom seemingly kills Weston and having done so searches for a route to the surface. Weston's body, horribly injured but still animated by the Devil, follows him. When they meet for the last time in another cavern, Ransom smashes Weston's head with a stone and consigns the body to volcanic flames. Slightly prior to this point, Weston had begun to lose his humanity and began acting more like a mandrill, and resembling like a balding orangutan. He also at some points acts like a cat.
Returning to the planet's surface after a long travail through the caverns of Perelandra, Ransom recuperates from his injuries, all of which heal fully except for a bite on his heel which he sustained at some point in the battle, which continues bleeding for the rest of his life.
Ransom meets the King and Queen together with the Oyéresu of Mars and Venus, all of whom celebrate the prevention of a second biblical "Fall" and begin to create their utopia. The story climaxes with Ransom's vision of the essential truth of life in the Solar System, and possibly of the nature of God: strongly paralleling the journeys of Dante in the Divine Comedy.
His mission accomplished, he returns, rather reluctantly, to Earth to continue the fight against the forces of evil on their own territory.
Perelandra was published in 1943, one year after A Preface to Paradise Lost, and deals with many of the same issues: the value of hierarchy, the dullness of Satan, and the nature of unfallen sexuality, for instance. To an extent, it can be viewed as a commentary on Milton's poem, but a commentary which is intelligible to a reader ignorant of the original.
Lewis's description of Perelandra's environment and rotation period is, of course, inconsistent with the actual conditions on Venus, but astronomical observation at the time of writing of the novel had not yet positively determined this to be the case. A Venus largely or wholly covered by a worldwide ocean was a common theme in science fiction works of the time -- a logical, though eventually proven erroneous, inference from the planet having a thick cloud cover which led to the assumption that there would be a heavy rainfall and that the water would form such an ocean.
The third volume of the trilogy, That Hideous Strength, is set on Earth and, perhaps inevitably, has rather a different tone from the prior two volumes; Ransom is a key character but is "off-stage" for much of the action.
* 1943, UK, The Bodley Head, N/A, Pub date ? December 1943, hardback (first edition)
* 1996, USA, Simon & Schuster, ISBN 0-684-83365-4, pub date ? October 1996, hardback
* 2003, USA, Simon & Schuster, ISBN 978-0-7432-3491-7, pub date 7 April 2003, paperback
* A unabridged reading by Alex Jennings was broadcast on BBC Radio 7's The Seventh Dimension in 18 parts, originally in 2003 and repeated in 2008.
Cosmic Trilogy 3.That Hideous Strength.Read by Robert Whitfield.14 hours 14 minutes
That Hideous Strength (subtitled "A Modern Fairy-Tale for Grown-Ups") is a 1945 novel by C. S. Lewis, the final book in Lewis's theological science fiction Space Trilogy. The events of this novel follow those of Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra (a.k.a. Voyage to Venus) and once again feature the philologist Elwin Ransom. Yet, unlike the principal events of those two novels, the story takes place on Earth rather than in space or on other planets in the solar system.
The novel was heavily influenced by the writing of Lewis's friend Charles Williams and is markedly dystopian in style. In the book's preface Lewis acknowledges the science-fiction writer Olaf Stapledon and his work: "Mr. Stapledon is so rich in invention that he can well afford to lend, and I admire his invention (though not his philosophy) so much that I should feel no shame to borrow."
The title is taken from a poem written by David Lyndsay in 1555, Ane Dialog betuix Experience and ane Courteour, also known as The Monarche. The couplet in question, The shadow of that hyddeous strength, sax myle and more it is of length, refers to the Tower of Babel.
The story is set in England of the mid 1940s ("vaguely after the war"), in the small university town of Edgestow, centered around a young university don Mark Studdock, a fellow of Bracton College at the (fictional) University of Edgestow, and his wife Jane (née Tudor), who is working on her graduate degree in poetry.
The National Institute of Coordinated Experiments ("N.I.C.E."), a scientific and social planning agency, furtively pursues its program of the exploitation of nature and the annihilation of humanity. The Institute is secretly inspired and directed by fallen eldila, whom they refer to as "macrobes", superior beings. Their takeover of Edgestow and its surrounding area is a case in point of the manner in which they use human pride and greed to get what they want. After the N.I.C.E. would achieve its ends, the earth would only belong to the "macrobes".
Set against the N.I.C.E.'s operations is a small resistance group led by Dr. Elwin Ransom, who following his journeys to Mars and Venus, is now directed by the good eldila there, as well as those of Mercury, Saturn, and Jupiter. These eldila, previously blocked from accessing Earth, "the silent planet", are now unhindered, as that silence had first been breached by Weston and Devine when they left the earth to travel to Malacandra (Mars) in Out of the Silent Planet. Ransom's group consists of humans and animals living in unity and harmony, in stark contrast to the division and political maneuverings within the N.I.C.E.
The story begins with Jane thinking about her troubled marriage over breakfast while casually glancing at a photograph in the morning newspaper. The picture is of a man named Alcasan, a criminal just guillotined in France, which Jane recognizes as the man in a dream she had the night before. In her dream she saw him in a prison cell with a man with a pointed beard and pince-nez glasses. She then sees this man twisting off Alcasan's head. She is frightened by the dream, and after visiting with her friend Mrs. Dimble, is persuaded to seek help from psychologist Grace Ironwood at the St. Anne estate. Ironwood informs her that she is not insane but receiving clairvoyant visions, but Jane initially refuses to accept this. Ironwood asks Jane to report any further visions, and Jane returns home to Edgestow.
Meanwhile Mark, a professor of Sociology at Bracton College, has been recruited into an inner circle of fellows, known as "the progressive element". He finds out from his colleague Curry that he obtained his fellowship through the recommendation of Lord Feverstone (later revealed to be Devine, who first appeared in Out of the Silent Planet). Feverstone is also associated with the N.I.C.E. After the "progressives" see to it that the college approves the sale of Bracton land including Bragdon Wood to the N.I.C.E., Mark enthusiastically accompanies Feverstone to the N.I.C.E. headquarters at Belbury for what he believes is a position at the Institute. Feverstone flatters him, and Mark is initially optimistic about his future, but is perplexed by the vagueness of his interview with Deputy Director John Wither. He only confirms that he might actually work in the N.I.C.E. through conversations with an Italian professor Filostrato and the head of the N.I.C.E.'s institutional police force, Miss "Fairy" Hardcastle. He finds that his work with the N.I.C.E. would have nothing to do with his academic training as a sociologist but instead would make use of his persuasive writing skills to plant N.I.C.E. propaganda in local papers (now mostly under N.I.C.E. control). He finds himself accepted into the "library circle", seemingly the inner political circle at Belbury. The circle reveals plans for staging a riot in Edgestow in order to cement N.I.C.E. control of the area, and Mark begins his efforts for the propaganda campaign.
After experiencing further visions, Jane returns to St. Anne, where she meets the rest of the group. She also meets for the first time with the director, Ransom, who explains more about his organization and the N.I.C.E. as well as her role, but does not yet admit her fully into the group, especially as her Mark is unaware of her association with them.
Meanwhile, Wither and Hardcastle now try to pressure Mark into bringing Jane to Belbury, as they are aware of her clairvoyance, and intend to use her for their own purposes. They reveal that they have his lost wallet, which they say was found in the vicinity of Mark's colleague Dr. Hingest, who was murdered by the N.I.C.E. a few days before during his attempt to leave the institute (an event which Jane also saw in a vision). As Mark has no alibi to clear himself of the murder, he begins to realize he is trapped. He is also brought to the severed head of Alcasan, who is represented as the actual "head" of the N.I.C.E. Filostrato believes that the head is being kept alive purely by his scientific devices, where blood and air are pumped through it, but it is actually a mouthpiece of the evil eldila that control the N.I.C.E. Frost, who brought the head to Belbury, has opened himself to be possessed by these eldila as well.
It is upon Jane's return to Edgestow in the midst of the riot that the N.I.C.E. almost succeeds in capturing her. Jane is unable to make her way to her home, and is arrested by Miss Hardcastle and the institutional police and taken to a basement room for interrogation. Hardcastle attempts to get Jane to reveal where she has been, intending to ascertain Ransom's base, and resorts to burning Jane with a lighted cheroot cigarette. Fortunately for Jane, Hardcastle's car stalls in the middle of the riot as they are trying to take her to Belbury, and they abandon her. Jane is rescued by Arthur Denniston and his wife, and they take her to live at the St. Anne estate. Jane finds that her friends, Dr. Cecil and Mrs. "Mother" Dimble are now staying there with the Dennistons, Ivy Maggs, Grace Ironwood, Dr. MacPhee, and "the Director" Elwin Ransom. They are all that stands between Logres, the good and 'true' England, and the N.I.C.E. Ransom still suffers from the wounded heel that he sustained on Perelandra (Venus) when he defeated the diabolically controlled Weston in Perelandra. He is now the "Pendragon", the inheritor of the role of King Arthur, and he is allied with the good eldila. By her association with the St. Anne group, Jane begins to rethink her non-Christian lifestyle.
Mark determines to leave Belbury. He runs away on foot to the nearby village of Courthampton where he takes a bus to Edgestow. He finds his flat deserted, Jane not having been there in some time, but he finds a letter addressed to Mrs. Dimble. Mark then makes his way to the village of Northumberland to see Dr. Dimble to find out where his wife is. Dimble sees Mark but does not let him know where Jane is. He lets Mark know that Jane is a part of the resistance to the N.I.C.E. Mark leaves Dimble's office only to be arrested by the police for the murder of Dr. Hingest.
Mark is conveyed by the police to Belbury and confined to a cell, and realizes that the N.I.C.E. may have him killed for his disloyalty. It is then that he begins to set himself against the N.I.C.E. Frost wants to fully initiate Mark into the Institute, but Mark is disgusted with Frost's cold inhumanity. Frost wants to condition Mark into what Frost believes to be "objectivity". Mark is taken to a room beyond the room of the severed head where he is exposed to pointlessly broken and off-center patterns in a controlled environment decked with horrible, blasphemous, surrealistic paintings. The effect on Mark instead is that he reaffirms to himself the natural and the normal in opposition to the perversity of his surroundings.
One of Jane's visions in the course of the story involves an old man lying in an underground vault. Both Ransom and the N.I.C.E. know that this is the wizard Merlin of Arthurian legend who "sleeps" in such a place beneath Bragdon Wood, recently acquired by the N.I.C.E. A race develops to acquire Merlin with the hope of making use of his powers. While the N.I.C.E. is forced to search the entire wood, Ransom's group is aided by Jane's recollections of the area from her visions. She also has seen that Merlin has awakened. On a windy and rainy night Ransom sends Dimble, Denniston, and Jane out to Bragdon Wood to find Merlin. The N.I.C.E. also has three teams looking for him at the same time. Jane and her companions find an abandoned camp of a vagabond tinker in a dingle in Bragdon Wood. They then encounter a wild, old, bearded horseman, who rides away before they are able to communicate with him. While this is going on the N.I.C.E. succeeds in apprehending a frail, naked, old man, whom they lodge in another room at the Institute. The wild horseman meanwhile makes his appearance at St. Anne's, and is revealed to be the true Merlin. After questioning Ransom and finding him to be the Pendragon, Merlin, who identifies himself as Merlinus Ambrosius, is readily compliant, and is found to be the perfect agent of the good eldila to destroy the N.I.C.E.
Comically, the man the N.I.C.E. has acquired is actually the vagabond tinker, whom they mistake for Merlin. The tinker takes advantage of the first class care he receives at the hands of the N.I.C.E. and remains silent despite Wither's attempt to communicate with him in Latin. Mark, during breaks from his conditioning with Frost, is ordered to keep watch on the strange guest with whom he forms a secret understanding.
Wither and Frost believe that in order to communicate with their "Merlin" they have to secure someone who can speak in a Celtic dialect. They take out an advertisement for a linguist, which is answered by the real Merlin disguised as a Basque priest. Merlin hypnotizes the tinker to speak in an unknown language, which Merlin in turn appears to interpret to Wither and Frost in Latin. In this way Merlin gets Wither and Frost to believe that the tinker is Merlin, and has Wither give them a tour of Belbury.
Frost, in the meantime, wants to complete Mark's initiation, so he takes him into the "objectivity room" where a large crucifix has been placed in the center. Frost then orders Mark to stamp on it and degrade it. Mark demurs with the argument that such an action would affirm the reality of Christianity, which the crucifix represents. When again ordered to desecrate the crucifix, Mark curiously responds, "It's all bloody nonsense, and I'm damned if I do any such thing."
Merlin accompanies the false Merlin to the Institute banquet at which the director of the N.I.C.E., Horace Jules, gives a speech. During this speech the Curse of Babel falls on him and all present, causing confusion and mayhem. Jules is shot and killed by Miss Hardcastle, who in turn is killed with many others when Merlin releases the Institute's captive animals (a tiger, an elephant, a wolf, a snake, and a bear among others) into the hall. In the ensuing carnage only Wither, Straik, Filostrato, Frost, and Feverstone escape.
The end of Wither, Frost, Filostrato, and Straik is quite bizarre. Wither and Straik force Filostrato to the severed head room where they strip, worship the head, and behead Filostrato. Wither then stabs Straik to death and is himself killed by a bear that apparently destroys the severed head as well. Frost later comes into the room with gasoline, and mechanically sets himself and Belbury on fire under the total control of the evil eldila.
Merlin helps Mark, the tinker, Tom Maggs, and Mr. Bultitude the bear escape and directs Mark to St. Anne's. He then disappears from the narrative. From four vantages the destruction of Edgestow by blasts and earthquakes is portrayed: St. Anne's, Mark's, Feverstone's, and Curry's. Curry determines to go to London to be at the center of the re-establishment of Bracton College. Since he was made the provisional governor of Edgestow subsequent to the riot, Feverstone tries to return. He gets part way there from Belbury in a car that is driven wildly across country. When he gets to Edgestow, he perishes in an earthquake that engulfs the town.
The St. Anne group celebrates the victory over the N.I.C.E. with a dinner served to the women by the men. Since Ransom can only be cured of his injury in the place where it occurred, he will once again be taken to Perelandra. His departure is not shown, but the reader is informed that a new Pendragon will be installed. Ransom bestows a blessing on his associates before they retire for the beautiful evening that is strangely transformed from a wintry one into a summer one. The St. Anne estate comes under the influence of the various eldil of the solar system, including Perelandra, the eldil of Venus, who stays after the other good eldila have left. She presides over the reuniting of the couples: the jackdaw and its mate, Mr. Bultitude the bear and his mate, who had presumably killed Wither and destroyed the severed head, Tom and Ivy Maggs, and Mark and Jane Studdock. Ransom tells Jane that when she and Mrs. Dimble were preparing the lodge for Tom and Ivy Maggs and she saw a curious vision of a beautiful woman and dwarves, reminiscent of a painting by Titian, she was actually preparing her own bridal bower for herself and Mark. Mark is invited into the lodge by a vision of the beautiful woman where he undresses and is later joined by Jane, who, when she sees Mark's shirt hanging out of the window, knows that only he could be there.
* Mark Gainsby Studdock — Protagonist; sociologist, and ambitious to the point of obsession with reaching the "inner circle" of the social environment to which he has been grant preliminary admittance.
* Jane Tudor Studdock— Protagonist; wife of Mark, and clairvoyant dream-seer.
* vagabond tinker — mistaken by the N.I.C.E. for Merlinus Ambrosius when the latter steals his clothes and horse at his camp in Bragdon Wood.
* François Alcasan — "The Head", a French scientist executed for murder early in the book. His head is recovered by the N.I.C.E. and appears to be kept alive by the technology of man while actually having become a communication mechanism for the "Macrobes", the fallen eldila.
* John Wither — Long-winded bureaucrat and "Deputy Director" of the N.I.C.E. He is the true leader of the N.I.C.E., and a servant of the Macrobes. Long-term association with the Macrobes has "withered" his mind, and his speech and thinking are characterized by vagueness, jargon, and euphemism. He does not engage in a normal sleep cycle, but maintains a continual dreamy wakefulness that affords him the ability to maintain a shadowy, supernatural presence throughout the Institute.
* Professor Frost — A psychologist and assistant to Wither, he is the only other N.I.C.E member who knows the true nature of the Head, and of the Macrobes. He views emotions and values as mere chemical phenomena to be ignored as distractions from scientific inquiry. He is coldhearted and unemotional and he has an exact, precise manner of speech and thinking.
* Miss/Major Hardcastle (a.k.a "The Fairy") — The sadistic head of the N.I.C.E. Institutional Police and its female auxiliary, the "Waips". Torture is her favorite interrogation method, and she takes special pleasure in abusing female prisoners. It is clearly implied that she is a sadomasochistic lesbian.
* Dr. Filostrato — An obese Italian physiologist, who has seemingly preserved Alcasan's head. He does not understand the Head's nature and believes it to be truly Alcasan. His ultimate goal is to free humanity from the constraints of organic life.
* Lord Feverstone (Dick Devine) — The politician and recently ennobled businessman who lures Mark into the N.I.C.E. Feverstone was one of the two men who kidnapped Ransom in Out of the Silent Planet. A classic sociopath, he is motivated in all circumstances by the perceived benefit to himself. Although he is aware of the Macrobes, he has no interest in them.
* Reverend Straik — "The Mad Parson". He believes that any sort of power is a manifestation of God's will. This belief, along with other beliefs, makes him a suitable candidate for introduction to the Macrobes. "He was a good man once", but became deranged by the death of his daughter.
* Horace Jules — A novelist, tabloid reporter, cockney, and pseudo-scientific journalist who has been appointed the nominal Director of the N.I.C.E. His minimal understanding of science allows him to be unaware of the true nature of the Institute and to be manipulated by Wither and Frost. He has a strong anti-clerical bias, and objects to Wither appointing "parsons" (such as Straik) to the Institute.
* Dr. Elwin Ransom — sometimes called the "Pendragon" or "Mr. Fisher-King". He alone communicates with the benevolent eldila. Back from Perelandra, Ransom is a kingly figure among his small band of followers, and is usually referred to as "The Director". Ransom attributes his following to a divine Power, presumably Maleldil.
* Grace Ironwood — The seemingly stern but kind psychologist and doctor who helps Jane interpret her dreams.
* Dr. Cecil Dimble — Another don, an old friend of Ransom, and close adviser on matters of Arthurian scholarship and pre-Norman Britain.
* "Mother" Dimble — Mrs. Dimble; She and Mr. Dimble have no children, much to their sadness, but have compensated by their kindness to students. Very maternal.
* Ivy Maggs — Formerly a part-time domestic servant for Jane Studdock; now driven out of the town by the N.I.C.E. and living at St. Anne's. Jane is puzzled at first by her status as an equal at the house. Ivy's husband Tom is in prison for petty theft.
* Merlinus Ambrosius — The wizard Merlin, awakened and returned to serve the Pendragon and save England. Receives the powers of the eldila. He has been in a deep sleep since the time of King Arthur, and both sides initially believe he will join the N.I.C.E. His appearance at St. Anne's comes as a surprise.
* Mr. MacPhee — A scientist, skeptic, and rationalist, who is a close friend of Dr. Ransom and joins him at St. Anne's. Though not religious, he is deeply influenced by his family Ulster Scot Presbyterian background. He is mentioned parenthetically in Perelandra, and he appears in The Dark Tower. MacPhee, like Ransom, was an officer in the First World War. MacPhee desires to fight the N.I.C.E. with human powers. An argumentative character who claims to have no opinions, merely stating facts and illustrating implications. His position in the establishment is to be skeptical, testing every hypothesis and Jane's dreams; however, the awakened Merlin believes MacPhee to be Ransom's "fool" (i.e. jester), because MacPhee is "obstructive and rather rude...yet never gets sat on". The character may have been based on William T. Kirkpatrick, former headmaster of Lurgan College and an admired tutor of the young Lewis.
* Mr. Bultitude — Last of the seven bears of Logres, who escaped from a zoo and was tamed by Ransom, who has regained man's legendary authority over the beasts.
* Arthur and Camilla Denniston - Arthur is an academic at Edgestow and an old University friend of Mark Studdock's, before Studdock began to be obsessed with reaching the "inner circle" at Bracton College. His wife, Camilla, is described as very tall, and she is the first person Jane meets when visiting St. Anne's for the first time.
Some two years before writing his own Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell reviewed That Hideous Strength for the Manchester Evening News commenting: "Plenty of people in our age do entertain the monstrous dreams of power that Mr. Lewis attributes to his characters [the N.I.C.E. scientists], and we are within sight of the time when such dreams will be realizable". It is noteworthy that the review was written in the direct aftermath of the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which are referred to in the text.
However, Orwell argued that Lewis's book "would have been a stronger without the supernatural elements". Particularly, Orwell objected to the ending in which N.I.C.E. is overthrown by divine intervention: "[Lewis] is entitled to his beliefs, but they weaken his story, not only because they offend the average reader’s sense of probability but because in effect they decide the issue in advance. When one is told that God and the Devil are in conflict, one always knows which side is going to win. The whole drama of the struggle against evil lies in the fact that one does not have supernatural aid".
In popular culture
* Physicist Freeman Dyson cites That Hideous Strength and the N.I.C.E. organization on pages 141–143 of his recent book A Many-Colored Glass: Reflections on the Place of Life in the Universe (University of Virginia Press, 2007) as an example of theofiction.
* The post-hardcore band Thrice based their song "That Hideous Strength" (on their EP album, If We Could Only See Us Now) on Lewis's novel.
* Christian Progressive Death Metal band Becoming the Archetype's 2008 album Dichotomy is based heavily on the book.
* English electronic musician Belbury Poly takes his name from the town of Belbury. Many of his peers on the Ghost Box Music label pay similar homage to Lewis' mythology of Belbury.
* 1945, UK, The Bodley Head, N/A, Pub date ? December 1945, hardback (first edition)
* 1996, USA, Simon & Schuster, ISBN 0-684-83367-0, pub date 28 October 1996, hardback
* 1996, USA, Simon & Schuster, ISBN 0-684-82385-3, pub date 1 June 1996, paperback
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Events shape our lives, even distant and dark ones. From the time I was a wee little one, I have stopped my fear of dark places. I pick up my torch and journey alone through darkened corridors leading down into bottomless caverns of events past. I stumble upon the remnants of an intricate puzzle, which I bring back with me, and in the quiet of my dreams, are assembled before me.
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