Monday, 24 November 2008

Out of the Silent Planet

One of my favourite novels is being read on Radio 7 at the moment. C.S.Lewis' Out of the Silent Planet is the second in his space trilogy, and contains a devastating and penetrating apologetic against the fall, and understanding of sin. I wonder if the BBC reading will capture that?

Late correction - Out of the Silent Planet is the first in the trilogy, with Perelandra being the second (entitled 'Voyage to Venus' in America). So I'll have to wait to see if they'll broadcast Perelandra too. In the meantime, if you haven't read the trilogy, do get hold of them.

9 comments:

Chris said...

fun!
ive not read this. thanks for the link. what did you mean by "apologetic against the fall"?

étrangère said...

Not read it?? Man, get hold of the trilogy! After his 'Til We have Faces (which you would love - Lewis at his most brilliant in every field), it's his best. Apologetic against the fall in that one of the characters delivers an apologetic to counter the devil's lies & deceit. On another planet. Now it sounds naff, but it's far from - read it!

étrangère said...

Oops, I'm mistaken - Out of the Silent Planet doesn't have so much in it: that's the 2nd one, Perelandra... Hm, must edit post.

mattsj said...

I do love the series. I re-read it every couple of years.

Which book is your favourite? Mine is probably Perelandra (but you can't beat the last line in Out of the SP). Having said that I love his bashing of modernism in That Hideous Strength.

étrangère said...

Oh, Perelandra, definitely. I thought you meant the last line: "A pint of bitter, please." But having checked, that was only the last line of the penultimate chapter ;-) Yet That Hideous Strength... yes I love how he combines modernism-bashing with industrial-revolution-bashing with anti-academia with Platonic ideals with Arthurian legend with Christianity! But man did it mess with my head the first couple of times I read it! I still don't like it. Have you read 'Til We Have Faces, Matt?

Chris said...

im a little confused, but familiar with perelandra, so I look forward to this one. what's the 3rd part of the trilogy?

étrangère said...

Sorry for being confused and therefore confusing. This is the first one. Perelandra is the one with what I consider to be great anti-sin apologetic, and That Hideous Strength is the 3rd.

mattsj said...

I did indeed mean, "A pint of bitter, please": so very British. I forgot there was another chapter; but I always considered it more of an epilogue, or an aside. That's my excuse anyway!

I haven't read 'Til We Have Faces', I'll check it out.

Caleb Woodbridge said...

Cool. I've been downloading OotSP from iPlayer to listen to on my mp3 player.

At the moment, I'm rereading That Hideous Strength in light of Planet Narnia, which also has lots of interesting stuff to say about C S Lewis's cosmic trilogy. I've also read The Abolition of Man fairly recently, so I'm spotting lots of connections with that.

THS is probably one of Lewis's weakest novels, but it still full of fascinating stuff, and there's some brilliant writing in places. I appreciate it much more now than when I first read it aged 10 or so, when I just wanted to get to the bits with Merlin in, but I still think it gets bogged down in university politics at the start, and isn't very dramatic for having the good characters just hang around for most of the novel waiting for the planetary spirits to descend.