The Scientifiction Novels of C.S. Lewis: Space and Time in the Ransom Stories

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McFarland, 17 սեպ, 2014 թ. - 204 էջ
Used by C.S. Lewis himself, the term "scientifiction" is revived here as it once encompassed not only what we call science fiction, but also that indeterminate field of the 1940s and 1950s sometimes referred to as science fantasy (leading up to Ray Bradbury), along with a portion of that great realm that has come, since the advent of The Lord of the Rings, to be called fantasy. Rather as an eighteenth-century novel may pre-date the divide between novel and romance, so C.S. Lewis's "interplanetary" novels may be considered to pre-date the modern divide between fantasy and science fiction and thus be thought of as "scientifictional" in nature. The stories dealt with are those in which Elwin Ransom is a character, the three usually called the "space trilogy": Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength--and the time-fragment entitled The Dark Tower. Lengthy chapters are devoted to each of the four Ransom stories. The book presents a study of Lewis, the nature of science fiction, the nature of Lewis's "Arcadian" science fiction and his (and its) place in English literary history.

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The Ransom Stories in Their English Literary Context
7
Malacandra or SpaceTravel Out of the Silent Planet
31
The Dark Tower or An Exchange in Time
57
Perelandra or Paradise Retained
85
Lewiss Arcadian Science Fiction
135
Bibliography
183
Index
191
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Էջ 18 - All the decent drapery of life is to be rudely torn off. All the superadded ideas, furnished from the wardrobe of a moral imagination, which the heart owns, and the understanding ratifies, as necessary to cover the defects of our naked shivering nature, and to raise it to dignity in our own estimation, are to be exploded as a ridiculous, absurd, and antiquated fashion.
Էջ 22 - It ought to have had no more moral than the Arabian Nights' tale of the merchant's sitting down to eat dates by the side of a well, and throwing the shells aside, and lo ! a genie starts up, and says he must kill the aforesaid merchant because one of the date shells had, it seems, put out the eye of the genie's son."— Table Talk, May 31, 1830.
Էջ 21 - The primary Imagination I hold to be the living power and prime agent of all human perception, and as a repetition in the finite mind of the eternal act of creation in the infinite I AM...
Էջ 21 - It dissolves, diffuses, dissipates, in order to recreate; or where this process is rendered impossible, yet still at all events it Struggles to idealize and to unify. It is essentially vital, even as all objects (as objects) are essentially fixed and dead.
Էջ 22 - I owned that that might admit some question; but as to the want of a moral, I told her that in my own judgment the poem had too much; and that the only, or chief fault, if I might say so, was the obtrusion of the moral sentiment so openly on the readers as a principle or cause of action in a work of such pure imagination. It] ought to have had no more moral than the Arabian Nights...
Էջ 22 - MRS. BARBAULD once told me that she admired the Ancient Mariner very much, but that there were two faults in it, — it was improbable, and had no moral. As for the probability, I owned that that might admit some question ; but as to the want of a moral, I told her that in my own judgment the poem had too much ; and that the only or chief fault, if I might say so, was the obtrusion of the moral sentiment so openly on the reader as a principle or cause of action in a work of such pure imagination.
Էջ 21 - I consider as an echo of the former, coexisting with the conscious will, yet still as identical with the primary in the kind of its agency, and differing only in degree, and in the mode of its operation.
Էջ 19 - If our passions, being immaterial, can be copied by material inventions, then it is possible that our material world in its turn is the copy of an invisible world. As the god Amor and his figurative garden are to the actual passions of men, so perhaps we ourselves and our 'real
Էջ 54 - I took a second leave of my master ; but as I was going to prostrate myself to kiss his hoof, he did me the honour to raise it gently to my mouth. I am not ignorant how much I have been censured for mentioning this last particular. Detractors are pleased to think it improbable that so illustrious a person should descend to give so great a mark of distinction to a creature so inferior as I. Neither have I forgotten how apt some travellers are to boast of extraordinary favours they have received.
Էջ 33 - Well ! The Olympians are all past and gone. Somehow the sun does not seem to shine so brightly as it used ; the trackless meadows of old time have shrunk and dwindled away to a few poor acres. A saddening doubt, a dull suspicion, creeps over me. Et in Arcadia ego — I certainly did once inhabit Arcady. Can it be that I also have become an Olympian ? A HOLIDAY THE masterful wind was up and out, shouting and chasing, the lord of the morning.

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The late Jared Lobdell was a writer and researcher. He lectured at Millersville University of Pennsylvania and Harrisburg Area Community College. He lived in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania.

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