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Seven77

CS Lewis' Space Trilogy Book Discussion

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Lilllabettt
12 hours ago, Anomaly said:

On book 3. 

Is anybody else reading too?   Or did you all give up?

Tell me when you're done bro. I got more questions. 

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Lilllabettt
On 9/1/2019 at 7:05 AM, Anomaly said:

Have you read it all?     Ask away. It doesn’t spoil the book.  It could be something I take note of while I read it. 

Ok well, my first question has to do with the ending. Basically it's clear by the 3rd book (yes I finished them) that this is a giant war with the pretty direct intervention from on high. The resolution of the conflict seems to me, with the intervention of the Merlin character, to be one big act of God. Which, while certainly being a reflection of reality, smells of elderberries some of the excitement out of the story. From a literary perspective, do you agree or disagree? Going off of reality -does knowing God is going to win make the drama of salvation any less? In some ways it does. Sure, there are individual souls at stake and we want to know if Mark is going down or not. I was mostly anticipating if he and Jane would end up divorced. The ending, with the bridal chamber, was a weird one for me. But basically, once I figured out Merlin, I more or less knew the outcome and was only faintly in suspense as to "how" this would come about. What say you???

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Anomaly

Starting off, of course there will be Divine intervention.  I kinda look at it like in Game of Thrones, but with a stacked deck.   Of course God wins eventually.  He is playing the long game.  Like with Israelites, He accepts lost battles and lets the war wage, knowing it will eventually work out.  From a literary perspective, we usually have the good guy win    How it happens is the most interesting part.   How I personally feel about it in my own thoughts and theological opinion is complicated.  Lol    I’m curious to see if the logic and reasonableness is maintained with consistency and how it reflects or aligns with my understanding Catholic Justification.  (  I thought the Perelandara conflict resolution did not.   Did you? )

 

 

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Anomaly

Lill, 

How did you like his very English culture writings and somewhat dated characterization of spousal portrayal?    You had commented on speculating if they stay together   

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Lilllabettt
6 hours ago, Anomaly said:

Starting off, of course there will be Divine intervention.  I kinda look at it like in Game of Thrones, but with a stacked deck.   Of course God wins eventually.  He is playing the long game.  Like with Israelites, He accepts lost battles and lets the war wage, knowing it will eventually work out.  From a literary perspective, we usually have the good guy win    How it happens is the most interesting part.   How I personally feel about it in my own thoughts and theological opinion is complicated.  Lol    I’m curious to see if the logic and reasonableness is maintained with consistency and how it reflects or aligns with my understanding Catholic Justification.  (  I thought the Perelandara conflict resolution did not.   Did you? 

So, can you expand on what you mean re: justification. I compare and contrasted Ransoms role with Christ's in the satisfaction theory of the atonement.  Ransoms name thing was a bit on the nose - but Lewis is famous for being on the nose vs. like, Tolkien. 

The marriage is a little bit dated, like you said. I enjoyed the breakfast scene, but overall, I was wondering, is this level of detachment a proper british thing, an old timey thing, or a 'their marriage is in trouble' thing. Having finished the book I still not sure. Some of my annoyance is that it's a lot to do with the University system and I have no idea how that works in England. It's hard to get a sense of what they're doing even a sense of space with them going from x to y to z. 

I will say, that: I was surprised at Lewis basically saying that the evil science of NICE as well as their marital problems are rooted in a contraceptive mentality. Reads like theology of the body. 

In the end, marriage is sort of the key for saving one of the main characters (dont want to spoil it). Althoughit has less to do with saving the world imo. Theres a certain point where God takes over and for a good # of pages you know the world is saved, your just finding out what happens to the heroes. 

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Seven77
On 8/23/2019 at 12:51 PM, Anomaly said:

My apologies.   I hadn’t realized you posted.  

Yes, CS is negative about space exploration, but one could only infer it as a literary tool.   He’s creating a separation between the planets/ planes of existence in both a spiritual and physical sense it explore “what if” scenarios  

The tool seems to be used to define separate possibilities as far as responses to Grace, effects, and outcomes.   At one point he tries to equate predestination and freedom, but I did not get his point. In my opinion, he forces the logic issue, though the Unman discussions were thought provoking.  

 

Elwin is still on Prelandara, no Mary Sue character.   

Sorry 77, if I gave spoilers away.  I thought others had stopped reading. 

I actually read the whole trilogy two years ago. If you don't mind, I think I'm going to skim around  for the stuff that relates to this conversation! I hope that's not cheating… Even though I did read the whole thing! 

Edited by Seven77

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Anomaly

@Lilllabettt

I just mean Justification in general fundamentals.  Like why even needed in first place, but let’s not digress.  I just don’t get the need for Ransom as an obligation to fix things and reasons are weak in the plot.

Yes it is dated.   Having wife’s family from England and visiting often I recognized the mindset and attitude.  But there is a lot of sexism as far as roles and expectation for behavior, stereotypes, etc.    I took the detachment as bit of all of it.  English, dated..   I haven’t read enough but expect it’s rooted in not giving oneself wholeheartedly to the other.    After 35 years of marriage, those first awkward years are dim  lol  

 

 

One of the things I like reading in older novels, are issues discussed that are similar to today’s.    For example, when Mark is trying to figure out his role at NICE, and the Fairy tells him how writing to rehabilitate the reputation of Alacasan in the paper, citing how intellectuals are Right or Left, and are duped by the media  

 

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Anomaly

I’ve read science fiction for years. Like many plot devices in novels, SF is often used fir speculative fiction.   From Atlas Shrugged by Rand to I Robot by Asimov, “what if’s” are explored.   Those, like this one, are old enough that we partially live in the relative future and can observe some of what was previously conjectured.  

At this point, I’m up to Mark meeting the Head.  To me, the dystopia the NICE want to bring about is a pragmatic Artificial Intelligence (the Head).  Envisioning the supremacy of human mind beyond mere organic existence.  This was written in the late 40’s with no concept of  Siri or Cortana, our reality. 

“AI” to replace organic morality and religion....     hmmmm...

Edited by Anomaly

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Anomaly

AI coupled with:

“What should they regard as too obscene, since they held that all morality was a mere subjective by-product of the physical and economic situations of men? The time was ripe.

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Anomaly
10 hours ago, Lilllabettt said:

Expand please.

Was it because of the deus ex machina?

EXACTLY!  But there is much more nonsensical verbosity beyond a weak plot resolution.   I read a lot of books.  From Dickens to Asimov.  From. JJ Adams to Esi Edugyan.  His writing was a chore to read. 

As a Mass attending ex-Catholic atheist, I read with an open mind for challenging theological theories and Catholic apologia.  What I got was fantastical obscurantism.    

 

Edited by Anomaly

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Lilllabettt
4 hours ago, Anomaly said:

EXACTLY!  But there is much more nonsensical verbosity beyond a weak plot resolution.   I read a lot of books.  From Dickens to Asimov.  From. JJ Adams to Esi Edugyan.  His writing was a chore to read. 

As a Mass attending ex-Catholic atheist, I read with an open mind for challenging theological theories and Catholic apologia.  What I got was fantastical obscurantism.    

 

Well, you were probably not ever going to get Catholic apologetics from Lewis ... he definitively rejected the Catholic theory of epistemology. Christian apologetics yes. 

One big problem with CS Lewis' fiction is that it is so on the nose. Just like in Narnia. The metaphors are so thinly veiled that they break down and the only way out is for Narnia heaven to turn out to be, in fact, our heaven.  

But the biggest problem with this story is that there is no hero - the characters don't really do anything to achieve the resolution. It happens to them. 

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Anomaly

Honestly, I didn’t get all his metaphors. I found his writing style often confusing and besides the point.  How many times does he have to explain a color, taste, experience, etc., is different then any earthly experience. 

Nor did I find a cohesive concept or theme I could trace.  I got too frustrated with his minutiae, it’s sort like this, but not like that, and different than the other. 

Terrible character development as well. There were flashes of depth, but then fizzled with some old stereotypes.  

This is the sort of book that group discussion ( in person and with a a syllabus) would have made it more worthwhile. 

But I still have eyesight, and there are plenty of great books/stories to experience.   

Thank you for commenting.   It helped me with the discipline to finish it. 

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