Monday, July 1, 2024

nuggets from CS' sci-fi/dystopian trilogy

I'm not a big sci-fan. So, I had tried to get through the trilogy before, but without success-- until recently. Out of the Silent Planet (OSP) and Perelandra (P) are much more sci-fi. OSP has more social commentary in it; in a word, P is a reflection on Genesis 1-3. I enjoyed both well enough, finding them comparable to the narratives and world-making efforts in Lewis' fine little book/apologetic, The Great Divorce.

That Hideous Strength (THS) is much more dystopian than sci-fi-- and thus, more my speed. (Here is my review of Joustra and Wilkinson's fine book on dystopian literature and political economy; my reviews of two books with exceeding contemporary relevance Fahrenheit 451 and The Children of Men, and an overview of and resources on The Hunger Games.) Much of it takes place in the context of academia. The government is heavily involved with cronyism, paternalism, and tons of disinformation. (THS connects to the other two but could be enjoyed without reading them.)

Nuggets from the books: 

OSP (ch. 20): if a man wanted to promote all men, ok. But promoting some men or self only? And bend vs. break to do more damage? See also: the problem with bent/broken combined with eternal life (as end of Gen 3)

P (ch. 1, esp. p. 10b): on being afraid of (and playing defense against) "being drawn in" to something greater, along a slippery slope 

P (p. 30): Lewis uses the term trans-sexual!

P (p. 37-38a, 44a): food and drink as different and repeatable heavenly experiences

P (p. 39): total darkness as infinite pleasant (if in Eden)

P (p. 52): on A&E first experiencing time

P (p. 58-59): Gen 3:1-6 (and prior) in this world vs. P

P (p. 171-172): provocative on gender and gender vs. sex

P (p. 179): Gen 3 and learning of evil without succumbing to it

THS (p. 126-127): staging rebellion to seize power and controlling the MSM accounts of it (ouch!)

THS (p. 169-176): strong on the anti-Nature bent and other seductions of Babel

THS (p. 241): suddenly aware/conscious of death; "this very hand...would one day be the hand of a corpse, and later the hand of a skeleton"

THS (p. 242-243): can finally see in the face of previous, amazing blindness; He "did not understand why all this, which was now so clear, had never previously crossed his mind. He was unaware that such thoughts had often knocked for entrance, but had always been excluded for the very good reason that if they were once entertained, it involved ripping up the whole web of his life...There was no harm in ripping up the web now, for he was not going to use it anymore."

THS (p. 284a): relative and absolute wealth over time (if you could be the richest person alive at a point in time, how far back would you be willing to go? 

THS (p. 331-334): for Mark confronting the cross, if it's not real (vs. superstition), what's the big deal? 

THS (p. 348): ref to Babel and Rev 19's feast/supper

THS (p. 376): Noah's ark and pairs of animals (at new creation)