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Perelandra Reading Group

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Perelandra Reading Group

Postby Stanley Anderson » 22 Jul 2004, 17:45

Since we were nearly done with the OSP study when these new forums started up, it didn't seem practical to have a special Reading Group for it at the time.

But presumably, after the OSP study is done (shouldn't be much more than a week from now, unless K has any special plans -- K?), we would go on at some point with a Perelandra study. I don't know if people want to take a short break in between the two books or not, but since Dr Zeus will be gone/busy soon here, I PM'd him to suggest setting up a special Perelandra Study reading group in that special forum (might as well use that area for a new study since that is what it is designed for, eh?).

Anyway, it would probably be good not to actually use the Perelandra reading group until we finish the OSP even if Dr Z sets it up ahead of time before he leaves (But if anyone is chomping at the bit for it, I suppose it wouldn't be the end of the world. Still my preference would be "one book study -- of the Space Trilogy, at least -- at a time).

Just though I would post this for comments/questions about it.

--Stanley
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Re: Perelandra Reading Group

Postby Guest » 24 Jul 2004, 01:25

Okay by me.

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Re: Perelandra Reading Group

Postby Guest » 28 Jul 2004, 17:35

Stanley:

Just noticed this post of yours-- right now I'm in the early Perlandra "viewing" phase, meaning I see lots of shapes and colours on the forums, but can't differentiate them into meaningful items. It's actually a fairly odd feeling, and I can really relate to Ransom on Venus.

But, yes, I'm for a book study. ( Though I'll be a more regular contributor once school starts.)
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Re: Perelandra Reading Group

Postby a_hnau » 03 Aug 2004, 19:58

Hi, I'm a newcomer to these forums but a real Lewis-phile. I like the sound of an extended study on Perelandra... Would someone be able to give me an idea of the etiquette of these studies? I wouldn't want just to leap in with comments if there's a way you folks have of doing things...
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Re: Perelandra Reading Group

Postby Sven » 03 Aug 2004, 21:19

Welcome, Tom,
No particular etiquette other than basic good manners :)
Scream and Leap, perhaps not, but Leap and Comment, go for it.

You might look over the OOTSP study that Kanakaberra has been leading, both here in the new fora and the old fora (click on the wardrobe in the upper right of your screen, then on 'message forums', then on the archive for the old fora). That'll give you an idea of how we've done it in the past.

Enjoy!

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Rat! he found breath to whisper, shaking. Are you afraid?
Afraid? murmured the Rat, his eyes shining with unutterable love.
Afraid! Of Him? O, never, never! And yet -- and yet -- O, Mole, I am afraid!
Then the two animals, crouching to the earth, bowed their heads and did worship.
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Re: Perelandra Reading Group

Postby jadis » 06 Aug 2004, 01:50

i would be up for a book study. can you count me in when you start up? the start up time is not an issue, and it's probably best to give those in the osp study a chance to finish and take a breath before starting a new one. keep me posted though.
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Re: Perelandra Reading Group

Postby rika » 10 Aug 2004, 18:10

I should like to join, and would be a better contributor, like Monica, when school begins again on Aug. 22 . . .
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re: Perelandra Reading Group

Postby TarwathieI » 08 Aug 2006, 17:08

I would really love to join this study because I am a HUGE fan of perelandra, it is my favorite book in the series as well as my favorite of all time.
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re: Perelandra Reading Group

Postby Puddleglee » 10 Aug 2006, 11:04

So, are we going to have a study? :??:
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Re: re: Perelandra Reading Group

Postby Stanley Anderson » 10 Aug 2006, 14:24

Puddleglee wrote:So, are we going to have a study? :??:


It happened quite some time ago (notice the posts at the beginnin of this thread are from 2004). You can look down in the archive section of the main forums page just under the "Keepers" forum to find the Perelandra study forum.

Not that it can't be be discussed more now, but further discussion would have to be conducted in this forum now since that Perelandra study forum is locked, I believe.

--Stanley
…on a night of rain Frodo smelled a sweet fragrance on the air and heard the sound of singing that came over the water. And then it seemed to him that as in his dream in the house of Bombadil, the grey rain-curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back, and he beheld white shores and beyond them a fair green country under a swift sunrise.
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Re: Perelandra Reading Group

Postby Jofa » 24 Feb 2009, 19:37

Hello, hello, a wardrobian last seen a long time ago emerges from the dark between the fur coats. I almost feel like the Pevensies back in Narnia in Prince Caspian. :)

I figured this will be a good place to post my question. I am currently (still, actually would be a better word to use) working on my MA thesis on Perelandra (A Diagnoses Of Moral Corruption In C. S. Lewis' Perelandra Viewed In Relation to John Milton's Paradise Lost - Milton being a smaller chptr in the beginning as my major is reinessance, but don't really want to have much more to do with it than I have too :wink: ). So, I would like to ask if the participants of the Perelandra book study won't mind if I browse through their deliberations in search of further ideas, and put the forum's address in my bibliography as reference?
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Perelandra Reading Group - some more?

Postby Jofa » 27 Feb 2009, 20:03

Ok, I know it's been a while since the study ended, but I've been reading through it (up to chptr 5.1 so far, plus one of Stanley's posts in chptr 6 - because of the 'opression' topic) and some thoughts caught my eye, I have some comments. I hope the fact I didn't get to the end of the study yet will not make those not valid.

My quotes will be posted in italics as I pasted them in a list into a file and now would be hard to trace them back and actually quote. Comments will be in bold to make this post more readable


I am rather surprised though that after all this philosophy about the spoiling effect of an encore of the bubble trees shower, the next paragraph immediately begins, “He rose and got a second shower from the bubble tree.” I suppose it means that he received it accidentally – ie that he didn’t “try” to get another one, but the mere act of getting up apparently caused one to burst on him (Stanley, I think)

I don't think it needed have been like that at all. I think the significant difference is between repetition out of craving for the experience and repetition out of need. Maybe in this instance Ransom simply somehow felt the need for another bubble-shower. It would soften the "encore=bad thing!" idea making it not a commandment of "Thou shalt not take two bubble-showers one after another" which must be obeyed but sth more subject to "listening" to Maleldil's will.

when Ransom is waiting while the dragon approaches him – ‘ “It’s madness to wait for it”, said the false reason, but Ransom set his teeth and stood.’(...) he is being “prepared” for his encounter with the Green Lady and his role as advocate against the Un-Man’s attacks on her. (probably Stanley again)

Makes me think of faith. The way it is often standing against reason (or false reason). The comment about preparation in this context brings to my mind the place in Ephesians 6 where the Bible speaks of faith as a shield. Ransom must have faith, must be able to fight 'reason' and believe, trust in God/Maleldil and the purpose of all that's going on.

I wonder about the nakedness on Perelandra. Other aspects of the Edenic life have parallels instead of direct similarities (eg fixed land instead of fruit of the tree). This seems to imply that nakedness and covering are somehow fundamental in the representation of innocence and fallen-ness. (I think all of the quotes will be Stanley's)

Definitely. It is going to be a significant part of my thesis. It is the first aspect affected by sin described in Genesis and extremely meaningful. It is a very fruitful topic and branches out into or touches several ideas: separation from God, shame, vanity, desire...the question of the relation nakedness/clothes - vanity is clear in the passage in which Weston makes Lady clothe and look in the mirror. Also I think it would be quite impossible to portray an unfallen world (or it would be extremely abstract) if this topic was somehow replaced and/or omitted.

I am intrigued by the almost surreal quality of Lewis' comment when the Green Lady demonstrates that she is aware of the Incarnation, and Ransom replies with, "You know that ?". Lewis continues, "Those who have had a dream which is very beautiful but from which, nevertheless, they ardently desired to awake, will understand his sensations." I'm not sure I do understand Ransom's sensations as described by Lewis here, but I long to --it is a fascinating mystery that I desire to (and at the same time am sort of afraid of) dive into and explore. Does anyone have any thoughts here?

Stanley, isn't Ransoms experience almost exactly what you described as your experience and attitide towards this whole mystery? That was the first thing that popped into my mind when I read this passage.


I am also absolutely fascinated when Ransom asks how the Green Lady knows the information she is telling him, and she says "Maleldil is telling me". Lewis continues:
"And as she spoke the landscaep had become different, though with a difference none of the senses would identify. The light was dim, the air gentle, and all Ransom's body was bathed in bliss, but the garden world where he stood seemed to be packed quite full, and as if an unendurable pressure had been laid upon his shoulders, his legs failed him and he half sank, half fell, into a sitting position."


(...) But I loved his “resolution” of the confining feeling where, when he “gave in” to it, “it became not a load but a medium, a sort of splenour as of eatable, drinkable, breathable gold, which fed and carried you and not only poured into you but out from you as well. Taken the wrong way, it suffocated; taken the right way, it made terrestrial life seem, by comparison a vacuum.” and the whole topic of feeling "crowded" etc.

The first time this feeling appears is when the Lady mentions she hears/"hears" Maleldil. And for me it is obvious that the change in the landscape, the air, the light is His presence - beautiful, gentle, strong and overwhelming for Ransom, who is absolutely unaccustomed to feeling it so strongly (or at all). It is a presence which requires agreement and humble submission. For one who does that, sort of gives in, it is "breathable gold" and "blliss", for one who stands strong as a separate will it is suffocating.

Maleldil walks with the Tor and Tinidril, like God walked in Eden with Adam and Eve (Gen 3:8). Ransom is fallen, and so he is in a state in which Adam and Eve found themselves after they sinned - when they heard God's footsteps in the Garden they were afraid and hid. And here again we come back to the topic of nakedness/clothing with A&E realising they were naked and dressing in leaves, and with God making clothes for them of animal skins.

It is worth noting that this includes bloodshed - it is the first sacrifice on Earth, for sin.

I often wondered if the first (and last) clothes in Perelandra also meant bloodshed or just that the birds were running around featherless. The text does not say that plainly, does it? Although it does include Ransoms painful thought of knowing exactly which spiecies of birds the feathers came off of. ...this thought is sort of hanging in my mind along with a recently read chapter on Animal Pain from "The Problem of Pain" and some other random connections....no resolution so far.
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Re: Perelandra Reading Group

Postby Stanley Anderson » 27 Feb 2009, 22:43

Lots of fascinating comments there. I'll just make a couple quick replies for the moment (with guilty feelings that I can't even keep up with K's THS study after all this time)

Jofa wrote:Definitely. It [nakedness and covering in Eden after the fall] is going to be a significant part of my thesis. It is the first aspect affected by sin described in Genesis and extremely meaningful. It is a very fruitful topic and branches out into or touches several ideas


Coincidentally, I've been thinking a bit on this subject as it relates to my (speculative) thoughts about how the fall might be connected with quantum physics and the "collapse" of some kind of universal wave function. But I'm sure that's a bit "out there"... :smile:

I often wondered if the first (and last) clothes in Perelandra also meant bloodshed or just that the birds were running around featherless.


I have had the impression that the birds were not killed -- otherwise I think the Green Lady would have been more resistant to having anything to do with the clothes. One might guess that the Un-man simply didn't tell her how they were made, but surely she would be familiar enough with the birds to know whether they were ok or not from such an extraction? (but maybe not -- she didn't know what blood or wounds were like and wanted at one point to "try it out" -- never pegged her for a cutter, eh? :smile: ). But in any case, there was blood shed before that point by the Un-man and the frogs. But perhaps that is not your point?

It is a presence which requires agreement and humble submission. For one who does that, sort of gives in, it is "breathable gold" and "blliss", for one who stands strong as a separate will it is suffocating.


I don't know if you are interested, but I have a rather lengthy post on another forum here: http://europeforum.12.forumer.com/viewtopic.php?t=5952&start=350

On another post further down on that page (dated Wed Oct 22, 2008 ) I write more about the subject (and mention that I had posted it here in the Wardrobe -- for the life of me now, I can't find that thread here. Can't imagine where it got to)

--Stanley
…on a night of rain Frodo smelled a sweet fragrance on the air and heard the sound of singing that came over the water. And then it seemed to him that as in his dream in the house of Bombadil, the grey rain-curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back, and he beheld white shores and beyond them a fair green country under a swift sunrise.
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Re: Perelandra Reading Group

Postby Stanley Anderson » 01 Mar 2009, 00:04

[quote"Stanley"]I have had the impression that the birds were not killed[/quote]

By the way, I just remembered why I had that impression -- the Green Lady implies so when Ransom first encounters her wearing the new clothes:

"The birds," said Ransom, "The poor birds! What has he done to them?"

"He has found the feathers somewhere," said the Lady carelessly. "They drop them."


--Stanley
…on a night of rain Frodo smelled a sweet fragrance on the air and heard the sound of singing that came over the water. And then it seemed to him that as in his dream in the house of Bombadil, the grey rain-curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back, and he beheld white shores and beyond them a fair green country under a swift sunrise.
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Re: Perelandra Reading Group

Postby Jofa » 03 Mar 2009, 21:33

Stanley Anderson wrote:Lots of fascinating comments there.


Thanks for the intesting reading in return. :)

The Fall and quantum physics - intriguing.

Stanley Anderson wrote:I have had the impression that the birds were not killed


Stanley Anderson wrote:By the way, I just remembered why I had that impression -- the Green Lady implies so when Ransom first encounters her wearing the new clothes:

"The birds," said Ransom, "The poor birds! What has he done to them?"

"He has found the feathers somewhere," said the Lady carelessly. "They drop them."


Oh, that's right. I thought there was some comment like that in the book but didn't find it. Of course he might be lying.

Stanley Anderson wrote:never pegged her for a cutter, eh? :smile:


:smile:

Stanley Anderson wrote:But in any case, there was blood shed before that point by the Un-man and the frogs. But perhaps that is not your point?


Well, yeah, that's something that has been bothering me a bit. The fact that Lewis brings death into an unfallen world. Although it does not play the same role as that in Genesis - it is not sacrificial and does not signal atonement of sin.
Two things come to my mind.

One is what I read in The Problem of Pain where Lewis writes about animal pain and implies that he thinks only some if any animals experience pain at all (saying they do not have a conciousness which would let them see time as passing and relate to what happens to them as sequences of events). He states that the animals that might have some kind of consciousness like that are the larger and more complex animals, especially those domesticated. So maybe he considered frogs (and birds?) as belonging to the lower category which does not experience pain/suffering and so excludes the question of their death meaning evil. Still gnawing on this thought.

The other idea that just popped into my mind a few minutes ago is that Perelandra is not an alternative reality unconnected to Thulcandra and the whole universe. The Green Lady surprises Ransom with her knowledge of the fact that humans on Earth needed salvation and of the comming of the Messiah. So maybe simply through that death entered the whole universe and it does not need to be connected with sin? Or rather it is not a result of sin and a fall...it is a sign of the invasion of the Tempter. It accompanies him. But does not penetrate and/or infect the world which he entered.

Stanley Anderson wrote:I don't know if you are interested, but I have a rather lengthy post on another forum here:


Thanks for that. Don't want to rush into any comments at the moment. Need to think. I liked what you posted on Dec 16'th there. "We should not speak without knowing clearly what we want to say."
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