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Rereading THS

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re: Rereading THS

Postby jo » 28 Mar 2006, 18:10

Just come to an interesting passage so thought I would put it down before I forget:

(about the eldila): "It was in a different place, and approaching their knowledge from the other side that they had discovered the state of Merlin: not from inspection of the things that slept under Bragdon Wood but from observing a certain unique configuration in that place where those things remain that are taken off time's mainroad, behind the invisible hedges, into the unimaginable fields. Not all the times that are outside the present are therefore past or future."

Reminds me rather of the ideas behind The Dark Tower .. what do people think?
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Re: re: Rereading THS

Postby Stanley Anderson » 28 Mar 2006, 18:20

jo wrote:Just come to an interesting passage so thought I would put it down before I forget:

(about the eldila): "It was in a different place, and approaching their knowledge from the other side that they had discovered the state of Merlin: not from inspection of the things that slept under Bragdon Wood but from observing a certain unique configuration in that place where those things remain that are taken off time's mainroad, behind the invisible hedges, into the unimaginable fields. Not all the times that are outside the present are therefore past or future."

Reminds me rather of the ideas behind The Dark Tower .. what do people think?


That, along with many other things of the same sort, are reasons I've long suggested that DT is very Lewis-like in opposition to the side that insists that it doesn't sound like it was written by Lewis. Of course the natural response is to say something like "of course a forger would try to sound like Lewis -- that's their goal after all", to which there is no defense.

--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: Rereading THS

Postby jo » 28 Mar 2006, 18:31

It's very well done, if so :). There's lots of little references - to things like 'good brandy' etc - that appear in both and which have specially struck me, as I am reading both back to back.

I think I will start another thread about the forgery - I feel a bit guilty starting so many threads in here but what the hell, one more won't hurt I suppose - to get up a debate about it. Maybe with a nice poll.
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Re: re: Rereading THS

Postby Rosie Cotton » 29 Mar 2006, 01:45

jo wrote:I am still pretty ticked off at Mark, but I am thinking it's interesting how circumstances have driven one of the couple towards 'evil' and one towards 'good.' What would have happened had it been Jane who'd met the NICE members and Mark who'd met Grace?


Well, I start out ticked off at Jane more than Mark; although he is being a fool in his attraction to the NICE, it seems Jane is not giving him a chance. After the night he comes home and she is all spooked and shaken, he offers to stay with her and not go to see Wither. He is concerned about her. But she holds onto her embarrassment and pride and won't admit she needs him then. Maybe if she had said "Yes, please stay home today" -- and told Mark what was on her mind -- maybe he wouldn't have gotten mixed up with the NICE in the first place? Of course, then there wouldn't have been a story ;)

But I appreciate that she sees through the phoniness of Mark's cronies: "So that was Lord Feverstone -- that man with the loud unnatural laugh and the mouth like a shark, and no manners... probably he was making a fool of Mark... What did Mark see in people like Mr. Curry and that odious old clergyman with the beard?" She is about to go out to see Miss Ironwood, and I need to be reacquainted with those characters, but I think Mark might remember his old unpretentious self when he got around them... I hope!
... and their joy was like swords, and they passed in thought out to regions where pain and delight flow together and tears are the very wine of blessedness.
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re: Rereading THS

Postby jo » 29 Mar 2006, 13:53

I dunno if it's her not giving him a chance or him not deserving one really ... for instance look at the beginning when she says that she knows that he will probably phone home from the college and say he's going to be horribly late, which implies that he's done that before. Maybe they're talking past east other :).
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re: Rereading THS

Postby Rosie Cotton » 30 Mar 2006, 01:51

I'm sure you're right... she's already lost the trust that he gives a rip, and so she has to take care of herself. Their relationship has already degenerated before the book began. But just one admission of humility or need could begin to turn things around, you know?

The first time I read this story I was so irked at Jane and Mark, not enjoying them as characters, and so repelled by the NICE, that I thought it was going to be the first Lewis book I hated...until I caught how he wove the contrast between the sexes so skillfully in with what initially looked like a run of the mill science-gone-bad-apocalyptic story. Now it's one of my favorites!
... and their joy was like swords, and they passed in thought out to regions where pain and delight flow together and tears are the very wine of blessedness.
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re: Rereading THS

Postby Paul F. Ford » 30 Mar 2006, 15:26

That Hideous Strength is one of C. S. Lewis’s greatest novels but I didn't enjoy it very much the first four times I read until I saw that its five plots echo each other. Here is my plot diagram.

http://www.pford.stjohnsem.edu/ford/cslewis/documents/notes/That%20Hideous%20Strength%20flowc.pdf

Let me know if you find it helpful.
Paul Ford—self-appointed president of the "245-3617 Club" and proud member of the "245-6317 Club"; author of the Companion to Narnia and the Pocket Companion to Narnia.
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re: Rereading THS

Postby Hnuff » 30 Mar 2006, 19:00

As a newcomer, I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir, but re: THS--has anybody discovered Arend Smilde's site that provides sources for allusions and quotations in That Hideous Strength (as well as several other Lewis works)? It is:

http://www.solcon.nl/arendsmilde/cslewi ... quotes.htm

If, on the other hand, this is common knowledge amongst Wardrobians, please do not hoot and jeer, lest I become dismayed.
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re: Rereading THS

Postby jo » 30 Mar 2006, 19:38

I've never seen it but I know Arende Smilde posts here sometimes :)
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re: Rereading THS

Postby rusmeister » 31 Mar 2006, 03:16

Well, had to go and re-read the whole book (on a trip to Moscow yesterday). I feel as Paul does - the first time I really didn't like the book, the second time I liked it a little... Now it does strike me as one of Lewis's greatest.

The heavy blows to the ideal of (and understanding of) equality of the sexes (generally championed by feminists) as a complete out-of-joint with reality (ch 7 pt 2, Ransom's coversation with Jane on obedience) stand out. And I was particularly struck by the last 2 pages of ch. 3: where Jane thinks about keeping "her own life" - and I began to think about how much I try to keep my "self" in my own marriage with 3 kids, and how anger and discord tend to arise when I am thinking of myself and what I want, rather than what my wife and children need. (Darnit, I want to sit down and discuss Lewis on a forum! (oh, it's 7am now, everyone's still sleeping - phew!) Where I- the husband - fail in love, just as a wife can fail in obedience.
I read an article on the general subject (in Russian, sorry!) that had an interesting idea - if the husband doesn't love his wife (placing her above his self), she could hardly be motivated to obey him(it would take great strength of will to submit to obedience to an unloving husband). If a wife doesn't obey her husband, he can't take responsibility for (being the head of) the family (She doesn't obey me, so it's not my fault what happens around here...) Ransom says, "...You have lost love because you have never attempted obedience." (again, ch 7, pt 2)


My favorite quote - it is hard - there are many - Hingest, end of ch 3: "There are a dozen views about everything until you know the answer. Then there's never more than one."
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re: Rereading THS

Postby jo » 31 Mar 2006, 16:24

Paul when I tried to access your site I got a grey download box then, when I clicked 'open file from this location' it opened to a page of gibberish :(. Is the link working for others?
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Re: re: Rereading THS

Postby Monica » 31 Mar 2006, 16:43

Hnuff wrote:As a newcomer, I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir,...


I'm no newcomer, but I wonder if I'm preaching to the choir as well. Has anyone seen Paul F. Ford's flowchart of That Hideous Strength's five plots?

http://www.pford.stjohnsem.edu/ford/cslewis/notes.htm
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re: Rereading THS

Postby jo » 31 Mar 2006, 16:46

Read back three or four posts Monica ;)
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re: Rereading THS

Postby jo » 31 Mar 2006, 16:46

I can get that one open too .. thanks, I'll have a read.
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re: Rereading THS

Postby Rosie Cotton » 01 Apr 2006, 01:41

Thanks, Hnuff, for that link to Arend Smilde's site. That is cool! Lewis has so many allusions in all his books, and I sometimes wonder what he's talking about but don't bother to find out.... now I can look it up in one place.
:) Though I was disappointed he didn't know which was the one book sitting on the table at St. Anne's with "The beauty of the female is the root of joy..." That has intrigued me forever! Is there really such a book, or did Lewis make it up?
... and their joy was like swords, and they passed in thought out to regions where pain and delight flow together and tears are the very wine of blessedness.
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