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Does the supernatural weaken THS?: a review by George Orwell

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Re: Does the supernatural weaken THS?: a review by George Orwell

Postby Ribston Pippin » 02 Jul 2009, 13:41

I am an admirer of George Orwell but I think his comment here is influenced by his world view.

You can no more take the 'supernatural ' element from the book than you could subtract diamonds, guns and Africa from Henry Rider Haggard's 'King Solomon's Mines'.

Its not exactly cryptic, the introduction includes the phrase 'this is a tall tale about devilry'.

I heard something at the Perelandra colloquium last weekend abut CLS's use of sci fi to use an imagined world to tell us something about our own. someone ut it something like this..... 'Imagine a world where spiritual beings and natural beings both lived and could interact with one another. Then remember-there is such a world, and we inhabit it.'
'Surely, to travel hopefully is better than to arrive'

'If that were true, and known to be true, how could anyone ever travel hopefully?'

(The Great Divorce)
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Re: Does the supernatural weaken THS?: a review by George Orwell

Postby LadyKate » 15 Jul 2009, 16:37

I don't see how you could possibly remove the supernatural and still remain true to the essence of the Space Trilogy. A few hundred years ago, everyone was aware of both the supernatural and the natural creating Reality. Only with the dawn of movements such as the Industrial Revolution, Modernism, Post Modernism, et. al. has the concept of separating the two become generally acceptable, and I think that this tragedy is one of the major themes of the trilogy.
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Re: Does the supernatural weaken THS?: a review by George Orwell

Postby VixenMage » 21 Jul 2009, 03:45

I haven't read THS in a very, very long time, but it still seems to me that, even just after reading it, if someone had told me that C. S. Lewis wrote a "crime story," I would have stared blankly at them for some time and needed further explanation. There are aspects of the book which explore laws, and the breaking thereof, first by a corrupt, demon-led cabal in an effort to usurp, and then by the eldil-blessed cabal in an effort to thwart the demons... but... a crime story? I think that claiming the focus of the novel to be criminal, or detective, or somesuch, is a tight stretch, at best. It's like... like claiming that the focus of OotSP was the dangers of overly greedy mining, or overvalue of gold, or something. Yes, you could certainly read that message into the book, and not entirely falsely, but to claim that all other elements of the book were superfluous, and detracted? Clearly you've missed something.

I have the greatest respect for George Orwell's political theories, and he made excellent points with his dystopias. But I think he was wrong here, very wrong indeed. (I am also reminded of a more recent author, Neil Gaiman, when asked how much he was elated or devastated by reviews, to the first two reviews of his book American Gods, in which two reviewers expressed mild disappointment with-- literally-- the complete opposite view. He answered by saying that you can't pay too much attention to reviewers, because that way lies madness. Some people just don't get it.)
"The only thing I know for certain is that I know nothing for certain."
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Re: Does the supernatural weaken THS?: a review by George Orwell

Postby Kanakaberaka » 21 Jul 2009, 05:01

Speaking of That Hideous Strength, has anyone here checked out the THS study I have been doing on and off ? I want to post my study with regularity. But so few readers respond to it thsy I have almost abandoned it. I want to continue, provided people here show some interest by posting thier own views about the novel. I have left it dormant for too long, at an important juncture of the story no less. Please feel free to give your opinions about my study if you are so interested. I know I am not the most intellectual poster here. However, I have done studies on Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra . So I feel I should complete THS as well.
so it goes...
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Re: Does the supernatural weaken THS?: a review by George Orwell

Postby agingjb » 25 Jul 2009, 06:38

I've read the study with interest. I haven't commented, since I haven't had anything to add (although I could have a question about the "objective room" when we get to it).

I regret missing similar studies, at the the time they were posted, of the earlier books.

This and similar studies do reinforce CSL's particular gift for narrative, which seems to me to transcend any agreement or disagreement with his outlook.
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Re: Does the supernatural weaken THS?: a review by George Orwell

Postby agingjb » 25 Jul 2009, 09:53

And looking at the earlier studies, they do seem to provide an excellent framework for occasional comments on the trilogy, but it isn't clear that further posts would be possible (or, perhaps, welcome).
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