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Chapter 6 - part 3

The final book in Lewis' theological science fiction Space Trilogy.

Chapter 6 - part 3

Postby Kanakaberaka » 08 Feb 2010, 20:15

Synopsis of part 3 : Mark is rewarded for his obsequiousness with admission to the inner circle of the N.I.C.E. Wither, Lord Feverstone, Fairly Hardcastle, Filostrato, Straik are all there as well as a Professor Frost. They meet late at night in the library where Mark was given the cold shoulder earlier. During his first meeting Mark is shocked to discover that the disturbances in Edgestow have been engineered by the N.I.C.E. And to make matters worse, they intend to unleash a full scale riot to bring about emergency measures. And yet Mark becomes a willing accomplice when he agrees to write editorials explaining this turmoil before it occurs.

The new arrival at Belbury appears to be the voyeur Jane saw in her latest dream. For now Professor Frost remains silent among the inner circle.

Mark can't understand why the former Reverend Straik would belong to such a jolly bunch of conspirators. He takes everything seriously, in comparison to the others. I have the feeling that Mark mistakes Straik's preaching for genuine religious thought. That's something that Mark has no desire to consider. If he would only take the time to listen to what Straik has to say about the Resurrection being "Neither a historical fact nor a fable ... but a prophecy", Mark would have realized that Straik worships scientific progress rather than God.
so it goes...
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Chapter 6 - part 3

Postby Kanakaberaka » 08 Feb 2010, 20:40

When Fairy Hardcastle and Filostrato point out that their planned disturbance has gone ahead too fast, Feverstone quotes the Roman poet Ovid :
Ad metam properate simul

Which could mean something like : "Hurry up at once untill the end". Or more likely : "The result is the same whether or not you hurry up".

More interestingly is a reference Mark makes upon hearing that he is to write about the big riot before it occurs. He says, half jokingly about waiting untill news happens before reporting on it :
"Well, I admit", said Mark, and his face was full of laughter, "I had a faint prejudice for doing so, not living in Mr. Dunne's sort of time nor in looking-glass land."

The referece to Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass is obvious. Though Mr. Dunne may not be. Mark must be referring to John William Dunne who wrote a book on precongnition through dreams called An Experiment with Time. Dunne's book presents eternity as all points of time being present at once. That way there is no past or future, only an eternal present. I am sure that C.S. Lewis must have read this book because of what he says about eternity in his non-fiction works. Yet I find it difficult to belive that a skeptic such as Mark would find such a speculative work of science interesting because of it's spiritual overtones. Maybe the notion of science explaining away the sacred could have been agreeable to Mark.
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Chapter 6 - part 3

Postby Kanakaberaka » 10 Feb 2010, 15:40

Fairy Hardcastle insists that Mark should begin his preemptive editorial writing immediatly after they finish another drink. Then she adds that they can call for "devilled bones and coffee" as a late night snack. Devilled bones are usually spicy broiled beef ribs or possibly chicken legs and wings. It sounds sort of like the "buffallo wings" we have here in the USA. I suspect that Lewis added this gastronomic detail to hint at the diabolical. Devilled bones certainly sounds like spiritual mayhem.
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Re: Chapter 6 - part 3

Postby Matthew Whaley » 12 Feb 2010, 07:35

Spiritual mayhem and a very bad case of heartburn. Do you think this book could be made into a movie?
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That Hideous Movie

Postby Kanakaberaka » 12 Feb 2010, 09:48

Matthew Whaley wrote: ...Do you think this book could be made into a movie?


Not unless Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra are made into movies first. It would not make much sense otherwise.
Don't ask me about any licensed products inspired by such movies. Especialy action figures. :rolleyes:
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Re: That Hideous Movie

Postby Theophilus » 12 Feb 2010, 17:24

Kanakaberaka wrote:
Matthew Whaley wrote: ...Do you think this book could be made into a movie?


Not unless Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra are made into movies first. It would not make much sense otherwise.
Don't ask me about any licensed products inspired by such movies. Especialy action figures. :rolleyes:

It could probably be made into a movie if the writers could come up with an alternate backstory for Ransom. It would have to be something which could be presented in a short time at the beginning of the movie.
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bad idea

Postby Kanakaberaka » 12 Feb 2010, 21:10

Theophilus wrote:It could probably be made into a movie if the writers could come up with an alternate backstory for Ransom. It would have to be something which could be presented in a short time at the beginning of the movie.


But that would ruin the whole point of the space trilogy. Ransom has to travel to both Malacandra and Perelandra (Mars and Venus) to become the man he is in THS. It would not make any sense if he were merely some sort of Earthbound guru with unexplained powers.
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Re: bad idea

Postby Matthew Whaley » 13 Feb 2010, 06:07

I think it would be hard to make the first two movies because of what people today know about Mars and Venus. Even if the location of the planets were changed, the symbols of male and female that the two planets represent would have to be scrapped or done somewhat differently and this would alter an essential element that runs like a thread through the whole trilogy. But you are right, Ransom has to go to Malacandra and Perelandra in order for the audience watching THS to understand who he is. Maybe thats why no one has yet tried to make a movie based on these three stories.
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classical mythology

Postby Kanakaberaka » 14 Feb 2010, 03:13

Matthew Whaley wrote:I think it would be hard to make the first two movies because of what people today know about Mars and Venus.


From what you have written, it is obvious that you think Lewis intended his space trilogy as Science Fiction. Even in his own time he admitted to Prof. Haldane that the trilogy was intended as a fantasy set in our modern times, not serious speculation about space travel, or worse still metaphysics. These three stories are simply a fairy tale in which nearby planets substitute for far away countries.

When people watch fantasy films such as The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen no one complains about it's history being wrong. It's simply understood as an imaginary past. The same could be done with Lewis' cosmology. Although I am not certain if updating Ransom to our twenty first century would be such a good idea. Fantasy seems to work best when it's set in the past.
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Re: Chapter 6 - part 3

Postby Matthew Whaley » 14 Feb 2010, 06:15

I was thinking more about the audience and their willing suspension of disbelief in order to fully enjoy the film. I think Lewis goes far beyond the best Science Fiction in his writing. Alterantive History Fiction is new to me. THS is a modern fairy tale for adults, and updating Ransom for the twenty first century would be very difficult. I also think that the point of the space trilogy was to show what the current beliefs about progress taken to their logical extemes would lead to: A world that no one would really want to live in.

I have always imagined the director and actor John Huston playing the part of Mr. Wither. Do you think John Travolta would make a good Fairy Hardcastle? :grin:
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That Hideous casting

Postby Kanakaberaka » 15 Feb 2010, 14:52

Matthew Whaley wrote: I have always imagined the director and actor John Huston playing the part of Mr. Wither. Do you think John Travolta would make a good Fairy Hardcastle? :grin:


After his cross dressing role in Hairspray I'm not sure that Travolta would be taken seriously as "The Fairy". It would sound rather ironic if he suggested "getting medieval" with Jane Studdock. But seriously, I would choose Kathy Bates as my first choice to portray Miss Hardcastle. She certainly has the gumption and forcefulness to play the part.
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