This week on The Literary Life podcast, Angelina, Cindy, and Thomas bring us the first installment in their series of discussions about C. S. Lewis’ science fiction novel Out of the Silent Planet. Angelina shares some background on how Lewis began writing this book and what he set out to do through the genre of science fiction within the form of a romance. In looking at the historical time period in which he was writing, Thomas brings out the transcendent quality of Lewis’ message. They talk about Ransom’s character and his embodiment of the “old ways.” Cindy points out the Dante-esque details of the beginning of Ransom’s journey.
Other themes our hosts discuss are the problem of eugenics, the study of philology, the similarities in setup with First Men in the Moon, the enchantment of modernity, medieval cosmology, and so much more!
House of Humane Letters is thrilled to announce an all new webinar from Dr. Jason Baxter coming October 31st! Register today for Can Dante’s Inferno Save the World? Also coming up from House of Humane Letters on November 16, 2023, Jennifer Rogers’ webinar on Tolkien and The Old English Tradition. You can sign up now and save your spot!
“I’m with Orwell,’ said Strike. “Some ideas are so stupid, only intellectuals believe them.”Robert Galbraith (J. K. Rowling)
An age of discovery…is apt to loathe established institutions, and be filled with spiritual arrogance.Agnes Mure Mackenzie, The Kingdom of Scotland
It is a strange comment on our age that such a book lies hid in a hideous paper-backed edition, wholly unnoticed by the cognescenti, while any “realistic” drivel about some neurotic in a London flat–something that needs no real invention at all, something that any educated man could write if he chose, may get seriously reviewed and mentioned in serious book–as if it really mattered. I wonder how long this tyranny will last? Twenty years ago I felt no doubt that I should live to see it all break up and great literature return: but here I am, losing teeth and hair, and still no break in the clouds.C. S. Lewis, from a letter to Joy Davidman, Dec. 1953
A Selection from New Heaven and New Earth
by D. H. Lawrence
I was greedy, I was mad for the unknown. I, new-risen, resurrected, starved from the tomb starved from a life of devouring always myself now here was I, new-awakened, with my hand stretched out and touching the unknown, the real unknown, the unknown unknown. My God, but I can only say I touch, I feel the unknown! I am the first comer! Cortes, Pisarro, Columbus, Cabot, they are nothing, nothing! I am the first comer! I am the discoverer! I have found the other world!
On Stories by C. S. Lewis
Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis
The Discarded Image by C. S. Lewis
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