C. S. Lewis,  Read Along,  Show Notes

Episode 195: “Out of the Silent Planet” by C. S. Lewis, Ch. 16-End

Welcome back to The Literary Life Podcast this week as we wrap up our series of discussion on C. S. Lewis’ novel Out of the Silent Planet. Angelina Stanford, Cindy Rollins, and Thomas Banks are covering from chapter 16 to the end of the book in today’s episode. After sharing their commonplace quotes, Angelina starts the conversation comparing the ideas in Gulliver’s Travels with what Lewis is doing in this book. Thomas quotes a passage from the Aeneid in Latin as they talk about the parallels to Out of the Silent Planet. The structure of the medieval romance is seen fully as we finish the story, as noted by Angelina. She and Thomas also point out more connections with Paradise Lost. Cindy brings everything together with some thoughts on the unraveling of modernity.

Join us next week as we kick off a new series on The Mind of the Maker by Dorothy L. Sayers!

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!

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Commonplace Quotes:

But unlike most artists, Ruskin valued the seeing more than the doing. “The sight is more important than the drawing,” he said. “The greatest thing a human being ever does in this world is to SEE something, and tell what he saw in a plain way. Hundreds of people can talk for one who can think, but thousands of people can think for one who can see. To see clearly is poetry, prophecy and religion—all in one.”

from The World Enough and Time, by Christian McEwan

Build, build your Babels black against the sky-

But mark yon small green blade, your stones between,

The single spy

Of that uncounted host you have outcast;

For with their tiny pennons waving green

They shall storm your streets at last.

F. L. Lucas, from “Beleaguered Cities”

The old universe was wholly different in its effect. It was an answer, not a question. It offered not a field for musing but a single overwhelming object; an object which at once abashes and exalts the mind. For in it there is a final standard of size. The Primum Mobile is really large because it is the largest corporeal thing there is. We are really small because our whole Earth is a speck compared with the Primum Mobile.

C. S. Lewis, from Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Literature

Science-Fiction Cradlesong

by C. S. Lewis

By and by Man will try
To get out into the sky,
Sailing far beyond the air
From Down and Here to Up and There.
Stars and sky, sky and stars
Make us feel the prison bars.

Suppose it done. Now we ride
Closed in steel, up there, outside
Through our port-holes see the vast
Heaven-scape go rushing past.
Shall we? All that meets the eye
Is sky and stars, stars and sky.

Points of light with black between
Hang like a painted scene
Motionless, no nearer there
Than on Earth, everywhere
Equidistant from our ship.
Heaven has given us the slip.

Hush, be still. Outer space
Is a concept, not a place.
Try no more. Where we are
Never can be sky or star.
From prison, in a prison, we fly;
There's no way into the sky. 

Books Mentioned:

The Secular Scripture by Northrop Frye

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

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You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CindyRollinsWriter. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

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