Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Perelandra

This may be one of the most important books I have ever read. An interesting point made by her is that the races of Malacandra are the last of their kind. Now that Meleldil has appeared in the form of a man events have turned a corner and the shape of man is all that will be used from now on.

One idea in the theology or cosmos of the series that is established in this book. Meleldil whispers to her about the eldil and tells her that they are from before the corner was turned- Christ was born a man. There will be no more of them. Perelandra is a world with out an Osiro Eldil. In fact there are none save Melaldil. This means there are no angels at all on Perelandra. Malacandra had them by the thousands, Thulcandra (Earth) has the rebels and the other kinds. Since we've come around the corner there will be no other kinds of creatures and there will be no more worlds ruled by Orsiro Eldil.

And then there's the "Ransom. Ransom. Ransom." How truly horrific that the devil's actions wouldn't be of an expected horror, but rather a very childish action. That, somehow, is more terrifying. It happened in a scene where the protagonist and the demonic antagonist are both trying to persuade the Eve-like character she suddenly decides to go to sleep. Immediately the ghoulish villain turns to Ransom and starts to simply repeat his name. Anytime Ransom answers- the devils reply is "Nothing." Perhaps because it's unexpected and maybe because next time you hear some kid play that childish game you'll be reminded of the devil Ransom encountered and that kids tend to naturally act the way Satan does- or the other way around, which isn't much better. It's immature and un-creative of the enemy. Completely creative and insightful of Lewis, completely brilliant.

A couple of things that scared me- Lewis' description of the un-man. More horrible than any Steven King description, because it was so real and it wasn't trying to be horrible. King is expected to write like that, Lewis is not. Ransom's hatred. So much hate. It took me by surprise to find Ransom resorted to that hatred (which Lewis described as a divine or pure hatred) and also overcame his adversary with violence. Both the hatred and the violence seemed to smack as opposite of what one of the Kingdom of Heaven aught to use to defeat the enemy.

The ending of the book is so profound. This is the ultimate parable.

Could it be that God opened the curtains for Clive Staples Lewis for a moment and allowed him to write about outside truths? I wish so more than I believe so. It's just that the events in Perelandra line up so seamlessly with my beliefs- or perhaps this book had served a great deal in developing my beliefs.

There is so much truth here that for some of it to be [science] fiction, it almost seems deceptive for this book to not be true. Which is ironic to a degree if you take into account Weston's/the Un-Man's arguments.

Perelandra is such a profound book that there is a study guide available that looks rather interesting and is now on my wishlist.
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