Saturday, March 30, 2013

Happy Easter

The Protevangelium - the technical word for the future events foretold in Genesis 3:15.  The promised Messiah who would crush the head of the serpent while the serpent strikes His heal.  For a longer devotional reading follow this link to a reading from Pope John Paul II.

We will explore the bruising of another heal this month as we discuss Elwin Ransom's saving work in Perelandra.

Happy Easter!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Perelandra is our next book to be discussed on Monday, April 22nd - 6:15pm in the Conference Room at the library.  Send me an email if you need the discussion questions.

Monday, March 25, 2013


Snow Shuttle from Canada

Winter Storm Virgil is coming!  Check back here during the day for updates concerning the possible cancellation of our meeting at 6:15pm tonight.  Check the library for an immediate answer.  If the library closes, so do we. 

Current Status: Green Light to Launch into The Space Trilogy

Sunday, March 24, 2013


10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3 ... the countdown is just about over and we are ready to blast off into The Space Trilogy (very corny, but I could not resist).  Monday, March 25th - 6:15pm in the Conference Room at the C. Burr Artz Library, we will discuss Out of the Silent Planet.  April and May we will discuss the next two stories.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013


In chapter five of Out of the Silent Planet Ransom overhears Weston and Devine talking and discovers the reason for his being drugged and kidnapped - A Sacrifice to an Alien Race on Malacandra.  With this new information the narrator tells the reader that Ransom:
"... had read his H.G. Wells and others.  His universe was peopled with horrors such as ancient and mediaeval mythology could hardly rival.  No insect-like, vermiculate or crustacean Abominable, no twitching feelers, rasping wings, slimy coils, curling tentacles, no monstrous union of superhuman intelligence and insatiable cruelty seemed to him anything but likely on an alien world.  The sorns would be . . . would be . . he dared not think what the sorns would be.  And he was being given to them."
The ideas concerning what type of life one would find on another world is the blank canvas sci-fi authors and movie make-up arts, and now CGI artists, have displayed their imaginative fancy for over one hundred years now (Wells published War of the Worlds in 1898).  Above is an artist's rendering of Lewis's sorns (seroni?) and a hross.  Below is an alien from Steven Spielberg's version of War of the Worlds (2005).  The last picture is from the 1953 version of War of the Worlds - just for fun.


Monday, March 11, 2013


The professor in the CSPAN lecture (link below) discusses this sign.

In the second chapter of Out of the Silent Planet we find Ransom coming out of his drugged state to hear Weston and Devine arguing over their next move.

"The boy was ideal," said Weston sulkily.  "Incapable of serving humanity and only too likely to propagate idiocy.  He was the sort of boy who in a civilized community would be automatically handed over to a state laboratory for experimental purposes."

The issue of Eugenics turns up a few times in The Space Trilogy.  Below you will find a link to an hour and half video on CSPAN 3 of a college lecture discussing Eugenics in America.

Lecture on CSPAN 3 covering Eugenics in America

Friday, March 8, 2013


If you are reading The Space Trilogy and would like some secondary help in understanding the story, consider Narnia and Beyond: A Guide to the Fiction of C.S. Lewis by Thomas Howard.  This book was previously published as C.S. Lewis: Man of Letters.  Howard devotes three chapters to The Space Trilogy and also covers Narnia and Till We Have Faces.  Our March meeting will focus on Out of the Silent Planet, so I quote from Howard's chapter on OSP below.

In the first chapter Ransom meets a woman on the road who is upset that her son had yet to make it home.  A meeting that propels the adventure for Ransom starts with this chance encounter and Lewis states that "It occurred to him that he ought to call on this mysterious professor and ask for the boy to be sent home."

Commenting on this Howard writes:

  "Call it bourgeois morality, or middle-class values, or the Boy Scouts or society's stereotypes or conventional behavior, or whatever we want: the thing undergirding it is the thing undergirding all possibility of civil human life, namely the recognition of the prior claim that the other person has on your own claim to yourself.  Nonsense, madness, and irritation - but this frenzied old woman here has a claim on me as absolute and serene as if she were the empress of all the Russias.  Damn and blast.
  But there it is.  It is what your nanny and your mother and your father and your schoolmasters taught you: let him go first! pass it to her first! wait till the others have been served! stand up! hush! smile! shake hands!  Oh damn, damn, damn!  Why won't they leave me alone?
  They won't leave you alone, boy, because left thus alone you would turn into a cad and thence into a monster and thence into a damned soul.  That is the long and short of it, and it is the watershed between what Lewis (along with all Hebrew prophets and Greek sages and all lawgivers and saints in all societies) conceived of as the very pattern of authentic human life and the very guardian of liberty and joy - between that on the one hand and the notion presiding over all modern views of human behavior, namely that it is self-assertion and freedom from restraint that will bring us to our true stature and wholeness."

Well over 100 pages of Howard at his best is what you will find in this book.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


When I am out and about and spot something Lewis related I do try to take a picture and share.  Yesterday I was in DC and am always happy to see Lewis displayed prominently on a bookshelf.  I guess it can only mean that Lewis sells!  Below are pictures from Kramerbooks in DuPont Circle.

Picture found on internet.  Currently the tree has no leaves.

I did not see Obama during my visit. 
I wonder if he has a Lewis book in his hand?


The Christmas season, for me, usually means my annual trip to the movie theater.  I average about one trip a year and as far as I can r...