I am re-reading That Hideous Strength for the umpteenth time and just though I'd look up some reviews and discussion. CS Lewis is my favourite author but I am aware that it is possible to place a much loved artist above criticism,( I don't think Lewis himself would have wanted to be put in that position) and re-reading any work is bound to bring up some of its flaws. It is quite different form the first two books, I have alwasy found it both better and worse; it lacks the beautiful simplicity of OOTSP and the monumental theme of Perelandra but it is (largely) more down to earth in the two main characters and presents the temptation of Mark through his desperate desire to be included the 'in crowd' beleivably. There is more humour too in the scene where the speech of the gathered throng is confused: 'Bundlemen, bundlemen' and 'Blotcher Buldoo?'are memorable, as well as horror in the judgements on the NICE members. i would think that readers who are intregued by the underlying themes would do well to read his straight forward Christian apologetics,including Mere Christianity.
| Posted on Wednesday, 15 December 2010 at 12:22 GMT [Reply to this] [Permalink]|
writes in reply to Dave:|
Dave, I think your comments precisely define the differences between the three books of the trilogy, including the humour of the 'Babel' scene. I always enjoyed Lord Feverstone's calmly intelligent solution of _writing_ a note and also the way it was defeated; perversely, I also (I wonder if anyone else experiences this?) feel a twinge of regret when the great earth wave crashes down on Feverstone when he is close to escaping. Of all your observations, the one about the danger of placing an author like Lewis above criticism meant most to me - I could just about date the beginning of my literary critical maturity from the moment it crossed my mind that Lewis might not have all the answers, or that if he did, they might be based on less-than-perfect thinking. Doesn't affect my love of his books though - it is his cheerful spirituality and eerily-familiar descriptions of the marvellous which constantly bring me back to his writing.
| Posted on Wednesday, 29 December 2010 at 21:02 GMT [Reply to this] [Permalink]|