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C. S. Lewis on the Final FrontierScience and the Supernatural in the Space Trilogy$
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Sanford Schwartz

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195374728

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195374728.001.0001

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Further Transpositions: Ransom, Violence, and the Sacred

(p.141) Conclusion
C. S. Lewis on the Final Frontier

Sanford Schwartz (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The conclusion brings together the various concerns of this study by focusing on the relations among three pivotal scenes that take place at precisely the same point in each of the three novels—the hunting expedition in Out of the Silent Planet (chapter 13); the call to combat with the Satanic Un-man in Perelandra (chapter 11); and the reckoning with imminent death in That Hideous Strength (chapter 11). Each of these scenes involves commitment to violent action and the risk of annihilation. Each is also closely tied to a particular version of the modern developmental paradigm—material, vitalist, spiritual, respectively—and turns on the tension between the developmental model and its “beatific” transfiguration in the novel. Taken together, these scenes map a narrative progression—Adamic (or tragic), Christic (or salvific), and Ecclesiastic (or agapic)—that spans the three-volume saga and demonstrates its formal and thematic unity.

Keywords:   death, Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, That Hideous Strength, violent

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