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C.S. Lewis

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Title: Out of the Silent Planet
Author: C.S. Lewis
Year: 1938

Like most people, I’ve read the Chronicles of Narnia when I was young, but it was in translation to Swedish and I don’t remember much of them anyway. However, I have encountered C.S. Lewis indirectly, in writing about him, or of him (for instance, he wrote a fairly interesting analysis of Paradise Lost, included in my edition), and after some recommendations, I’ve been eager to read either The Screwtape Letters (which I still intend to read) and Out of the Silent Planet. Since the latter but not the former was available in our library, the choice was pretty easy.

In its basic form, Out of the Silent Planet is based on a well-explored concept of a man, Ransom, being abducted and taken to an alien planet, even though the story is somewhat unusual in that it’s fellow humans who abduct him. This discovery of a new world is adequately interesting to keep my interest, but I’ll not go so far as to say that it’s good. In addition to this, however, Lewis adds a layer of theology/philosophy, which at least is enough to attract my attention, even though this expansion of the book’s topic comes fairly late in the narration (this discussion is mostly about the current state of human morals and mindset, something which certainly has not developed much since 1938).

I like Out of the Silent Planet because of the language and because of the wider meaning of the story itself. Although I’m not religious in any way myself, I’m not among those who dismisses works like this as mere Christian propaganda; instead, I view it as an interesting way of discussing these topics and issues. In addition to this, the book is very short (only about 150 pages) and well-composed; few passages are unnecessary and even if the first half feels a bit tedious, it nicely sets the stage for the final part.

Taking this into account, there are still some problems. For instance, the environment fails to be very unique, but only partly because it’s rather old by now. In the first hundred pages, there are few things in the setting that haven’t been covered a million times in cheap fantasy or science fiction novels or short stories (admittedly, Lewis is a skilled author and the atmosphere he creates is much better than most). Lewis of course uses his own approach, but it’s still not enough for me. Also, the plot itself is not terribly interesting for the most part, albeit that it does present the reader with some unusual twists.

To summarise, Out of the Silent Planet is a good novel. It’s short, it’s well-composed and it has some sort of depth to it, everything set in an environment which at least isn’t bad. However, it doesn’t have that extra something that makes it very good. My feelings about the novel when I finished it would merit four snails, but considering that I truly believed the first two thirds to be fairly boring, I’ll only grant Mr. Lewis three and a half snails. There are two more books in his Space Trilogy, but having lots of more interesting books to turn to, I think it unlikely that I’ll read them any time soon.

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Titel: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
Regi: Andrew Adamson
Manus: C.S. Lewis (roman), Andrew Adamson, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Recenserad: 2006-01-08

När vi var små hade jag och Henrik var små hade vi en hatkampanj mot Lucy, eller egentligen mot skådespelerskan i TV-serien. Jag är inte säker på varför det blev så, men det har lett till att jag verkligen inte gillar serien. Jag har läst böckerna samt har en ganska god uppfattning om Lewis själv, framförallt efter att ha hängt på ett forum dedikerat till The Inklings (författarskara med bland andra Tolkien och just Lewis).

Jag har hört mycket negativt om filmatiseringen och jag håller inte alls med. I min meningen är filmatiseringen nästan perfekt. Jag hade velat se lite mer tid på Aslan och lite mindre på striden, men jag upplevde det inte som helt absurt som det var nu. I vilket fall kritiserar folk fel sak. C.S. Lewis skrev mycket om religion och kristendom och att kritisera filmen för att ha dolda kristna budskap är som att kritisera 1984 för att den kritiserar ett kontrollsamhälle ? det är det som är hela poängen. Att den sedan är stöpt i formen av fantasyromaner för barn är inte så underligt. C.S. Lewis böcker om kristendom når knappast fram till barnen. Alla filmer berättar något om världen vi lever i och där har även religion en plats.

Nog om det. Vad gjorde filmen bra? Skådespelarna framförallt. Häxan var eminent i sin roll, långt mycket bättre än i den gamla serien. Hon visar upp ett full register av emotionella lägen genom filmen och lyckas nästintill perfekt att förmedla sin roll. Jag gillar också interaktionen mellan syskonen, även om jag gärna hade sett mer dialog. Man kanske kan säga att det händer lite för mycket lite för snabbt, men så är det en barnfilm också. Med tanke på att jag nog klassificeras som vuxen tycker jag att filmen är nästan så bra den kan bli. Jag har dock ännu inte pratat med en tolvåring och sett vad han eller hon tycker, vilket skulle vara klart intressant.

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