Session #33: November 24th, 2010

Autumn Stones
Autumn stones


Thank you very much to all of you who attended yesterday’s session. It was a very interesting discussion! We decided to have one more session on “Perelandra”, then we will read a new book, Wind, Sand and Stars (click the link to buy or to see the details of the book on Amazon Japan) by the French pilot and poet, Antoine de St Exupery. The Japanese translation is 人間の土地 (新潮文庫). (Click the link to buy or to see the details of the book on Amazon Japan.)

The December session will be on Dec. 8th at the usual time and place.

Here is a list of questions on “Perelandra” to focus on for the December session:

  1. What wound remains with Ransom even when the rest of his body has healed? How does Ransom finally kill the Un-man/Weston?
    1. Read Genesis 3:14 and 15. This passage is usually taken to mean the first promise of a saviour who will defeat sin and Satan and redeem humanity.
    2. List the similarities between the Genesis passage and C.S. Lewis’ story.
  2. The long and somewhat confusing dialogue at the end of the novel about the Great Dance might be summed up like this: “All that is made seems planless to the darkened mind, because there are more plans than it looked for.”
    1. Read Job 38, Isaiah 40:12-31, 55:8-11. What do these passages say about God’s plan? Do you think Lewis was thinking of these passages when he wrote about the Great Dance?
  3. Read Genesis 2:4 – 3:7.
    1. List the similarities between the tempting of Eve and the tempting of the Green Lady.
    2. What differences are there?
  4. Science fiction is sometimes divided into two types: utopian and dystopian.
    1. Can you give examples of utopian and dystopian science fiction?
    2. Which category does “Perelandra” fit?
  5. Ransom (and presumably C.S. Lewis) believes it is sometimes necessary and justifiable to face evil physically with violence. Do you agree?  Give reasons for your answer.

Why not  make use of your knowledge of Perelandra, and write a review of the book on Amazon Japan?

Here are some reviews of Perelandra (Space Trilogy) by other readers. These reviews are mostly written by ordinary people, not by professional writers.

At the moment, there are only two reviews of the English version of Perelandra (Space Trilogy).  There are just 3 reviews of the Japanese translation ヴィーナスへの旅―ペレランドラ 金星編 (別世界物語).
Why not write your own review? I strongly recommend it! You don’t have to write a positive review. In fact, sometimes the negative reviews, if they are well written,  are more interesting and useful than the positive ones. When you write a review, try to keep in mind that you are writing for a reader. What information does a reader want? Why do people read the reviews on Amazon? Because they are thinking of buying the book, and they want to know what the book is about, and if they will enjoy reading it.  Here are my examples of badly written reviews. First a positive one, then a negative one. Try not to write a review  like these!

  1. This is a great book! You will enjoy it! It has many marvellous descriptions. The writer is a famous author. Once I started reading, I could not stop. Some parts were difficult, but it is worth reading.
  2. This is a terrible book! Don’t buy this book! It is a waste of time. The author is a very bad writer. I stopped reading this book after 50 pages. It is boring. The story is completely unbelievable! We know that Venus is nothing like how it is described in the book. Venus is full of poisonous gasses, therefore this story could never happen. Also, how Ransom gets to Venus is also completely nonsensical. Don’t waste your money on this book.


The idea that the “real” world we live in is not real is not a solely Christian idea. In Lewis’ books we come across the idea that, although this world is real, it is only a taste of a reality which is even MORE real (e.g. in his story “The Great Divorce”, in which everything in heaven is super-real.

Here, for comparison, are a few lines from the Hindu philosophical texts, the Upanishads:

“Lead me from the unreal to the real !
Lead me from darkness to light !
Lead me from death to immortality !”
Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad, c. 800-400 BCE, 1.3.28