The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Flood in Perelandra

I reviewed CS Lewis's second book at AOSHQ. I dumped on its design-choices ("Weston" here is not the Weston who went to Malacandra), but I did not dispute its moral system. I may or may not ever get around to doing that. Here I will just speculate as to one possible end for the story.

CS Lewis posits that God Himself is the real Tempter. It is Maleldil who Creates each world who also plants upon it an interdict, arbitrary in itself. The test set before Man and Woman is to obey the interdict. On our now-Silent Planet the herem was laid upon a fruit-tree. On Perelandra, 1940s-era flooded Venus, it was dry land (Aphrodite Terra?).

We now know what Lewis did not that in our solar system, Venus is hell and its surface was entirely flowed over by magma 500 million years back. Perhaps its Adam and Eve disobeyed and Maleldil had less patience then than he would in, oh, 300,000 BC. One can even guess as to how this disaster unfolded: Maleldil, instead of ejecting humanity from the now-forbidden place, let this lapse slide. When the Venerean peoples on dry land went bad - as they must, living as they did on forbidden ground - God sent a Flood upon them. Since alt-Perelandra is oceanic, this Deluge must have been by fire. As on Earth, there was yet no Abraham to argue humanity's case before God.

If Venus had a Noah, its Noah belonged to a family who stayed on the floating islands. He might have gathered his people (and fauna) to strike out for other worlds. But then, Lewis didn't believe that even obedient sentient beings, like the Malacandrans, ought to do that. How much more would planetary genocide be merited if the beings were disobedient!

Mind you, Lewis was a Christian. A story of the hero who saves his own people from material disaster is more a Jewish thing.

posted by Zimri on 11:03 | link | 0 comments

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