Tag Archives: That Hideous Strength

The universe is so very complicated

Call me lazy, I’m okay with that. I’m stealing a few lines from C.S. Lewis’ That Hideous Strength once again.

“The universe is so very complicated,” said Dr. Dimble.

“So you have said rather often before, dear,” replied Mrs. Dimble.

“Have I? he said with a smile. “How often, I wonder? As often as you’ve told the story of the pony and trap at Dawlish?”

“Cecil! I haven’t told it for years.”

“My dear, I heard you telling it to Camilla the night before last.”

“Oh, Camilla. That was quite different. She’d never heard it before.”

“I don’t know that we can be certain even about that… the universe being so complicated and all.” For a few minutes there was silence between them.

Men are from Malacandra

“The cardinal difficulty,” said MacPhee, “in collaboration between the sexes is that women speak a language without nouns. If two men are doing a bit of work, one will say to the other, ‘Put this bowl inside the bigger bowl which you’ll find on the top shelf of the green cupboard.’ The female for this is, ‘Put this in the other one in there.’ And then if you ask them, ‘in where?’ they say, ‘in there, of course.’ There is consequently a phatic hiatus.” He pronounced this so as to rhyme with “get at us.”

From That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis

That Hideous Strength

I mentioned a couple of days ago that I’ve been reading C. S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy.  I’m now about halfway through the third installation, That Hideous Strength.  I guess it’s strange to talk about a book I’m only halfway through, but there are a bunch of reasons why I think it’s okay – 1) it’s already clear to me that this is the best of the three, 2) this isn’t a book report, since I didn’t enter the MS Read-a-thon this year (do they still do that?) 3) I accidentally read a “spoiler,” so I know how it ends (and it sounds WEAK!) and lastly 4) I couldn’t think of anything else to talk about today.

Anyway, a couple of strange thing about this book.  First, while it is the conclusion to the Space Trilogy, it can stand alone.  If you just read this one it will make at least as much sense to you as it’s making to me. In fact, prior to reading about it independently I didn’t even understand the connection to the previous two books.  But the most striking thing to me about this book is it doesn’t feel like science fiction. In fact, it feels a lot like Atlas Shrugged.  Alien Atlas Shrugged, I guess. Alien Christian Atlas Shrugged.

Now that I think about it, you know what’s better than Alien Christian Atlas Shrugged? Atlas Shrugged, that’s what.