That Hideous Strength, by Clive Staples Lewis (C.S. Lewis) – 1946, 1977 (Bernard Symancyk)

that-hideous-strength-cs-lewis-1946-1977“Why you fool, it’s the educated reader who can be gulled.
All our difficulty comes with the others.
When did you meet a workman who believes the papers?
He takes it for granted that they’re all propaganda and skips the leading articles.
He buys his paper for the football results and the little paragraphs
about girls falling out of windows and corpses found in Mayfair flats.
He is our problem.
We have to recondition him.

But the educated public,
the people who read the highbrow weeklies,
don’t need reconditioning.
They’re all right already.
They’ll believe anything.”“Why you fool, it’s the educated reader who can be gulled.

All our difficulty comes with the others.
When did you meet a workman who believes the papers?
He takes it for granted that they’re all propaganda and skips the leading articles.
He buys his paper for the football results and the little paragraphs
about girls falling out of windows and corpses found in Mayfair flats.

He is our problem.
We have to recondition him.

But the educated public,
the people who read the highbrow weeklies,
don’t need reconditioning.
They’re all right already.

They’ll believe anything.”

(See review and discussion at Chicago Boyz website…) 

Perelandra, by Clive Staples Lewis (C.S. Lewis) – 1944, 1965 (Bernard Symancyk)

perelandra-cs-lewis-1944-1965-bernard-symancyk“My dear Ransom,
I wish you would not keep relapsing on to the popular level.
The two things are only moments in the single, unique reality.
The world leaps forward through great men
and greatness always transcends mere moralism.
When the leap has been made our ‘diabolism’
as you would call it becomes the morality of the next stage;
but while we are making it, we are called criminals, heretics, blasphemers…”

               “How far does it go?
Would you still obey the Life-Force
if you found it prompting you to murder me?”

 Yes.”

“Or to sell England to the Germans?”

“Yes.”

“Or to print lies as serious research in a scientific periodical?”

“Yes.”

“God help you!” said Ransom.

* * * * * * * * * * *

It looked at Ransom in silence and at last began to smile. 
We have all often spoken –
Ransom himself had often spoken –
of a devilish smile. 
Now he realized that he had never taken the words seriously. 
The smile was not bitter, nor raging, nor, in an ordinary sense, sinister;
it was not even mocking. 
It seemed to summon Ransom, with horrible naivete of welcome,
into the world of its own pleasures,
as if all men were at one in those pleasures,
as if they were the most natural thing in the world
and no dispute could ever have occurred about them. 
It was not furtive, nor ashamed, it had nothing of the conspirator in it. 

It did not defy goodness, it ignored it to the point of annihilation. 

Ransom perceived that he had never before seen anything
but half-hearted and uneasy attempts at evil. 
This creature was whole-hearted. 
The extremity of its evil had passed beyond all struggle
into some state which bore a horrible similarity to innocence. 
It was beyond vice as the Lady was beyond virtue.

Out of the Silent Planet, by Clive Staples Lewis (“C.S. Lewis”) – 1965, 1969 (Bernard Symancyk)

out-of-the-silent-planet-cs-lewis-1965-1969-bernard-symancyk“…We are only obeying orders.”

“Whose?”

There was another pause.
“Come,” said Weston at last,
“there is really no use in continuing this cross-examination. 
You keep on asking me questions I can’t answer;
in some cases because I don’t know the answers,
in other because you wouldn’t understand them. 
It will make things very much pleasanter during the voyage
if you can only resign your mind to your fate and stop bothering yourself and us. 
It would be easier if your philosophy of life
were not so insufferably narrow or individualistic. 
I had thought no one could fail to be inspired
by the role you are being asked to play:
that even a worm, if it could understand, would rise to the sacrifice. 
I mean, of course, the sacrifice of time and liberty, and some little risk. 
Don’t misunderstand me.”

“Well,” said Ransom, “You hold all the cards, and I must make the best of it. 
I consider your philosophy of life raving lunacy. 
I suppose all that stuff about infinity and eternity means
that you think you are justified in doing anything
– absolutely anything –
here and now,
on the off chance
that some creatures or other descended from man as we know him
may crawl about a few centuries longer in some part of the universe.”