Things I was struck by this time:

-how much description there is. Things are imagined, but so vividly imagined that he can describe on and on: the flora, the atmosphere, the fauna, angelic misapprehensions, so many things. A lot of this book is description of the strange world, and even when you think it is all over, he goes on describing entirely new things on the dry land.

-the psychological stages Ransom goes through. What states of soul might a man wrestling all night with God go through–you may ask. I think Lewis comes close to describing all of them during Ransom’s night of decision. And then the stuff in the tunnel, the stuff on the fish, the various encounters . . .

-how immensely learned. The seaweed eating is from Ovid, I gather. But how many other things about angels, and other beings, and so much more. Of course, it is a book about spiritual warfare, as the beginning shows, but how much of his own thinking goes into it: stuff from Screwtape and other meditations. Besides that, all his learning, all the stuff he’s read, all the allusions and references he makes.

-the structure and pacing of the book. In all that he does, all that he does remains interesting, makes sense, dawns on the reader or does not obstruct or detract. That may be the effect of reading it many times and reading a lot of Lewis, but I never remember it being anything but an enjoyable and smooth book even from the first distant readings of my greater than present ignorance. It makes me old every time.


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