“Mr. Lewis has a genius for making his fantasies livable.” – The New York Times
It’s an odd feeling when fiction crosses the threshold of reality. Like when you’re watching or reading something of an alternate universe and think “Hey that’s accurate to life.”
But as odd as it is, finding the right set of words in a fictional world is also a relief in the real world because we may not have the words or illustrations yet. But someone already has in the most imaginative way.
That’s exactly how I felt reading C.S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy, particularly the second book Perelandra. Lewis describes Venus (aka Perelandra) in such a tangible and provocative way, the imagery and landscape of such a place make paradise more desirable than ever.
“Words are slow. You must not lose sight of the fact that his whole life on Venus up till now had lasted less than five minutes. He was not in the least tired, and not yet seriously alarmed as to his power of surviving in such a world. He had confidence in those who had sent him there, and for the meantime the coolness of the water and the freedom of his limbs were still a novelty and a delight;
As I was reading about the characteristics of Perelandra with its shifting islands, foamy waters and vivid colors of aquamarine, orange, and silver, Lewis put me on the islands of Hawaii. Hawaii is paradise to me. There are many parts of Hawaii that are untouched, unharmed and naïve to the foolishness of mankind.
That’s as close as I could tie my reality to this proof of fiction, and that’s where I placed myself while reading one of the most bizarre and relevant space stories. Yet it left me wanting more to discover just like in real time, in real Hawaii.
Was it a brisk awakening? Yes, but it was also a relief to know that though I may not have all of the right words to describe the feeling, rush and struggle of my experience, Lewis does.
I’ll leave it here for now.
–but more than all these was something else at which I have already hinted and which can hardly be put into words—the strange sense of excessive pleasure which seemed somehow to be communicated to him through all his senses at once.
Do you see realities within fiction? If so, what has become real to you as of late?
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