CS Lewis: Cosmic Journeys
Dr. Paul Shackley
CS Lewis wrote the seven Chronicles of Narnia whose characters visit:
the Wood between the Worlds;
I suggest that seven further works by Lewis form a less uniform sequence of "Cosmic Journeys" whose characters visit:
- three heavenly bodies, three spiritual states and one alternative Earth.
"Cosmic Journeys" incorporates not only the Ransom Trilogy but also an unexpected Lewis trilogy "within" the Ransom Trilogy.
(i) In Out Of The Silent Planet,
Elwin Ransom visits a planet called Malacandra by its inhabitants, returns to
Earth and corresponds with CS Lewis.
Thus, the characters recur as follows:
(i) Ransom, then Lewis;
Ransom passes a baton to Lewis who runs with it, then returns it to Ransom:
(i), (v) and (vi) are the Ransom Trilogy;
If Lewis' sf story, "Ministering Angels", had been set in a space station or a lunar base, then it might have fitted in with this sequence as a sequel or companion story to "Forms Of Things Unknown". However, it is instead set on a realistic Mars, thus contradicting the fantastic Malacandra. Since the sequence incorporates an alternative Earth, it could also, of course, incorporate alternative versions of Mars but that is not the intent of this story and the first Ransom novel as they stand. They are simply unrelated fictions.
Lewis' fictional sequences connect:
the being called Aslan in Narnia is called Maleldil in the Field of Arbol, the Lewisian Solar System -
Arbol, the Sun;
in The Great Divorce, Lewis'
mentor George MacDonald, refers to the Ransom Trilogy;
Readers might notice other connections.