The first book in C. S. Lewis's acclaimed Space Trilogy, which continues with Perelandra and That Hideous Strength, Out of the Silent Planet begins the adventures of the remarkable Dr. Ransom. Here, that estimable man is abducted by aliens and taken via spaceship to the red planet of... read more
“He could not feel that they were an island of life journeying through an abyss of death. He felt almost the opposite - that life was waiting outside the little iron egg-shell in which they rode, ready at any moment to break in, and that, if it killed them, it would kill them by excess of its vitality.”
“And yet, he thought, beyond the solar system the brightness ends. Is that the real void, the real death? Unless... he groped for the idea... unless visible light is also a hole or gap, a mere diminution of something else. Something that is to bright unchanging heaven as heave is the the dark, heavy earths...”
“A month of inactivity, a heavy meal and an unknown world do not help a man to run.”
“Awe fell upon him: there were no mornings here, no evenings, and no night — nothing but the changeless noon which had filled for centuries beyond history so many millions of cubic miles.”
“A nightmare, long engendered in the modern mind by the mythology that follows in the wake of science, was falling off him. He had read of 'Space': at the back of his thinking for years had lurked the dismal fancy of the black, cold vacuity, the utter deadness, which was supposed to separate the worlds. He had not known how much it affected him till now — now that the very name 'Space' seemed a blasphemous libel for this empyrean ocean of radiance in which they swam. He could not call it 'dead'; he felt life pouring into him from it every moment. How indeed should it be otherwise, since our of this ocean the worlds and all their life had come? He had thought it barren: he saw now that it was the womb of worlds, whose blazing and innumerable offering looked down nightly even upon the earth with so many eyes — and here, with how many more! No: Space was the wrong name. Older thinkers had been wiser when they named it simply the heavens....”
“He wondered how he could ever have thought of planets, even of the Earth, as islands of life and reality floating in a deadly void. Now, with a certainty which never after deserted him, he saw the planets — the 'earths' he called him in his thought — as mere holes or gaps in the living heaven — excluded and rejected wastes of heavy matter and murky air, formed not by addition to, but by subtraction from, the surrounding brightness.”
“Moreover, he knew nothing yet well enough to see it: you cannot see things till you know roughly what they are.”
“"A pleasure is full grown only when it is remembered. You are speaking, Hmān, as if the pleasure were one thing and the memory another. It is all one thing….When you and I met, the meeting was over very shortly, it was nothing. Now it is growing something as we remember it. But still we know very little about it. What it will be when I remember it as I lie down to die, what it makes in me all my days till then — that is the real meeting. The other is only the beginning of it. You say you have poets in your world. Do they not teach you this?"”Hyoi
“And how could we endure to live and let time pass if we were always crying for one day or one year to come back — if we did not know that every day in a life fills the whole life with expectation and memory and that those are that day?”Hyoi
“Anyway, what we need for the moment is not so much a body of belief as a body of people familiarized with certain ideas.”Dr. Elwin Ransom
“If it makes you happy to repeat words that don't mean anything to you, which is exactly what unscientific people want when they ask for an explanation...”
Followed by Perelandra.
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