Talk:Out of the Silent Planet

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One point about the analysis: it is true that the inhabitants of Mars represent intelligent races which had not experienced The Fall. However, the novel also references a cataclysm which resulted in the extinction of the former inhabitants of the planet, hence the "red stone clouds" which give Mars its distictive coloration, and the story of the origin of the Martial "canals".

And who do you suppose caused the cataclysm? Could it be...? Also, it resulted in the extinction of only one race--the other three survived.

Anyway, I'm impressed by this article! My evidence that Maleldil is the Son is that he's "the Young" and the hrossa say he lives with the Old One, who I take to be the Father. Also the best line in Perelandra, something like "Am I not also named Ransom?"


I like your reorganization of the terminology, Matt. However, it bothers me to say that Maleldil means Jesus when the Malacandrans know him as the Creator but not as the Savior. No doubt my version can be improved.

How sure are you that Oyarsas are archangels? <> lists Lucifer as a seraph, so if Lucifer is Satan's former name and Satan is the Oyarsa of Earth, then the Oyarsas would be seraphim, the highest order. On the other hand, according to Hierarchy_of_angels the older Christian tradition was that Satan was a cherub and a modern belief is that he was an archangel. In any case, I can't match Lewis's astrological Oyarsas with the little I know about this stuff—was there supposed to be a feminine archangel?

On a less substantive note, in a spirit of compromise I left in the spaces you put around the em dashes but I changed the commas in "God or, specifically,..." back to the way I had them.


Maybe we differ in what we want the list to show; I view it as listing how C. S. Lewis used concepts from the Christian faith in his fiction, and explicitly giving the correspondence between things in the book and Christian concepts; in that case, Jesus Christ is the "binding" that a general reader will associate with Lewis' Maleldil. Maybe you're looking for a straight definition of who, say, Maleldil is in the context of the book? Moreover, the name "Jesus Christ" doesn't particularly connotate salvation. For example, in the Bible, Gabriel referred to Jesus as "Jesus", even though it was the creator-not-saviour relationship. Similarly, in (presumably) Lewis' theology, Jesus wasn't the saviour even to every human. — Matt 13:59, 8 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Well, I admit it's a subtle point. But to clarify, when we say Jesus, we mean a human being who lived about 2000 years ago in Israel and who Christians believe was the son of God who at least offered salvation to humanity and an incarnation of one aspect of God. When the Malacandrans say Maleldil, they don't know about any of that except the "one aspect of God" part. Even Oyarsa doesn't know till Ransom tells him. So yes, I am thinking of the context of the book. Anyway, I'm going to try to streamline the definition in keeping with your point that the identification with Jesus is the important thing to most readers.
I'm also going to try to make "archangel" less definite. By the way, exactly this same glossary is listed in the articles on Perelandra and That Hideous Strength, so when people are satisfied with the revision, we should probably copy it to those articles. JerryFriedman 16:58, 8 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Perhaps we should get rid of the "archangel", or qualify it with "possibly" and mention other types of "angels in authority". Regarding the other articles, I noticed that too, and replication is generally a bad idea; I'd suggest that we create a separate article for the entire trilogy (plus The Dark Tower) — maybe Space Trilogy — and placing this there instead of in each article.
I support that idea - meant to suggest it a while ago, then forgot. The cast & cosmology isn't fully explained in any single one of the books, anyway. --Hob 03:55, 9 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Consider it done. Well, started, anyway. --JerryFriedman 19:09, 12 Jul 2004 (UTC)
And now I'm thinking that the last two paragraphs of this article should be under Space Trilogy, maybe with a heading for "Ransom" that other articles can link to. But I don't have time to think about it right now.

Second Chance?[edit]

By the way, does anyone know in what sense Malacandra is a "second-chance" Garden of Eden? --JerryFriedman 19:25, 12 Jul 2004 (UTC)

It seems a bit odd (it would fit as a description for the narrative of Perelandra). I think an unqualified "a kind of Garden of Eden" is perfectly adequate. — Matt 23:15, 12 Jul 2004 (UTC)
In my prior (anonymous) incarnation I was the one who inserted "second-chance", because of the afore-mentioned cataclysm. The paradise of Malacandra is the second habitat for the indigenous mortals, the second being the "petrified forest clouds".
But, on the other hand, mainstream Christianity has accepted the concept of an angelic revolt in the pre-Creation period preceding Genesis 1. So I am not wedded to the idea that Malacanda as described by the novel is a second chance. Ellsworth 22:56, 30 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Got it. When you put it that way, I have nothing against mentioning the idea and maybe connecting the handramit with the supposed canals, but I didn't understand the way it was written before. —JerryFriedman 23:38, 30 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I have not read the novel in like, a decade-plus, so I don't feel real comfortable adding the Mars back-story to the article. So I'll leave it to others. Ellsworth 00:45, 31 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Hi --- John Taylor, Ottawa, Canada. Here's my $0.02 about the "second chance." Apparently in the distant past there had occurred a watershed event that did not quite rise to the level of a fall from grace but which required severe corrective measures from Oyarsa ("some I healed, some I unbodied"). I would say that this justifies the comment about "second chance Garden of Eden."

BTW, I contributed the original article on OOTSP, all vestiges of which are long gone :-) I have read the Space Trilogy probably 30+ times (no exaggeration) and each time I am struck by the author's genius and skill.
—04:51, 3 June 2006‎

Deleted sentence[edit]

I deleted a sentence saying that Out of the Silent Planet was a theistic answer to the Fermi Paradox. First of all, sources disagree on when (or whether) Fermi asked "Where are they?" but the earliest date I found was "the '40s", later than OotSP. Second, no answer is clear in the book. One can infer that other intelligent races haven't visited us because they know space travel isn't part of Maleldil's plan, and possibly also because Maleldil didn't create any outside of the solar system, but I don't think there's anything explicit. Lewis seems to have been much more concerned with the argument that humanity's destiny is to colonize space as far as possible. That's what Weston tries to say and Ransom tries to translate to Oyarsa. —JerryFriedman 19:51, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Release Date[edit]

The back cover of my 1996 Scribner Paperback edition says Out of The Silent Planet was first published in 1943. This article says 1938. Anyone know why the discrepancy? -- 18:44, 3 February 2007 (UTC) ShellysCellarReply[reply]

2012. The first U.S. edition was Macmillan 1943, first mass market paperback Avon 1949. See ISFDB, whose first listed translation is Germany 1948.
Only during the War, iiuc, Lewis became a guaranteed profitable seller (not to say bestseller) all of whose books would be published across the pond --and perhaps, soon translated(?) --P64 (talk) 19:42, 25 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Fair use rationale for Image:CSLewis OutOfTheSilentPlanet.jpg[edit]

Image:CSLewis OutOfTheSilentPlanet.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

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BetacommandBot (talk) 04:12, 12 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

2012 Note. Same day, User:KevinLewis revised the image file: Image revision, 12 Feb 2008.
--not my department, P64 (talk) 19:42, 25 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

External links modified[edit]

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Missing notes section[edit]

This article renders with this error text, in red letters: "Cite error: There are <ref group=lower-alpha> tags or {{efn}} templates on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist|group=lower-alpha}} template or {{notelist}} template (see the help page)." This is because a footnote anchored with <ref group=lower-alpha name=theropod> is included in the article. This contains a note about a paralellel between a conclusion in this book and a conclusion in another book. Without a {{reflist}} template, as indicated by the error message, this text can not be rendered into the article.

I noticed that the Notes section previously existed, but was removed by UseR:Sweetpool50 in this edit, which has the summary "section retitled and rewritten; deleted OR and refocussed species section". Numerous other changes were made in that edit step. Note that this edit did not delete the <ref group=lower-alpha name=theropod> footnote or its content, and that's the root cause of the rendering error.

To remedy the situation, I replaced only the notes section (which includes the {{notelist}} template), plus the notes it defined. Those notes are at least mostly cited.

To my surprise, this edit was reverted. It seems counter-productive to willfully re-introduce "Cite error" problem back to the article, so I assume the reversion was done without actually verifying that the article was rendering correctly. Perhaps the intention is to remove the notes (despite their contained references), the notelist template and the <ref group=lower-alpha name=theropod> footnote, but I don't see a particular problem with that content. As such, I've reverted my correction so that the article at least renders without error.

If the footnote is objectionable, then it should be removed. If it's the last footnote remaining, then the notelist template can be removed too, along with its containing section. -- Mikeblas (talk) 17:37, 6 December 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I should have explained the reason for my edits after I made them, but generally when I've done that on other occasions there hasn't been any reaction. The main trouble I found with the article was that its treatment of the novel was as part of the so-called Space Trilogy, which it was not when published in 1938; the other 'instalments' did not appear until 1943 and 1945, and therefore contextual discussion and some of the descriptions are WP:OFFTOPIC. Referring to the language of Malacandra as Old Solar and inclusion of the name for Jupiter are anachronistic; they do not appear in the text of Out of the Silent Planet. There were also errors that your reversion restored, such as confusing the novel's final chapter with the epilogue. It's therefore disingenuous to describe your reversion as merely cosmetic, restoring as it does OR and speculation which, however sourced, remains speculation. So I'm again reverting and suggest that we begin again by only repairing the reference error you mention. We can then discuss together anything else you think needs adding back, this time crediting me with WP:GF, please. I began editing (under another name) at the start of 2010, so my experience here is only three years less than yours. Sweetpool50 (talk) 14:13, 7 December 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]