Friday, May 18, 2018
Book Review: Perelandra
I read Perelandra too early 25 years ago. This month, by happy confluence, I listened to it after I had listened to Milton (and as a 43-year-old rather than a college student). That opened it up so that it no longer seemed long at all. In fact, if anything, it felt too short, and not talky enough. The protracted chase and fight at the end seems needless. It also feels much more problematic to me -- Lewis's extended justification of it feels belabored. (Not that I have a better idea.) The best is at the end, in a part I don't even remember reading before, with a song and dance and a great blessing of creation. Like the party at the end of Prince Caspian, which also comes after questionably protracted conflict, this concluding sequence is the true point of the book, and I entirely missed it previously. This has probably changed from my least favorite of Lewis's fiction to ... not my most favorite, but most appreciated in a new way. It's also the most genuinely imaginative of Lewis's work, and as a book about creation, the fact that it is so creative itself is entirely fitting.