"She wears sunlight in her hair
And violets in her eyes
And her cheeks are the petals of a rose.
She bears Love on her arm
And lilies are her feet,
And they carry Life wherever she goes.
There are graces on her lips
And rainbows on her robes
And her wreath is the coronet of May.
She is Fairy Queen of earth-
The wand at her heart
Is a Bud from the Triune Bouquet.
She is Mother, Queen, and Maid,
And God is her Child,
And her Courts are the meadows where They play
And her Courts
Forever and for aye.
She is Mary full of grace.
She is Queen of Eternal May."</i>The May Queen ~ Marie Fischer campus.udayton.edu/mary/resour…
Hey everyone! I hope you all are having a lovely summer so far! I haven't updated in a while so I thought it might be a good idea if I did. I've been meaning to do a journal entry for quite some time actually (still needed to do that Space Trilogy one, right?) and I just never was able to get around to. This Sunday suddenly became unusually clear of things to do, so I decided to take the time and write it before my premium membership runs out.
So, first things first. Some of you may have noticed that I changed my name to "Theophilia" (which was actually the reason I got the premium membership in the first place). I had been thinking for a long time that it was time to change it because, as fun as "LordShadowblade" is, it's not particularly reflective of me or my art. The name Theophilia means "She who loves God" or "[Feminine] Friend of God." It's the feminine form of "Theophilus" which is the name of the person (whether as a specific person or as a literary device) to whom the Gospel of Luke is dedicated to. And since St. Luke is the patron saint of artists ( and especially of sacred art), and since Luke's Gospel is my favorite and I like the name Theophilia, I think it all works out.
Now, to life! I got out of school the second week of May, and I'll be transferring to another university in the Fall (Ugh. Speaking of which, I still need to get back to working on filling out all of the papers and forms and signing up for various things and paying ridiculously exorbitant fees and all of the rest…blegh). I finally just decided that I'd major in Art and minor in history. No, I don't expect to get a job out of it, because I probably won't. But I am of the opinion that school and education should actually be for that: education, a.k.a. learning to better oneself because it's an objectively good thing, as opposed to just being able to get a piece of paper that says you're qualified to do something, whether you actually are or not. So that's my spiel. I'm going into art to improve my quality of art, and I'm doing history, because dang it, I like it.
Speaking of art, I also finished my first painting class ever this past semester. I'm not particularly proud of my portfolio, mostly because the subjects are as boring as sin (i.e. still lifes of junk, such as paper bags, old bottles, plant potters and other trash). But it was good as a discipline for me to have to churn out a bunch of paintings simply because I had to churn out a bunch of paintings. I had hoped it would inspire me to get over my reluctance to pick up a paintbrush and to start a piece I would actually care about. However, I haven't had the time to do much of anything (let alone sit down and paint!) so far this summer. But if anyone is curious or interested, here's my Winter Portfolio for 2013: www.facebook.com/LordShadowbla… I'm not going to put it up on dA, simply because I think it would just clutter up my gallery AND I quite simply just don't like them.
As for other art projects, I have a whole lot that just aren't getting done (once again, lack of time to really sit down and work for hours at a time). And seriously, I want to work on my CotW comic so much that it hurts. (UGH. I WANT TO DRAW TEMPLARS. Has it seriously been eight months since I last did a comic? GAH) But I have other more pressing projects with due dates to work on first. I have at least three commissions (maybe more) in the works right now, and two others that need to get done soon, and some others that have even sooner due dates. *sigh*
So, why is it that I have been so busy of late? Well, other than the typical busyness of the summer months, I have been mostly preoccupied with working. My hours have been a bit scattered here and there, but probably this week or the nest I'll be working full-time, which means that all my precious hours of leisure in which to draw will pretty much be gone. In lieu of being able to draw a lot this summer, I've made a goal for myself to instead draw a sketch a day. Let me just say, I've barely been able to do that. But it's a good discipline, and I need to stop being lazy. I figure that working more will hopefully inspire me to use the hours I do have for drawing much more wisely. But the hours do seem to slip through one's fingers quickly, don't they? And besides that, there's always the formidable obstacle of, well myself."For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate…for the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want…I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?" Story. Of. My. Life. So yeah, then there's that. I'll try and work hard to crank out some stuff guys. I'm really sorry. I've really fallen off the saddle in terms of a whole lot of things, and I'm only just starting to get back on. *sigh* I gotta keep that motivation coming.
Oh hey, before I forget! I have 100,000 pageviews coming up fairly soon (I think I'm about 5,000 pageviews away), I'll do a 100,000 kiriban. So anyone who gets the 100,000th pageview can send me a screenshot and I'll make them a picture of their choice (or, heck, I can make them a print for free of any of my existing pictures if they'd like that instead).
By the by, GOOGLE EARTH IS SUPER COOOOOOL. I was looking at a bunch of Crusader castles on Cyprus with it the other day. It's a soothing balm upon the heart of this American who pines to see with her own eyes the medieval monuments of elder days. *pines*
And now for the long-promised review of C.S. Lewis' Space Trilogy that I read way back in…January…(I'm pathetic, I know). *facepalm*
:+: THEOPHILIA DISCUSSES: The Space Trilogy:+:
:+: REVIEW AT A GLANCE: :+:
TITLE: The Space Trilogy: Out of the Silent Planet; Perelandra; That Hideous Strength (A.D. 1938; 1943; 1945)
AUTHOR: C.S. Lewis(November 29th 1898 —November 22nd 1963)
GENRE: Science fiction
LENGTH: 160; 192; 384
I had been told by many different people at various times to read C.S. Lewis' Space Trilogy, so after a lot of urging (and some good swift kicks to the lazy), I got it from the library during Christmas break along with his Till We Have Faces (another good one). I read it all through the last week of December and into early January. The first two are pretty quick, the third and last one is a bit longer, and took more to get through. If you like the Narnia series, I think this might be a good series to read as sort of a companion to it. I read the Chronicles of Narnia after I read the Space Trilogy, and Narnia made a lot more sense to me for having done that. I suppose I had always initially thought of Narnia as an entertaining but fairly shallow Christian allegory aimed at children. Now, after having read the Space Trilogy, I'd argue that Narnia isn't an allegory at all. C.S. Lewis himself said: "You are mistaken when you think that everything in the books "represents" something in this world. Things do that in The Pilgrim's Progress, but I'm not writing in that way. I did not say to myself "Let us represent Jesus as He really is in our world by a Lion in Narnia": I said "Let us suppose that there were a land like Narnia . . ." I wonder why I didn't take him at his word. Essentially, Narnia is more like this, in the Christian perspective God is the ruler of all the worlds. So if there was a world like Narnia inhabited by sentient, talking animals, then it would make sense that if God became incarnate there, he would become talking Beast just like them. I think there's a quote from The Horse and his Boy about just that, but I can't find it. In any case, it's not so much that Narnia is a symbol for our world, so much as that if there were other worlds with the same Creator they'd behave in a similar manner. I hope that makes sense. In essence, that's what the Space Trilogy is more or less about, except it has a lot to do with our world.</span>
:+: SUMMARY :+:
Out of the Silent Planet
Dr. Elwin Ransom (a character based somewhat off of J.R.R. Tolkien), a Cambridge professor of philology enjoying his summer taking a walking tour through the English midlands, comes upon a house where an older woman begs him to find her son, who has gone missing. He grudgingly agrees, sets off to find the boy, and discovers him after hearing a loud racket go up from a large country house. He soon discovers that two men (Professor Weston, a physicist, and a Mr. Dick Devine, a former school mate of Ransom's) are trying to force the young man into a building against his will. The two men decide that Ransom would make a better "subject" and so release the boy, who flees home. They welcome Ransom into the house under the pretext of giving the weary man a good night's lodging and drug him. Ransom later awakes to find himself on a space craft headed for a planet called Malacandra (Mars). While regaining consciousness, he hears the two men discussing plans to sacrifice him to the native creatures there, called the sorns. Ransom wakes up and is assigned duties as a cook. It takes them about 90 days to get to Mars, and once they get there Ransom takes his chance and escapes with a knife he had taken from the kitchen.
Meanwhile, while badly frightened and wandering about on Malacandra, he discovers many differences between the planets. He soon meets a sentient creature named Hyoi (who is a hross, and is invited to live in their hross village. As a linguist, he is genuinely intrigued by their language and soon comes to understand some bits of it as well as their culture. Eventually, he finds out that there is a lot of gold to be found on Malacandra (called "sun's blood") and he figures that this was Devine's motive for coming.
The Hrossa invite Ransom to go on a hunt with them, and while they are out on the river, a spiritual being called an eldil (they're a lot like angels) tells Ransom that should have made a journey to go meet Oyarsa, the eldil ruler of Malacandra, but that since he had not set out before, he now must do so. Ransom hesitates, the hnakrya they're hunting attacks, but Ransom and Hyoi manage to kill it. However, Devine and Weston suddenly stumble upon them (they're still looking for Ransom to deliver him to the sorns) and shoot Hyoi, but flee soon afterwards. Whin, a friend of Hyoi's says the latter died because Ransom disobeyed, and that now Ransom had to make the journey to Oyarsa.
Ransom begins the journey, and finally runs into the sorn. It turns out that the sorns are actually peaceful, and that the only reason that the sorns asked for Devine and Weston to return with another person was because Oyarsa wanted to speak with one of the Thulcandrians about the Earth, and the two were too afraid and unwilling to do that. The sorn Augray carries Ransom to Oyarsa the next day. Ransom then meets the pfifltrigg (the third and last sentient species on Malacandra) at Meldilorn, the home of Oyarsa. Eventually it's explained to him that there is an Oyarsa for each planet in the solar system, and they are each responsible for the creatures on their planet, and that they all communicate together. He also learns that the Oyarsa of Thulcandra (Earth) became evil (or "bent") and so the Earth is "Silent" and no news comes to the other Oyarsa from that planet. Hence, why Earth is called "the Silent Planet." Oyarsa asks news of Thulcandra and how the "great war" being waged there by the servants of Maledil (God) goes. Meanwhile, Weston and Devine are brought before the Oyarsa of Malacandra because they have killed several other Hrossa.
Weston then goes on to defend himself by expounding his views on the rights of human evolutionary "progress." Ransom tries to translate to the Malacandrians what he's saying, and Oyarsa, while he admits that Weston's motives aren't based on greed but on a sense of duty to the human species, still passes judgment on the two Thulcandrians by forbidding them from returning to Malacandria, and indeed, makes it impossible for them to do so. They are given 90 days to depart and get to Earth before their space-ship will disintegrate, and Oyarsa gives them air and food for the 90 days. Ransom, meanwhile, is invited to stay on Malacandra is he so wishes. Ransom decides to go back to Earth with the other two, and Oyarsa sends an escort of eldil from Deep Heaven (Space) to guard him against the other two who might murder him for the extra rations of air and food.
After a difficult journey, they make it back to Earth, and the spaceship is destroyed by Oyarsa. Ransom, realizing how outlandish his story is, keeps it to himself, until the author (Lewis) asks Ransom a linguistic question about a medieval word called "Oyarses" and wonders what it means. Ransom then tells Lewis the whole story, and they decide to publish the account of Ransom's travels as a work of fiction, so that the story would have a chance to get out in the world, even if people didn't realize it really happened.
Several years after his return from Malacandra, Dr. Elwin Ransom is contacted by the Oyarsa of Mars and is told that he must travel to Venus (Perelandra) to prevent an assault on it by the evil Oyarsa of Thulcandra (Earth). Ransom tells Lewis the news, and departs in a small, one-man vessel. He returns a year later, and tells the whole story of what happened there, which is the rest of the book.
Ransom arrives in Perelandra, a fresh-water ocean world with an opaque, golden sky. The only "land" in sight are some sort of floating rafts of vegetation that move with the waves, so it takes Ransom some getting used to to do even simple things like walk or stand up. The rafts are constantly moving, but there are trees and creatures living on the rafts, and sometimes they join and other times the rafts break apart to form small islands. There is one mountain on the planet called "the Fixed Land." Ransom meets Tinidril, the beautiful human-like (though green-skinned) Queen of the Planet, who is merry and gentle. She is the Eve of Venus, while the King (who appears later in the story) is the Adam of Perelandra. They have both been forbidden to sleep on the Fixed Land.
All goes well for a while, until Weston arrives on the planet in another spaceship. He meets Ransom near the Fixed Land, where he professes to now no longer profess strict materialism. He now believes in supernatural beings, and indeed seems to believe that anything spiritual is necessarily the highest good. It turns out that Weston may perhaps be demonically possessed, or that indeed the demon might have so completely taken over his body and mind that Weston is dead and gone, and only his body is being kept unnaturally alive. Ransom discovers that the "Unman" Weston is trying to find the Queen and tempt her into disobeying Maledil by sleeping on the Fixed Land. Ransom figures out that his mission is to counter persuade her not to, so that her race will not experience a Fall like that on Earth.
The two find the Queen, and the Unman tries to tempt her, while Ransom tries to protect her. This continues for many days and nights when Ransom, now having gone for many days without sleep and being worn down, and seeing that the Queen herself is eventually being worn down by his arguments, starts to become desperate. Ransom finally realizes that a Divine voice is telling him to physically attack and kill the Unman. Ransom debates with himself for a night to see whether this is actually God speaking to him, and finally realizes that it is, and that this is the only way to defeat the Unman.
The next morning Ransom attacks the Unman, and after a fierce fight, the Unman flees. Ransom chases him over the ocean and across the floating islands, until at one point 'Weston' seems to snap out and became normal again, which makes Ransom stop attacking. But then the Unman uses this to his advantage and attacks Ransom, dragging him down to the bottom of the ocean to drown him. Realizing he has been tricked, Ransom fights back, and the chase goes through the subterranean caverns and supposedly kills the Unman. Now stuck in a cave, Ransom looks for a way out to the surface. Meanwhile, the Unman is slowly following him from behind. The Unman attacks again near a volcanic gorge and Ransom manages to kill the Unman with a rock, and throws his body into the lava.
Ransom eventually finds his way to the surface, his wounds are all healed (except for a pussy, bleeding wound on his heel). Ransom carves a memorial inscription for Weston at the surface, and finally manages to travel to a large grassy plain. He meets the King and Queen of Perelandra as well as the Oyarsa of Malacandra and Perelandra. The Oyarsa of Perelandra gives over her authority of the Planet to the King and Queen. Ransom's mission now complete, he is sent home to Earth where he is told to prepare to war against the evil forces on Earth.
That Hideous Strength
A young sociologist named Mark Studdock is offered a job at N.I.C.E. (National Institute for Coordinated Experiments) by Lord Feverstone (Dick Devine), which is a company that has been buying up a bunch of land near the University of Edgestow. Mark's wife Jane has been having bizarre nightmares, including one about a severed head. Mrs. Dimble, an old acquaintance, has been evicted from her home and comes to visit Jane. Jane tells her about the dream, and Mrs. Dimble suggests speaking to Miss Ironwood at the town of St. Anne's. Mark tries to get "in" with the N.I.C.E. people, but he can't figure out what his job is exactly, and everything seems rather strange and arbitrary. A man named Bill Hingest (who has just resigned) tells Mark to get out as soon as possible. Hingest is later murdered under mysterious circumstances.
Jane goes to visit Miss Ironwood, and she is told that her dreams are actually visions of actual events. Jane is then introduced to Dr. Elwin Ransom, who is the Director of the group living at a manor in St. Anne's. They try and convince Jane to join them so they can protect her from N.I.C.E. because the latter want to get a hold of her. Meanwhile, Mark is writing propagandist articles for the N.I.C.E. newspapers to start a riot in Edgestow, the riot is started, and, as planned, the N.I.C.E. police take over the town. Jane is arrested for her visions (which Mark does not know about), and the leader of the N.I.C.E. police, a woman named Miss Hardcastle, tortures Jane for information, but is forced to retire because of the violence of the riot. Mark is later introduced to the "Head" of N.I.C.E. which is the severed head of a scientist who had been executed for murder, but has been restored to life through artificial means.
Ransom's people are able to rescue Jane and bring her back to the manor. Jane dreams that a grave is being dug up, and Ransom realizes that N.I.C.E. is looking for the body of Merlin. Jane agrees to guide them to the place in her dream so they can get to Merlin before N.I.C.E. can. Mark finally decides to resign from N.I.C.E. because of moral qualms he has been having, but is arrested on trumped up charges for the murder of Hingest by the N.I.C.E. police, who he realizes really killed Hingest.
Jane and Co. find out that Merlin is alive and well and that he has stolen a horse and a homeless man's clothes. N.I.C.E. captures the tramp, thinking he's Merlin. Merlin, meanwhile, rides to St. Anne's, where he is told by Ransom that he must be imbued with the angelic powers of the Oyarsa, who now can travel between the worlds and to Earth since the demonic forces penetrated to the other worlds. Merlin, now empowered by the Oyarsa, disguises himself as a Basque priest and answers a N.I.C.E. advertisement for an interpreter of ancient languages. He interviews the tramp (still believed to be Merlin), and the two are later brought to a N.I.C.E. committee dinner. "There Merlin pronounces upon them the curse of Babel, causing all present to speak gibberish, and liberates many animals on which the N.I.C.E. were conducting experiments. The bigger animals kill most of the N.I.C.E. staff. Earthquakes ruin the building as well as much of Edgestow and kill Feverstone. Merlin helps Mark escape and sends him to St. Anne's." (Wikipedia)
Everything now being put back to normal somewhat, the Oyarsa of Venus takes Ransom with her to Perelandra (for which Ransom has been pining for a long time). Mark and Jane are reunited and their marriage is put to rights again.
:+: What I thought about it:+:
So is it a difficult read? I don't think so. It's certainly not a beach book in terms of readability, but I think it's pretty accessible to most readers. C.S. Lewis called it his "fantasy for grown up people" whereas his Narnia books are clearly targeted more towards children.
The Trilogy is a curious blend between fantasy and science fiction, which is to say, it manages to preserve the feeling of mythological wonder that fantasy achieves fairly naturally, while still taking place in a modern-day setting with Jules Verne-like inventions. I liked it. There are parts that I liked better than others, but what I liked best were parts (particularly in Out of the Silent Planet and in Perelandra) where there were alternate metaphysical ideas or questions brought up or where it was just really thought-provoking in general. That doesn't happen for me in a lot of science fiction (the bulk of which, like a lot of fantasy, is just trash ). I think That Hideous Strength was my least favorite, simply because it seemed to drag on for a long time, and then when the resolution came it was too quick and ruined (for me) the entire build up of about 90% of the book. So I don't know what was up with that ending, but it felt…cheap, I guess. Still, and interesting read, but not as interesting I thought, as the other two. For me, the Trilogy was good more on an intellectual level than an entertaining one. I don't think it was super entertaining, but it was good. It is also, on many levels, a very beautiful and poetic book.
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~Omnes ad Iesum per Mariam~
Your Sister in Christ,
* ~ Theophilia ~ *
Art for Other Deviants:
1.) St. Sebastian for ZhaneAugustine
2.) Pope Gregory the Great for alcuin18
3.) Ballad of the White Horse Project with FireFiriel
Summer Reading List
1. The Man on a Donkey - H.F.M. Prescott
2. The Deluge – Henryk Sienkiewicz
3. Titus Andronicus - Shakespeare
4. Chronicles of the Crusades - Joinville and Villehardouin
5. King Lear - Shakespeare
6. The Decameron– Boccaccio
7. The Knight's own book of Chivalry– Geoffrey de Charny
8. A Grief Observed– C.S. Lewis
9. The Problem of Pain– C.S. Lewis
10. Democracy in America - Alexis de Tocqueville
11. Introduction to the Devout Life - St. Francis de Sales
12. Woman - Edith Stein
13. Poetic Diction - Owen Barfield
14. The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
15. Lost in the Cosmos– Walker Percy
16. The Histories– Herodotus
My Deviant Friends:
Other Great Artists I Enjoy Visiting: