(urth) C.S. Lewis's influence

Michael Straight mfstraight at gmail.com
Wed Sep 5 11:25:44 PDT 2007


You're not the only one who has seen connections between Wolfe and
Lewis.  One particular standout to me that I wrote about on the list a
while back is this scene from Perelandra:

Ransom, the protagonist, is in a situation where it seems the Devil
himself (or his representative) is trying to do a Very Bad Thing and
Ransom wonders why God seems to be allowing it...

  "Had Hell a prerogative to work wonders?  Why did Heaven work none?
   ...he was forced to perceive that his own coming to Perelandra was
   at least as much of a marvel as the Enemy's.  That miracle on the
   right side, which he had demanded, had in fact occured.  He himself
   was the miracle...If the issue lay in [God's] hands, Ransom and the
   Lady *were* those hands.  The fate of a world really depended on how
   they behaved in the next few hours" (Perelandra, p. 140-142).

This seems so close to Silk's formulation of the Outsider's
revelation, "I am to receive no help, because I am help" that I'm
inclined to believe it must have been an influence on Wolfe.

And note that this theme keeps popping up in Wolfe.  There's the bit
in Soldier of Arete where Latro receives a similar response when he
remarks on the possible danger of the task given him by one of the
godesses: "If a child could have done it, I would not
have chosen you."

The other, minor connection I saw was that (especially in Nightside
when I thought he
was a villain), Remora's speech patterns reminded me a whole lot of
Withers from _That Hideous Strength_.


More information about the Urth mailing list