Event Title

Session 1-C

Location

Taylor University, Rupp 203

Start Date

3-6-2010 3:45 PM

Description

"'Outing the Pedestrian: The Awe of the Everyday in Out of the Silent Planet" - Joe Ricke

"Escaping Self, Embracing Other: The Natural and Supernatural in James Cameron's Avatar and C.S. Lewis' Cosmic Trilogy" - Daniel Bailey

The recent success of James Cameron's Avatar has renewed the public's fascination with other worlds. C.S. Lewis's Space Trilogy, like many of his own literary predecessors, presented familiar yet indisputably alien worlds to his readers. These worlds are at once both familiar and alien.

A cursory comparison of the Avatar screenplay and Lewis's Space Trilogy reveals numerous superficial similarities. Some scenes in Avatar seem strikingly similar to passages from Out of the Silent Planet. Elsewhere, the imaginary moon Pandora and semi-fictional planet Venus in Perelandra appear as cosmic cousins. The machinations of the mining corporation in Avatar bear some resemblance to depictions of human malfeasance in That Hideous Strength.

While examination of these parallels will serve as an introduction, the purpose of the paper is not simply to generate a list of similarities. Avatar and the Space Trilogy are far more unlike one another than they are alike. But the differences alone are not a tremendously compelling wellspring.

The juxtaposition of the supernatural and the natural, the sacred and the secular, in the consistent theme in both works that warrants deeper examination. Viewed through the contemporary lens of Avatar, Lewis's timeless (and timely) vision is revealed in greater brilliance.

Moderator: Devin Brown

Event Type

Paper

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Jun 3rd, 3:45 PM

Session 1-C

Taylor University, Rupp 203

"'Outing the Pedestrian: The Awe of the Everyday in Out of the Silent Planet" - Joe Ricke

"Escaping Self, Embracing Other: The Natural and Supernatural in James Cameron's Avatar and C.S. Lewis' Cosmic Trilogy" - Daniel Bailey

The recent success of James Cameron's Avatar has renewed the public's fascination with other worlds. C.S. Lewis's Space Trilogy, like many of his own literary predecessors, presented familiar yet indisputably alien worlds to his readers. These worlds are at once both familiar and alien.

A cursory comparison of the Avatar screenplay and Lewis's Space Trilogy reveals numerous superficial similarities. Some scenes in Avatar seem strikingly similar to passages from Out of the Silent Planet. Elsewhere, the imaginary moon Pandora and semi-fictional planet Venus in Perelandra appear as cosmic cousins. The machinations of the mining corporation in Avatar bear some resemblance to depictions of human malfeasance in That Hideous Strength.

While examination of these parallels will serve as an introduction, the purpose of the paper is not simply to generate a list of similarities. Avatar and the Space Trilogy are far more unlike one another than they are alike. But the differences alone are not a tremendously compelling wellspring.

The juxtaposition of the supernatural and the natural, the sacred and the secular, in the consistent theme in both works that warrants deeper examination. Viewed through the contemporary lens of Avatar, Lewis's timeless (and timely) vision is revealed in greater brilliance.

Moderator: Devin Brown