sabato 9 novembre 2013

The Space Trilogy, 75° anniversario con la prefazione di Tolkien. Edizione inglese 2013

Questa sorprendente edizione presenta, in volume unico, la meravigliosa trilogia scritta da C.S. Lewis in occasione del 75° Anniversario della pubblicazione del primo volume nel 1938. La particolarità di questo volume è data dalla Prefazione e Postfazione, firmate  da John Ronald Reuel Tolkien grande amico di Lewis.

In Italia i tre volumi sono usciti nella per Arnoldo Mondadori Editore nella collana “Medusa - I Grandi Narratori di ogni Paese" nel marzo e novembre 1951 i primi due e gennaio 1953 il terzo e conclusivo. Qui ho presentato le prime edizioni italiane.

La Prefazione e la Postfazione di Tolkien sono la summa degli estratti di alcune lettere che l’autore del Signore degli Anelli scrisse a Rayner Unwin il 18 febbraio e 4 marzo 1938 (Lettera n. 24 da Mr. C.S. Lewis a as you know e n. 26 da I read the story a is not normal); a Dick Plotz, della Tolkien Society il 12 settembre 1965 (Lettera n. 276 da Lewis was a very impressionable man a to a conclusion) e a Denis e Charlotte Plimmer l’ febbraio 1967 (Lettera n. 294 da We neither of us a in large parts).

Preface by J.R.R. Tolkien
Mr. C. S. Lewis tells me you have allowed him to submit to you ‘Out of the Silent Planet’. I read it, of course; and I have since heard it pass a rather different test: that of being read aloud to our local club (which goes in for reading things short and long aloud). It proved an exciting serial, and was highly approved. But of course we are all rather like-minded.
It is only by an odd accident that the hero is a philologist (one point in which he resembles me) and has your name.1 The latter detail could I am sure be altered: I do not believe it has any special significance.
We originally meant each to write an excursionary ‘Thriller’: a Space-journey and a Time-journey (mine) each discovering Myth.2 But the Space-journey has been finished, and the Time-journey remains owing to my slowness and uncertainty only a fragment, as you know.
I read the story in the original manuscript and was so enthralled that I could do nothing until I had finished it. My first criticism was simply that it was too short. I still think that criticism holds... But the linguistic inventions and the philology on the whole are more than good enough. All the pan about language and poetry – the glimpses of its Malacandrian nature and form — is very well done, and extremely interesting, far superior to what one usually gets from travellers in untravelled regions. The language difficulty is usually slid over or fudged: here it not only has verisimilitude, but also underlying thought.
I realize of course that to be even moderately marketable such a story must pass muster on its surface value, as a vera historia of a journey to a strange land. I am extremely fond of the genre… I thought Out of the Silent Planet did pass this test very successfully. The openings and the actual mode of transportation in time or space are always the weakest points of such tales. They are well enough worked here… But I should have said that the story had for the more intelligent reader a great number of philosophical and mythical implications that enormously enhanced without detracting from the surface 'adventure'. I found the blend of vera historia with mythos irresistible. There are of course certain satirical elements, inevitable in any such traveller's tale, and also a spice of satire on other superficially similar works of 'scientific' fiction — such as the reference to the notion that higher intelligence will inevitably be combined with ruthlessness. The underlying myth is of course that of the Fall of the Angels (and the fall of man on this our silent planet)… I at any rate should have bought this story at almost any price if I had found it in print, and loudly recommended it as a 'thriller' by (however and surprisingly) an intelligent man. But I know only too sadly from efforts to find anything to read even with an 'on demand' subscription at a library that my taste is not normal.

Excerpted from letter to Stanley Unwin
18 February and 4 March 1938

Afterword by J.R.R: Tolkien
Lewis was a very impressionable man, and this was abetted by his great generosity and capacity for friendship. The unpayable debt that I owe to him was not 'influence' as it is ordinarily understood, but sheer encouragement. He was for long my only audience. Only from him did I ever get the idea that my 'stuff' could be more than a private hobby. But for his interest and unceasing eagerness for more I should never have brought The Lord of the Rings to a conclusion.
We neither of us expected much success as amateurs, and actually Lewis had some difficulty in getting Out of the Silent Planet published. And after all that has happened since, the most lasting pleasure and reward for both of us has been that we provided one another with stories to hear or read that we really liked - in large parts.

Excerpted from letters to the Tolkien Society
of America and the Daily Telegraph Magazine
12 September 1965 and 8 February 1967

Space Trilogy
di C.S. Lewis
Prefazione e postfazione di J.R.R. Tolkien
1° ed. 75th Anniversary, 2013
HarperCollins, Londra, pp. 728
Illustrazione di copertina non attribuita
Rilegato in tela

Quarta di copertina
Out of the Silent Planet
Dr Ransom, a Cambridge academic, is abducted and taken on a spaceship to the red planet of Malacandra, which he knows as Mars. His captors are plotting to plunder the planet’s treasures and offer Ransom as a sacrifice to the creatures who live there…

Having escaped from Mars, Dr Ransom is called to the paradise planet of Perelandra, or Venus. When his old enemy also arrives and is taken over by the forces of evil, Ransom finds himself in a desperate struggle to save the innocence of this Eden-like world…

That Hideous Strength
Investigating the truth about her prophetic dreams, Anne Studdock encounters the fabled Dr Ransom, who is in great pain after his travels. A sinister society run by his old adversaries intends to harness the ancient powers of a resurrected Merlin in their ambition to subjugate the people of Earth…

“Exciting, and highly approved.” J.R.R. Tolkien

“This book has real splendour, compelling moments and a flowing narrative.” New York Times

“An extravagant mingling of dream and realism…excellent and thrilling reading.” Daily Telegraph

“Remarkable… a rare power of inventive imagination” Times Literary Supplement