Saturday, 12 March 2016

Getting To Grips With Hell

Poul Anderson wrote an imaginative account of Hell, thus contributing to a long literary tradition. Contemplating "Hell" means both reflecting on moral choices and envisaging a postmortem realm. In my opinion, the summit of this combination is CS Lewis' The Great Divorce. Lewis imaginatively restated Christianity twice, in Narnia and Ransom, and also re-imagined the hereafter.

I have bought but not yet read Escape From Hell by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. It is the sequel to their, not Dante's, Inferno, described by Poul Anderson as "A dazzling tour de force" whereas Thomas M Disch told me that it was rubbish compared with the original.

Turning from future histories to the supposed future life, by reading Niven & Pournelle's sequel, I expect to learn something about theological speculations and also maybe to make comparisons with works by Anderson, Blish, Heinlein, Gaiman, Lewis etc.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I absolutely disagree with what Thomas M. Disch said about Niven/Pournelle's ESCAPE FROM HELL. While nothing anyone else has written can surpass the great Florentine poet's treatment of the after live, Niven/Pournelle still wrote a very interesting and eminently readable science fictional treatment of Hell. Altho, being Catholic, I do have some theological quibbles with some of their speculations.