Mailvox: speaking of female achievement

Pretty Lady brings up Madeleine L’Engle:

…but then you believe that “A Swiftly Tilting Planet” surpasses “Wrinkle.” Usually your assessments are well-reasoned, if a bit hyperbolic, but this one stymies me. “Planet” was interestingly conceived, but utterly fell to pieces in the execution, much like Mr. Lewis’ latter sci-fi works.

I disagree, although not as vociferously as I might had I read the books in the last twenty years. I just thought the entropy-loving Ecthroi and the tension of the possible world ending, (depending upon the eye color of the child, if I recall correctly), were far more gripping than the rescue of Daddy and Charles Wallace from IT. I remember feeling genuine fear while reading “Planet”; it was a perfect book for the eighties, when the media was pushing fear of a nuclear war that most people considered eminently possible, and it struck an unusual ray of hope at a time when the adult world wasn’t offering children much in the way of optimism.

Although L’Engle did about as well as it could be done, I also found the whole “win by love” climax to be more than a little weak. It reminds me a little of how Freddy could be beaten by simply turning your back on him in Nightmare on Elm Street… about the only think I can remember about that movie was turning to my friend who’d told me that I absolutely, positively had to see the movie and saying “you have to be f—— kidding me!”

And since Rowena did the cover for “Planet”, it’s also got that going for it in my book, so to speak. But to debate which novel is better is almost beside the point, as I consider both to be undeniably and inarguably excellent.

As much as I love CS Lewis, I can’t argue with you about the Space Trilogy. It has it’s moments, but I’ve always considered it to be disappointing. I may have to re-read “That Hideous Strength” one of these days, though, as my perspective on bureaucracy and the banality of evil is very different than it was when I was ten.