C.S. Lewis's Ransom Trilogy: Essays in Genre is not an encyclopedic scholarly treatise. Nor is it a dissertation-style researched tome, with as many pages of endnotes as there are pages of discussion. It is instead an example of "reader-response criticism"-almost everything in this book stems from my reactions as I read the trilogy...for the first time some forty years ago and again during the multiple times I have since reread the books, singly and as a cohesive whole.
It concentrates on three forms to storytelling-Fantasy, Myth, and Science Fiction-because they have proven the most valuable keys in opening the novels. It does not pretend to be definitive, since differing approaches to Lewis and his works invariably result in different "stories" about his stories; but it does suggest some possibilities and conclusions to explain elements that might otherwise seem difficult. It assumes that readers are acquainted with the trilogy; it intends to be, not a substitute for reading the novels or a variant on summary-based study notes, but a guide to several ways in which the Ransom novels might be read.
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