The Silent World
But the real revolution in his understanding of the hrossa began when he had learned enough of their language to attempt some satisfaction of their curiosity about himself. In answer to their questions he began by saying that he had come out of the sky. Hnohra immediately asked from which planet or earth (handra). Ransom, who had deliberately given a childish verison of the truth in order to adapt it to the supposed ignorance of his audience, was a little annoyed to find Hnohra painfully explaining to him that he could not live in the sky because there was no air in it; he might have come through the sky but he must have come from a handra. He was quite unable to point Earth out to them in the night sky. They seemed surprised at his inability, and repeatedly pointed out to him a bright planet low on the western horizon--a little south of where the sun had gone down. He was surprised that they selected a planet instead of a mere star and stuck to their choice; could it be possible that they understood astronomy? Unfortunately he still knew too little of the langage to explore their knowledge. He turned the conversation by asking them the name of the bright southern planet, and was told that it was Thulcandra--the silent world or planet.
"Why do you call it Thulc?" he asked. "Why silent?" No one knew.
"The seroni know,' said Hnohra. "That is the sort of thing they know."
~C.S. Lewis, Out of the Silent Planet, Chapter 11 (1938)
Link of the day: Essay by Peter Schakel, Hope College, on Out of the Silent Planet