Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold

by C.S. Lewis | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0156904365 Global Overview for this book
Registered by SimontheZealot of Saint Paul, Minnesota USA on 3/9/2005
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by SimontheZealot from Saint Paul, Minnesota USA on Wednesday, March 09, 2005
Adult fiction by C. S. Lewis, written after he had made a reputation as the author of the Chronicles of Narnia, which are children's literature, and Christian apolgetics such as Mere Christianity and imaginative illustrations of Christian ideas in The Screwtape Letters.
Till We Have Faces retells and very substantially adapts the myth of Cupid and Psyche as written by the Roman author in The Golden Ass.
This book is set in a barbarian kingdom on the Black Sea at an unspecified time before the Common Era.
It is narrated by one of the the sisters of Psyche, who is worshipped as goddess and for this reason provokes the jealousy of Aphrodite. Lewis said that the key change he made in retelling Apuleius was to make the palace in which Psyche lives as the god Cupid's wife invisible.
I understand that many of Lewis' readers found this work hard to understand by comparison to his other works. I started it when I 13 years old, or so, but I couldn't stay with it then. When I picked it 30 years later I was amazed and pleased to see that I had recalled a few vivid scenes from the part of the book that I had read.
I recommend this book first for story it tells and characterization it draws of the narrator, princess and then Queen Orual. Once a reader had gotten into that, the serious imaginative symbolism kicks in at the end of Orual's life, and it is there that the reader is drawn into trying to understand Lewis' theological / spiritual / religious views.

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