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Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold by C. S.…
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Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold (1956)

by C. S. Lewis

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
6,398130939 (4.23)2 / 224
  1. 40
    Phantastes and Lilith, two novels by George MacDonald (charlie68)
  2. 20
    Cupid: A Tale of Love and Desire by Julius Lester (raizel)
    raizel: A retelling of the Psyche and Cupid myth; Lester's version is for a younger (teen
  3. 20
    The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus by Margaret Atwood (AnnaClaire)
    AnnaClaire: A different author retelling a different myth, but they still seem to fit together nicely.
  4. 10
    Mythology by Edith Hamilton (sibyllacumaea)
  5. 00
    The Golden Ass by Apuleius (TheLittlePhrase)
  6. 00
    Circe by Madeline Miller (bjappleg8)
  7. 00
    Lavinia by Ursula K. Le Guin (casvelyn)
    casvelyn: Both are stories of strong, motherless women with dysfunctional families who play a part in a mythical tale
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English (127)  Norwegian (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (129)
Showing 1-5 of 127 (next | show all)
This is Lewis's retelling of Cupid and Psyche, or at least it takes the tale of Cupid and Psyche as a springing off point for the story of Orual, Psyche's eldest sister.

It is told in the first person. I found the tale engaging and hard to put down - from Orual's growing up in her father's court, to the sacrifice of Psyche, their meeting again on the mountain, to the death of her father and her reign as Queen, and the final resolution.

I think one of the main ideas in the book is how we lie to ourselves, and do things for deep bad reasons that we justify to ourselves, and how in the light of the Gods this will all come to be understood. Lewis draws Orual sympathetically - reading her story, it is easy to imagine making the decisions she makes, and easy to share her frustration at ambiguous Gods. But at the same time the reader can see how wrapped up in self she is, how she does not even consider the Fox's longing to return home, or see Bardia's overwork, how she would prefer Psyche dead but hers than happy with another.

It's an awesome story. How she becomes a great and wise warrior Queen, taking her country from the brink of ruin to success once more. Yet all told in Lewis's 'these worldly things are not the important things, it is what we learn of ourselves and the Gods that is the true story here' style.

The powerful scenes where Psyche knows she is living with her God and husband, and Orual can see only the wilderness and the mountain, and how Orual wrestles with that are exceptional. That fear of losing someone you love to something you think is not even real and yet are not quite sure is drawn perfectly.

And it is full of bits of writing which made me go 'oh yes! That feeling! That is a true thing expressed well!' I wish I'd written them all down as quotes. ( )
  atreic | May 8, 2019 |
On the difficulty of being a woman ( )
  mairesmith | Nov 9, 2018 |
This is the story of Cupid and Psyche, told from the viewpoint of Psyche's sister, one of the villains. Every so often on rec.arts.sf.written, someone complains that Lewis didn't like women, didn't understand women, couldn't write women, and generally there's an enthusiastic chorus of agreement. They stopped reading Lewis's work too early in his career; this is a beautifully complex and sympathetic portrayal.
( )
  LisCarey | Sep 19, 2018 |
Overall I enjoy [a:C.S. Lewis|1069006|C.S. Lewis|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1367519078p2/1069006.jpg]' writing, in spite of how overtly religious it very often is. I enjoy the way that he crafts worlds, the attention he pays to varying characters and their motivation. All in all I find his worldview to be a fascinating one, the decisions he makes as an author interesting. That he is a classic author, one well worth reading, should go without saying. Everyone gets their repute for a reason, and it behooves people to read those that others hold in such high esteem.

[b:Till We Have Faces|17343|Till We Have Faces|C.S. Lewis|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1381692105s/17343.jpg|2072983] was recommended to me, what feels like ages ago, but in reality was probably only half a decade or more ago. The person who recommended it to me, an old teacher, is someone to this day I still hold in high esteem. She was right to recommend it to me, and I regret not reading it sooner. I'd like to get more on track with my reading...

This book was fascinating, an interesting attempt to make the myth of Psyche and Cupid more understandable, more believable. I think that [b:C.S. Lewis] succeeded in explaining the motivations of different characters, make the story make more sense and interpret it well in a more modern way. I think his characters were compelling, his idea of the problem of faith fascinating.

I can't give the book higher accolades than that because I need to think on the ending, need to ponder over it a while and let it sit with me. Interesting? Yes. Is it possible to overcome the parts of us we'd rather pretend don't exist? Maybe.

All in all, well worth reading and discussing. ( )
  Lepophagus | Jun 14, 2018 |
Reinterpretazione del mito di Amore e Psiche ( )
  jcumani | May 10, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 127 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lewis, C. S.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
BascoveCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
de Luca, AraldoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dillon, DianeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dillon, LeoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eichenberg, FritzCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lindholm, AndersCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
May, NadiaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
"Love is too young to know what conscience is"
--Shakespeare
Dedication
To Joy Davidman
Joy Davidman
First words
I am old now and have not much to fear from the anger of gods.
Quotations
(Food for the gods must always be found somehow, even when the land starves.)
Now mark yet again the cruelty of the gods. There is no escape from them into sleep or madness, for they can pursue you into them with dreams. Indeed you are then most at their mercy. The nearest thing we have to a defence against them (but there is no real defence) is to be very wide awake and sober and hard at work, to hear no music, never to look at earth or sky, and (above all) to love no one.
Weakness, and work, are two comforts the gods have not taken from us.
To love, and to lose what we love, are equally things appointed for our nature. If we cannot bear the second well, that evil is ours.
The sight of the huge world put mad ideas into me; as if I could wander away, wander for ever, see strange and beautiful things, one after the other to the world's end.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0156904365, Paperback)

At once more human and more mythic than his Perelandra trilogy, Lewis's short novel of love, faith, and transformation (both good and ill) offers the reader much food for thought in a compact, impressively rich story. Less heavy-handedly Christian-allegorical than Narnia, Till We Have Faces gives us characters who remind us of people we know facing choices and difficulties we recognize. This deceptively simple book takes on new depth with each rereading.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:30 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

From the Publisher: This tale of two princesses-one beautiful and one unattractive-and of the struggle between sacred and profane love is Lewis's reworking of the myth of Cupid and Psyche and one of his most enduring works.

» see all 8 descriptions

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