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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 (original 1956; edition 1980)

by C.S. Lewis

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
5,991127696 (4.24)2 / 219
Member:PeninahPearl
Title:Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold
Authors:C.S. Lewis
Info:Harvest Books (1980), Paperback, 324 pages
Collections:Your library
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Work details

Till We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis (1956)

  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
    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 (123)  Norwegian (1)  Italian (1)  All (125)
Showing 1-5 of 123 (next | show all)
Reinterpretazione del mito di Amore e Psiche ( )
  jcumani | May 10, 2018 |
A retelling of the myth of Psyche and Cupid. I wasn't too familiar with this myth, which Lewis took a lot of liberties with. It's told from the point of view of Psyche's sister Orual, who is trying to vindicate her actions before the Gods. Our book group read this book and a lot of the ladies really struggled with it. I did at times, though I didn't find it too terribly hard to follow. The story itself was pretty straightforward but the characters seemed flat and I didn't really like the main character or feel much sympathy for her. She was trying to explain why the pain of her childhood caused her to act out against those closest to her. I really felt like she just needed a therapist to straighten her out or at least a good self help book. Instead she rails against the gods and then at last gets to appear before them in sort of a court like setting. Then she learns a lot about how wrong some of her thinking was, but all is forgiven because of the goodness of her sister. It did bring up some good discussion as we tried to figure out the motivations of the characters and just what Lewis was trying to convey in this book. ( )
  debs4jc | Mar 30, 2018 |
Well, things got slow and​ a bit tedious toward the end, but overall I enjoyed this one :) It was surprisingly thought-provoking and entertaining all at the same time, which isn't​ as common as I would like in books these days :) ( )
  fogisbeautiful | Feb 13, 2018 |
I thought it was pretty good, but I couldn't really get into it as much as I had hoped. To be fair, it's worth noting that I am a huge mythology fanatic, so I tend to have far higher standards than most when it comes to novelizations of the existing stories. That said, part one was quite good, with a bit of a different twist on things than the norm, but still aligning enough so as to be engaging and intriguing. I didn't love it, but it was very interesting. Then, part two kinda put a wrench in things, becoming way too philosophical and such to allow me to remain nearly so engaged in the narrative.

All that being said, this is still very much a C. S. Lewis work, complete with the turns of phrase and descriptive fashion that only he could really do in that way. In addition to that, while I was never as into his philosophical or apologetics works as I was his fiction, you can definitely detect strong traces of both here, despite it being part of his fiction repertoire. This augments the particular nature of the book in a way, since it is very much his least remembered publication, even though it is often considered his best, and part of me tends to think that this is because it really doesn't fit neatly into any one category. This makes it easy to dismiss, even though it shouldn't be. Indeed, while I didn't personally enjoy it as much as, say, the Chronicles of Narnia series, I think I will still recommend this first from now on for newcomers to his writing, because it is so accessible and diverse while being inherently familiar. ( )
  TiffanyAK | Jan 30, 2018 |
I read - and reread - the Narnia books when I was a growing up. I read Lewis’s Space trilogy in high school and since then I’ve read some of his essays and at least one book about Lewis himself. I’ve had nebulous intentions of reading more by Lewis for years. I finally read Till We Have Faces and it surpassed my expectations.

It is a retelling of the Cupid and Psyche myth, from the perspective of Psyche’s sister, Orual, who sets out to write about her relationship with her sister and her complaints against the gods. It’s a story about love and (in)justice. All I knew beforehand about the Cupid and Psyche myth was that it had similarities to East of the Sun and West of the Moon and Beauty and the Beast. Some of the narrative beats were familiar, but not very many.

Till We Have Faces is surprising, powerful and occasionally heartbreaking. Orual is fierce her in love and anger (and in bitterness, too) and her relationships are complex, often more so than is first apparent. She’s not so much an unreliable narrator as a biased one, and I found it really interesting how that plays out in the end. Also interesting is all the ways in which Orual does not conform to conventional ideas of womanhood - not as a woman of Glome nor as the protagonist of novel written in the 1950s.
(Maybe she’s even surprising and unconventional by modern standards? I don’t know, I’d want to read the book again, and carefully, before making that sort of claim.)

I listened to the audiobook narrated by Nadia May. It was excellent.

I am old now and have not much to fear from the anger of the gods. I have no husband or child, nor hardly a friend, through whom they can hurt me. My body, this lean carrion that still has to be washed and fed and have clothes hung about it daily with so many changes, they may kill as soon as they please. The succession is provided for. My crown passes to my nephew.
Being, for all these reasons, free from fear, I will write in this book what no one who has happiness would dare to write.
( )
  Herenya | Dec 16, 2017 |
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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.

(summary from another edition)

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