Cover image for Till we have faces : a myth retold
Title:
Till we have faces : a myth retold
Author:
Lewis, C. S. (Clive Staples), 1898-1963.
Edition:
First Harvest edition.
Publication Information:
San Diego : Harcourt Brace & Co., 1984.

©1956
Physical Description:
313 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm.
General Note:
Originally published in 1956.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
860 Lexile.
Personal Subject:
ISBN:
9780156904360
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

"I saw well why the gods do not speak to us openly, nor let us answer . . . Why should they hear the babble that we think we mean? How can they meet us face to face till we have faces?"

Haunted by the myth of Cupid and Psyche throughout his life, C.S. Lewis wrote this, his last, extraordinary novel, to retell their story through the gaze of Psyche's sister, Orual. Disfigured and embittered, Orual loves her younger sister to a fault and suffers deeply when she is sent away to Cupid, the God of the Mountain. Psyche is forbidden to look upon the god's face, but is persuaded by her sister to do so; she is banished for her betrayal. Orual is left alone to grow in power but never in love, to wonder at the silence of the gods. Only at the end of her life, in visions of her lost beloved sister, will she hear an answer.

" Till We Have Faces succeeds in presenting with imaginative directness what its author has described elsewhere as 'the divine, magical, terrifying and ecstatic reality in which we all live' . . . [It] deepens for adults that sense of wonder and strange truth which delights children in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe , Prince Caspian , and other legends of Narnia." -- New York Times

"The most significant and triumphant work that Lewis has . . . produced." -- New York Herald Tribune


Author Notes

C. S. (Clive Staples) Lewis, "Jack" to his intimates, was born on November 29, 1898 in Belfast, Ireland. His mother died when he was 10 years old and his lawyer father allowed Lewis and his brother Warren extensive freedom. The pair were extremely close and they took full advantage of this freedom, learning on their own and frequently enjoying games of make-believe.

These early activities led to Lewis's lifelong attraction to fantasy and mythology, often reflected in his writing. He enjoyed writing about, and reading, literature of the past, publishing such works as the award-winning The Allegory of Love (1936), about the period of history known as the Middle Ages.

Although at one time Lewis considered himself an atheist, he soon became fascinated with religion. He is probably best known for his books for young adults, such as his Chronicles of Narnia series. This fantasy series, as well as such works as The Screwtape Letters (a collection of letters written by the devil), is typical of the author's interest in mixing religion and mythology, evident in both his fictional works and nonfiction articles.

Lewis served with the Somerset Light Infantry in World War I; for nearly 30 years he served as Fellow and tutor of Magdalen College at Oxford University. Later, he became Professor of Medieval and Renaissance English at Cambridge University.

C.S. Lewis married late in life, in 1957, and his wife, writer Joy Davidman, died of cancer in 1960. He remained at Cambridge until his death on November 22, 1963.

(Bowker Author Biography)


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