Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis

This book is awful, really. As I read it, I felt at once repulsed and fascinated. No matter how ugly this retelling of the Cupid and Psyche myth became, no matter how many times I questioned why Lewis even bothered with it, I felt I must finish the reading.

It wasn’t until I reached the final 50 pages that the light began to dawn. Lewis used this pagan myth and transformed it to show the dramatic contrast between sacred and profane love. Never before have I seen a more powerful illustration of self-deception. And this is why I am recommending this book: it is storytelling at its’ finest.

“Lightly men talk of saying what they mean. … When the time comes to you at which you will be forced at last to utter the speech which has lain at the center of your soul for years, which you have, all that time, idiot-like, been saying over and over, you’ll not talk about joy of words. I saw well why the gods do not speak to us openly, nor let us answer. Till that word can be dug out of us, why should they hear the babble that we think we mean? How can they meet us face to face till we have faces?”

--C.S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces

No comments: