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Till We Have Faces: A Novel of Cupid and Psyche (Anglais) Broché – 9 juillet 1980

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“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

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441 internautes sur 451 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
C.S. Lewis' best work of fiction 5 novembre 2000
Par Snickerdoodle - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
C.S. Lewis used fiction to lay bare the soul in ways his more apologetic work could not. The cast of characters in The Great Divorce, for example, or in the "Space Trilogy" invariably remind us of people we know - and give us insights into what makes them tick. Nowhere in Lewis' works is the soul explored better than in Till We Have Faces, Lewis' masterwork of fiction and a stunning psychological and spiritual odyssey.
TWHF retells and enriches the myth of Cupid and Psyche, although a lack of familiarity with the myth in no way diminishes from the enjoyment of the book. In Lewis' hands, the story sorts through issues of family, jealousy, gender, faith, and ultimate meaning, culminating with a frightening and yet wonderful 'face to face' scene that gives rise to, and explains, the book's title.
Readers who are looking for the kind of in-your-face Christian symbolism that characterized the Chronicles of Narnia will be disappointed with TWHF. Although I appreciate and am nourished by Lewis' Christian parables and apologetics, the theology in TWHF is pagan, at least on its surface. Underneath the surface, however, Lewis does a masterful job of intertwining the traditional beliefs of the main characters - including a stand-in for Greek rationalism - with rumors of a much more intimate and beautiful way of knowing the gods. The climactic scene itself plays off the biblical phrase, "Now we see in a glass dimly, but then face to face" - a phrase that comes, in fact, from I Corinthians 13, the famous chapter on Love in the New Testament. So Lewis does indeed lead the reader toward the One who is love, but he uses the carrot of intrigue and spiritual longing rather than the steamroller (if you will pardon the mixed metaphor) of too-obvious symbolism.
This is my favorite of Lewis' works of fiction and was, reportedly, Lewis' favorite as well. Few books can nourish the soul the way Till We Have Faces can. Just one caveat: you really will need to read it twice ... and you will understand why once you have read it through the first time.
243 internautes sur 250 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
a good slap across the face 9 mai 2002
Par NotATameLion - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Besides containing one of the greatest lines about being an author ever written: "I was with book, as a woman is with child", C.S. Lewis's "Till We Have Faces" also did me the service of giving me a good slap across my metaphorical face. How wrapped up we all become in our own little lives. How one-sided and self-favoring is our vision.
Though a book about many things--holiness, love, and philosophy to name a few--"Till We Have Faces" is mainly about how our perceptions can fail us. How in the name of doing what we think is right, we can do horrible things.
Orual, the protagonist of the story, spends an entire life learning what the apostle Paul meant when he said "Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known." The real twist in "Till We Have Faces" is that the reader, more likely than not, learns the same lesson (I know I did).
C.S. Lewis is one of my favorite authors for many reasons. This book is definitely one of them. Lewis considered "Till We Have Faces" to be his best book. I do not know if I agree, but it is certainly a great story.
I give "Till We Have Faces" a very high recommendation.
159 internautes sur 168 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Till We Have Faces is a psychological masterpiece 2 novembre 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
C.S. Lewis's novel Till We Have Faces is based on the classical myth of Cupid and Psyche, however Lewis chooses to tel the story through Orual, Psyche's older sister. While Lewis does retell the well-known story of Psyche and Cupid, that is only a tiny piece of the story he creates. Till We Have Faces is actually the story of Orual's struggle to find love, and to discover her own identity. The actual setting of the story is unclear-it takes place in a country north of Greece, in a time long past, but Lewis does not choose to elaborate on that. In fact throughout the entire book, he focuses very little on sensory details; it is a story of emotion and psychology rather than action and physical description. Orual writes her own story, beginning at her childhood in her father's castle. There she leads an isolated life, surrounded only by her fathers servants, advisors, and her sisters, Redival and Psyche. Redival, with her golden curls and curvy figure, is superficially pretty, but Psyche is the embodiment of perfect and natural beauty. She is not only outwardly beautiful, she is also pure, unselfish, and loving. Orual, though, is neither pretty nor beautiful. She is, as she is constantly reminded by her father (the king), indescribably ugly. Orual never feels that she is loved by anyone, that is, until Psyche enters her life. Psyche's mother dies giving birth to her, and Orual takes it upon herself to become Psyche's guardian and to raise her. Orual loves Psyche more than anything else, but her love is selfishly and fiercely possessive. Orual is tormented by the thought of having to release Psyche from her suffocating grasp, and she does everything in her power to prevent it. After being separated from Psyche, Orual gradually comes to the realization that she (Psyche) is like the goddess Ungit-greedy, jealous, blood-gorged, and ugly of soul as well as body. She also compares herself to her father, the violent, selfish, cowardly, and dishonest king. Orual recoils from this realization, and as queen, she tries to be everything that her father, and Ungit, are not. While she is described by her subjects as "the most wise, just, valiant, fortunate and merciful" of all rulers, Orual feels that her actions are only a mask of her inner ugliness. She despairs of ever overcoming her hideousness inside. She says, "I would set out boldly each morning to be just and calm and wise in all my thoughts and acts, but before they had finished dressing me I would find that I was back in some old rage, resentment, gnawing fantasy, or sullen bitterness. I could not hold out half an hour . . . I could mend my soul no more than my face." Like the veil she wears to hide her ugly face, she feels that her good actions only conceal the hideousness of her true self. C.S. Lewis felt that we, as humans, are like rough blocks of marble. He said that suffering is the tool God uses to carve away our rough edges and to refine our souls. As Orual experiences suffering, she doesn't realize it, but she is actually coming closer and closer to becoming the perfected statue. Each trial chips away another piece of the marble that conceals the perfect form within. The title, Till We Have Faces, may refer to the process of refinement and self-realization. Till We Have Faces is a captivating book from beginning to end. As the reader, I could not only identify with Orual's struggles, I felt as though I was Orual, going through the same turmoil and inner-conflict. It is a book that I can read over and over again, each time experiencing new epiphanies and gaining deeper insight. It is impossible to adequately describe, even to a small degree, this fascinating and complex novel; it must be read and read again.
48 internautes sur 49 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Lewis' true heroine and pathos make this book a great read 2 novembre 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Many authors have taken old stories and retold them from another character's point-of-view in order to change the theme and lesson portrayed in it. C.S. Lewis did just that in his Till We Have Faces, a retelling of the Greek myth of Cupid and Psyche from the perspective of one of Psyche's treacherous sisters. In doing so, Lewis adds depth to a superficial story and makes his readers question the motive of their love.
Orual, the eldest sister of Psyche, doesn't love anyone more than she loves her youngest sister. In turning the story in this direction, Lewis shifts the conflict from one between the sisters to one at first between Orual and the supposed gods who were the cause of Psyche's sacrifice and then, after Orual realizes her fault in her loss of Psyche, a conflict between Orual and herself. Orual's haunting self-examination and the revelation that she has loved Psyche so much that she pulled her away from happiness, and that she also has done so with everyone she has ever loved is a stirring wake-up call to all of us. The lesson that love is not a selfish action, but one in which, if you act with pure intent, your most important wish is for the one you love to be happy, is one which we all need to learn, as it will bring about greater happiness both in our lives and the lives of those we love.
The title of the novel is the source of another important lesson. Throughout her life, Orual lives with the fact that her looks are anything but attractive. To make things worse, her sister Redival, whom she absolutely detests, is considered somewhat of a beauty. Her father tells her she looks like a man, and that her looks could knock down a horse, and the like, and she becomes embarrassed to show her face to anyone. She puts on a veil, and decides never to take it off. When she does so, people stop noticing her ugly looks and begin to focus on who she is. As queen she becomes famous for her generosity, courage, and wisdom. She is remembered as the bravest, most valiant queen who ever lived. Her fame spreads, and so do tales that she wears the veil to cover a beautiful face, because certainly no one whose acts are so lovely can be ugly. Thus, through her actions, Orual receives a new face, a beautiful one, one which fits her personality and love for others. In doing so she conquers the goddess, who has no face, and achieves her victory over the gods.
Lewis' portrayal of love as the only thing to brighten an otherwise bleak and desolate world is fitting in this day. At a time when selfishness and greed are prevalent, the world needs a lesson in the value of devotion to others. Till We Have Faces is just that lesson. It provides a great example of love to all who are willing to learn from it.
66 internautes sur 72 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
For those in pain who cry; "The gods are unjust!" 23 mars 1999
Par Mark Storm - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
'Til We Have Faces' is the sleeper novel of the century. Better than any self-help book for those who are more sinned against than sinful, better than any pop-psychology text, Til We Have Faces addresses the difficult questions of God, justice and life's meaning with underlying compassion and incisive perception. C. S. Lewis re-works the ancient Cupid and Psyche myth. He retains the mythological setting, but this time tells the tale from the point of view of a sister of Psyche; Orual. This 'ugly' sister resents the gods for the injustices of her physical unattractiveness and her consequentially loveless life... and after a lifetime of angst and loss, finally learns a liberating and joyous truth. Lewis' deft handling of the story allows him to grapple with the anguish of lovelessness and the value of the soul; timely themes for our era, obsessed as it is with physical beauty and superficial materialism. The novel satisfies at many levels: a good story; an anticipation of 'the beauty myth'; a Jungian treatise; a neo-Platonic manifesto... an articulation of the very human yearning for love, justice and meaning. An important book, a beautiful book; something for those who are between their first and second enjoyments of fairytale and fantasy.
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