Lewis's reworking of the myth of Cupid and Psyche in Apuleius's The Golden Ass
was his favorite amidst all his works, and its lack of acclaim and the ambiguity of critical opinion disappointed him. But its insights into the depths of egotism and self-delusion and the processes by which one might be freed from that delusion have caused a resurgence of attention for what is perhaps Lewis's most original work. In Till We Have Faces
, Lewis turns to traditional mythology as a way of saying something about the depths of heart and soul he had previously left alone. This book is not a fantasy. It is a realistic novel. It is closer in insight to Dostoevsky than to the ancient myth of Cupid and Psyche from which the narrative springs' (Chad Walsh). 313 pp
An Eighth Day View:
""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"