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Till We Have Faces is a retelling of the classical myth, Cupid and Psyche, in which Venus, jealous of Psyche’s beauty, instructs her son Cupid to make her fall in love with a hideous monster. Instead, Cupid falls in love with her himself and becomes her unseen husband, visiting her only at night. Psyche disobeys his orders not to look at him loses him, and must undertake a series of difficult tasks set by Venus to win him back.
C. S. Lewis chose to rewrite this myth not as a Christian story, but in light of the fact of the Resurrection, after which no real new mythology could be generated. His rendering of the pre-Christian pagan story as a proto-evangelion, or preparation for the Gospel, is a masterpiece. And it’s chock full of interesting themes to explore.
I have offered pre- and post-reading discussions for readers of this book, because it can be a hard one to dig into on your own. I’ve also spoken on its implications for our understanding of human personhood, sin, growth, and redemption (in a talk called The Veiled Self).
Every time I read this book, I get something new out of it!