Institute of Scientific Information for Social Sciences
of the Russian Academy of Sciences
LITERATUROVEDCHESKII
ZHURNAL
The Journal of Literary History and Theory
Peer-reviewed Academic Journal

RECEPTION OF THE STORY ABOUT CUPID AND PSYCHE IN C.S. LEWIS’ NOVEL TILL WE HAVE FACES

Гумерова А.Л.

Abstract

С.S. Lewis’ attraction to the story about Cupid and Psyche borrowed from Apuleius’ novel The Metamorphoses (or The Golden Ass) can be traced both in the author’s early drafts and in his last novel Till We Have Faces (1956). In 1922–1923 Lewis writes the first version of a poem based on the myth about Cupid and Psyche. The first line of the poetic fragment looks like this: “The Tale of Psyche is Unjustly Told”, and it ends abruptly on the appearance of Psyche’s twin brother whom we are told about: “he <…> taught the story, as we have it, to the world”. The novel Till We Have Faces is a retelling of the story about Cupid and Psyche through the eyes of Psyche’s sister except for the last passage written down after her death. At the same time, there is a tale within about Psyche, in the form of a natural cyclic myth, told by a priest and opposed, from the narrator’s point of view, to the real story of Psyche. Till We Have Faces was written almost simultaneously with the other two Lewis’ works considering the meeting of the soul with God (the philosophical treatise The Four Loves and the final story of the Narnian cycle). We can suppose that the main meaning of the myth about Cupid and Psyche was, for Lewis, Psyche/Soul’s meeting with Cupid/Love, and this meaning was the key one for the writer throughout his creative way.

Keywords

C.S. Lewis; myth; Apuleius; antique tradition; retelling; interpretation of a myth.

For citation

Gumerova, A.L. “Reception of the Story about Cupid and Psyche in C.S. Lewis’ Novel Till We have Faces”. Literaturovedcheskii zhurnal, no. 4(62), 2023, pp. 39–52. (In Russ.) DOI: 10.31249/litzhur/2023.62.03

DOI: 10.31249/litzhur/2023.62.03

References

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