By Doris T. Myers
C. S. Lewis desired to identify his final novel “Bareface.” Now Doris T. Myers’s Bareface presents a welcome examine of Lewis’s final, such a lot profound, and such a lot skillfully written novel, until we've Faces. even supposing many declare it's his most sensible novel, until now we have Faces is an intensive departure from the myth style of Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia and The Screwtape Letters and has been much less renowned than Lewis’s past works. In Bareface, Myers provides historical past details in this tricky paintings and indicates interpreting thoughts designed to make it extra available to basic readers. She additionally provides a clean method of Lewis feedback for the joy of specialists. Previous reviews have usually handled the unconventional as mere fable, ignoring Lewis’s attempt to provide the tale of Cupid and Psyche as anything that can have occurred. Myers emphasizes the old historical past, the grounding of the characterizations in sleek psychology, and the completely life like narrative presentation. She identifies key books in historical and medieval literature, heritage, and philosophy that inspired Lewis’s pondering in addition to stating a formerly disregarded affinity with William James. From this context, a clearer figuring out of until we've Faces can emerge. Approached during this means, the paintings may be noticeable as a practical twentieth-century novel utilizing modernist innovations akin to the unreliable narrator and the manipulation of time. the main characters healthy well into William James’s typology of non secular event, and Orual, the narrator-heroine, additionally develops the type of own adulthood defined via Carl Jung. while, either surroundings and plot offer insights into the traditional global and pre-Christian modes of thought. Organized to facilitate shopping in keeping with the reader’s own pursuits and desires, this research is helping readers discover this complicated and refined novel of their personal means. Containing clean insights that even the main skilled Lewis student will relish, Bareface is an accomplishment helpful of Lewis’s lifelong contemplation.
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Additional info for Bareface: A Guide to C.S. Lewis's Last Novel
In this she is like an ordinary mother, for she longs to take on her child’s suffering. ” And the Fox, like an ordinary father, says, “But, Master, I’d lose not only my throne but my life to save the Princess, if I were a king and father” (TWHF, 59). Bardia, too, says “I’d give my own life for the girl in there, if it would do any good” (TWHF, 65). He loves both Orual and Psyche for their good qualities—one is brave, the other beautiful—but also because of long acquaintance, the storge (affection) of Lewis’s Four Loves (53–83).
3 For example, Iphigenia’s death at the hands of her father was a consequence of the disordered love that led to the Trojan War. Another example is the sacrifice of Psyche in the original story as told by Apuleius. , a voluptuous or scandalous romance). Since Jesus also lived during the Hellenistic period, presumably human sacrifice was no longer practiced; yet the New Testament authors refer to his death as a sacrifice, and the language is too familiar to shock twentieth-century readers. Lewis describes Psyche’s sacrifice in language that echoes Christianity but is just different enough to be troubling.
The philosophy consists of a dull striving after virtue and Stoic detachment, and the poetry depicts the ambiguous, troubling nature of love. Orual’s first response to love in poetry is far from positive. She ignores the pastoral beauty of how Aphrodite sends the animals to the delights of love; instead she identifies with Anchises’ horror at learning the identity of his lover. She concludes, “[I]f the goddess was more beautiful in Greece than in Glome, she was equally terrible in each” (TWHF, 8).