MARS HILL AUDIO Conversation 14

Till We Have Faces and the Meaning of Myth

C. S. Lewis’s Till We Have Faces is, in his own words, “a myth retold.” Literary critic Thomas Howard explains that Lewis’s decision to tell this story as a myth was informed by the fact that the mythical outlook on the world is fundamentally opposed to the tenets of modernity, for which Lewis had such unrelenting criticism. 50 minutes

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    Thomas Howard: “. . . the myths . . . are polytheistic and ‘not true’ in some sense or another. However, the myths seem to be the stories we all wish were true. . . .”
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    “ . . . in the contemporary era the supposition has been that there is nothing there out there . . .”
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    “ . . . characteristically novels do not concern themselves with ultimate reality . . .”
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    “ . . . in a myth there is no disjuncture between the external world and meaning . . .”
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    “ . . . Calvary is more than a symbol, it is a ‘case in point’ . . .”
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    “ . . . The myth of Cupid and Psyche is of the god and the human soul . . .”
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    “ . . . Imagine that you are on an anthropological outing . . .”
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    “ . . . [T]hey're going to find some things which, the further they read, the more are going to press in on them with the implacable notion: ‘This is true.’ . . .”
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    Closing