Welcome back to our series on C. S. Lewis’ mythical retelling Til We Have Faces here on The Literary Life Podcast. Today Angelina, Cindy and Thomas discuss chapters 3-5. Angelina opens the book chat with an exploration of the tensions that are becoming evident in this first part of the book. Cindy talks about the character of the Fox and our changing perspective on him as the story develops. Thomas highlights the priest and the ways that we as moderns struggle with the religion presented here.
Another topic expounded upon is the relationship between the sisters and the affects jealousy as the story progresses. Angelina also brings up the idea of terrifying holiness as presented in these chapters. Our hosts share their thoughts on the tension between the elevation of logic and reason and the devaluation of superstition and mystery.
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Riddle: I have eaten the Muses, yet I have profited nothing.
Answer: A bookworm.Symphosius
He insists upon the point: under no circumstances will he leave his home or violate his routines in order to facilitate an investigation. The exceptions are few and remarkable. Instead of spreading the principles of order and justice throughout his society, Wolfe imposes them dogmatically and absolutely within the walls of his house–the brownstone on West Thrity-fifth Street–and he invites those who are troubled by an incomprehensible and threatening environment to enter the controlled economy of the house and to discover there the source of disorder in their own lives. The invitation is extended to readers as well as to clients.J. Kenneth Van Dover
In our culture of betrayal, we are quick to impose our own views on layers of established systems. Thus, even a work of art is to be distrusted. Rather than trying to “under-stand” the work, we stand over it and dismiss it as unreadable. Or worse yet, we impose a critical ideology upon it without first allowing the work to affect us.Makoto Fujimura
Selection from “Ode to Psyche”
by John Keats
Yes, I will be thy priest, and build a fane
In some untrodden region of my mind,
Where branched thoughts, new grown with pleasant pain,
Instead of pines shall murmur in the wind:
Far, far around shall those dark-cluster’d trees
Fledge the wild-ridged mountains steep by steep;
And there by zephyrs, streams, and birds, and bees,
The moss-lain Dryads shall be lull’d to sleep;
And in the midst of this wide quietness
A rosy sanctuary will I dress
With the wreath’d trellis of a working brain,
With buds, and bells, and stars without a name,
With all the gardener Fancy e’er could feign,
Who breeding flowers, will never breed the same:
And there shall be for thee all soft delight
That shadowy thought can win,
A bright torch, and a casement ope at night,
To let the warm Love in!
Refractions by Makoto Fujimura
The Hundred Riddles of Symphosius by Symphosius
At Wolfe’s Door: The Nero Wolfe Novels of Rex Stout by J. Kenneth Van Dover
Experiment in Criticism by C. S. Lewis
Reason and Imagination in C. S. Lewis by Peter Schakel
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
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