Friday, November 28, 2008

How Can The Gods Meet Us?

I am in actual physical pain, wanting to quote sections out of Till We Have Faces. But to make any quotes from it makes no sense unless one reads them in the context of the book as a whole. They make sense in their rightful place in the story. Not out here in the cold airless space of the blogosphere.

It is the story of Orual; to be exact it is the story of the complaint that she prepared to bring before the gods, to accuse the gods. She wanted to accuse them face to face and see them defend themselves if they could. She thought they could not. Her complaint was as valid as any complaint against the gods could ever be. She was given a sister whom she loved more than she loved herself. That sister was taken from her by the gods, though they presumably needed nothing. It was an indefensible crime on the part of the gods and she wanted to face them and present her complaint.

Finally she got her chance; the gods were gathered to hear her complaint. Standing before all the gods, she found to her dismay that she was unprepared although she held the large scroll of her violent complaint. Her complaint was complete, but she was not.

In terror she realized the problem: "How can the gods meet us face to face till we have faces?" They are not lacking. We are.

This quote will not ruin the book for you.

If you read only one book this decade, it should be TILL WE HAVE FACES, by CS Lewis.


Teri said...

It truly is an amazing, haunting, beautiful book that one can feast on for a while.

Doug P. Baker said...

Yes, Teri, it is. And while there are some books that are worth reading over again, this is one of the very few that I actually found to be even better on the second reading.

Teri said...

Doug, I have just emailed a question to you about Till We Have Faces. I hope that is OK.

Rosa said...

I just finished reading it!

I'll blog about it when I'm more able... I had my wisdom teeth pulled on Friday and the Vicodin is making me too disoriented to produce a worthwhile post now.

More later!