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29+ quotes from Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold by C.S. Lewis

Quotes from Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold

C.S. Lewis ·  324 pages

Rating: (42.3K votes)


“The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing — to reach the Mountain, to find the place where all the beauty came from — my country, the place where I ought to have been born. Do you think it all meant nothing, all the longing? The longing for home? For indeed it now feels not like going, but like going back.”
― C.S. Lewis, quote from Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold


“I was with book, as a woman is with child.”
― C.S. Lewis, quote from Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold


“It was when I was happiest that I longed most...The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing...to find the place where all the beauty came from.”
― C.S. Lewis, quote from Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold


“When the time comes to you at which you will be forced at last to utter the speech which has lain at the center of your soul for years, which you have, all that time, idiot-like, been saying over and over, you'll not talk about the joy of words. I saw well why the gods do not speak to us openly, nor let us answer. Till that word can be dug out of us, why should they hear the babble that we think we mean? How can they meet us face to face till we have faces?”
― C.S. Lewis, quote from Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold


“Death opens a door out of a little, dark room (that's all the life we have known before it) into a great, real place where the true sun shines and we shall meet.”
― C.S. Lewis, quote from Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold


“Holy places are dark places. It is life and strength, not knowledge and words, that we get in them. Holy wisdom is not clear and thin like water, but thick and dark like blood.”
― C.S. Lewis, quote from Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold


“Are the gods not just?"

"Oh no, child. What would become of us if they were?”
― C.S. Lewis, quote from Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold


“No man can be an exile if he remembers that all the world is one city.”
― C.S. Lewis, quote from Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold


“I felt ashamed."

"But of what? Psyche, they hadn't stripped you naked or anything?"

"No, no, Maia. Ashamed of looking like a mortal -- of being a mortal."

"But how could you help that?"

"Don't you think the things people are most ashamed of are things they can't help?”
― C.S. Lewis, quote from Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold


“Did I hate him, then? Indeed, I believe so. A love like that can grow to be nine-tenths hatred and still call itself love.”
― C.S. Lewis, quote from Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold


“There must, whether the gods see it or not, be something great in the mortal soul. For suffering, it seems, is infinite, and our capacity without limit.”
― C.S. Lewis, quote from Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold


“But now I discovered the wonderful power of wine. I understood why men become drunkards. For the way it worked on me was not at all that it blotted out these sorrows, but that it made them seem glorious and noble, like sad music, and I somehow great and revered for feeling them.”
― C.S. Lewis, quote from Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold


“You don’t think – not possibly – not as a mere hundredth chance – there might be things that are real though we can’t see them? … If there are souls, could there not be soul-houses?”
― C.S. Lewis, quote from Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold


“The complaint was the answer. To have heard myself making it was to be answered. Lightly men talk of saying what they mean. Often when he was teaching me to write in Greek the Fox would say, 'Child, to say the very thing you really mean, the whole of it, nothing more or less or other than what you really mean; that's the whole art and joy of words.'

A glib saying. When the time comes to you at which you will be forced at last to utter the speech which has lain at the center of your soul for years which you have, all that time, idiot-like, been saying over and over, you'll not talk about the joy of words. I saw well why the gods do not speak to us openly, nor let us answer. Till that word can be dug out of us, why should they hear the babble that we think we mean? How can they meet us face to face till we have faces?”
― C.S. Lewis, quote from Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold


“but who can feel ugly, when their heart feels joy”
― C.S. Lewis, quote from Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold


“As for all I can tell, the only difference is that what many see we call a real thing, and what only one sees we call a dream.”
― C.S. Lewis, quote from Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold


“I have seen something like it happen in battle. A man was coming at me, I at him, to kill. Then came a sudden great gust of wind that wrapped out cloaks over our swords and almost over our eyes, so that we could do nothing to one another but must fight the wind itself. And that ridiculous contention, so foreign to the business we were on, set us both laughing, face to face - friends for a moment - and then at once enemies again and forever.”
― C.S. Lewis, quote from Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold


“Lightly men talk of saying what they mean. Often when he was teaching me to write in Greek the Fox would say, “Child, to say the very thing you really mean, the whole of it, nothing more or less or other than what you really mean; that’s the whole art and joy of words.” A glib saying. When the time comes to you at which you will be forced at last to utter the speech which has lain at the centre of your soul for years, which you have, all that time, idiot-like, been saying over and over, you’ll not talk about joy of words.”
― C.S. Lewis, quote from Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold


“I wonder do the gods know what it feels like to be a man.”
― C.S. Lewis, quote from Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold


“Oh, I can see it happening, age after age, and growing worse the more you reveal your beauty: the son turning his back on the mother and the bride on her groom, stolen away by this everlasting calling, calling, calling of the gods. Taken where we can't follow. It would be far better for us if you were foul and ravening. We'd rather you drank their blood than stole their hearts. We'd rather they were ours and dead than yours and made immortal.”
― C.S. Lewis, quote from Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold


“It may well be that by trickery of priests men have sometimes taken a mortal's voice for a god's. But it will not work the other way. No one who hears a god's voice takes it for a man's.”
― C.S. Lewis, quote from Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold


“What began the change was the very writing itself. Let no one lightly set about such a work. Memory, once waked, will play the tyrant.”
― C.S. Lewis, quote from Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold


“Till that word can be dug out of us, why should they hear the babble that we think we mean? How can they meet us face to face till we have faces?”
― C.S. Lewis, quote from Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold


“I have said that she had no face; but that meant she had a thousand faces”
― C.S. Lewis, quote from Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold


“the Divine Nature wounds and perhaps destroys us merely by being what it is.”
― C.S. Lewis, quote from Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold


“The change which the writing wrought in me (and of which I did not write) was only a beginning; only to prepare me for the gods' surgery. They used my own pen to probe my wound. ”
― C.S. Lewis, quote from Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold


“And for all I can tell, the only difference is that what many see we call a real thing, and what only one sees we call a dream. But things that many see may have no taste or moment in them at all, and things that are shown only to one may be spears and water-spouts of truth from the very depth of truth.”
― C.S. Lewis, quote from Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold


“It now seemed to me that all my other guesses had been only self-pleasing dreams spun out of my wishes, but now I was awake.”
― C.S. Lewis, quote from Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold


“This is where men, even the trustiest, fail us. Their heart is never so wholly given to any matter but that some trifle of a meal, or a drink, or a sleep, or a joke, or a girl, may come in between them and it, and then (even if you are a queen) you'll get no more good out of them until they've had their way.”
― C.S. Lewis, quote from Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold


About the author

C.S. Lewis
Born place: in Belfast, Ireland
Born date November 29, 1898
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