Classics Without All the Class discussion

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May 2015- Till We Have Faces > Before We Start

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message 1: by Jim (new)

Jim (jborland) Note the the subtitle of this book: "A Myth Retold." In his book Lewis reworks the classical story of Cupid and Psyche. Since Lewis calls this out at the very beginning, it must be an important element in understanding this novel.

As I see it there are two approaches to studying this book:

(1) Read and understand the classical myth before reading Lewis' book.

(2) Wait until after finishing this "myth retold" before investigating the story of Cupid and Psyche.

Clearly, reading the myth first will be a spoiler for reading Lewis' story. But, not knowing the myth first will cause us to miss some of the interesting angles and overlook hidden depths in this multi-layered story.

So, what do you think? Should we know the "myth" story before reading this book or shall we read the book and then learn about the myth afterwards?


message 2: by Denisse (new)

Denisse Garza | 1 comments I think it is better to read the book first and then to look up for some information about the book. In this way you can enjoy the book as it is, and you are not expecting anything at all.

I love the kind of books that after you have read them, you discover that some parts of it are true. It makes me really excited and I try to know everything I can about the true side of it. In this way, the book is not spoiled, but rather acquires more depth as you keep investigating.

If i missed anything on the book because of my lack of knowledge of the true side of the story, I can always read it again. In this way... you get both approaches.


message 3: by Valerie (new)

Valerie Brown I was wondering about that myself. My plan was to jump into his book and hope for the best!


message 4: by Jim (new)

Jim (jborland) Actually, I have done the same thing; read the book first and then take a look at the Greek myth. But, there are other approaches.


message 5: by Karen (new)

Karen Agreed - I picked the book up at the library last night and have read the first chapter. Definitely not something I would have picked up to read on my own but I'm happy to be reading it. I thought about that when I read the subtitle - my ninth grade mythology is a bit rusty these 50+ years later but I'd rather read the book first and then re-familiarize myself with the myth. On an unrelated note, I listened to Lewis' The Screwtape Letters a few years ago - narrated by Ralph Cosham - and loved it!


message 6: by Lea (new)

Lea (leaspot) It has been years since I studied mythology, so while I know the main gist of what happened in the Cupid & Psyche story, I don't remember everything. I was planning on jumping into the book and then reviewing the mythology again at the end, but I can be swayed to other approaches depending on how the group decides.


message 7: by Jim (new)

Jim (jborland) My opinion is that everyone should know upfront that the book is the retelling of the Cupid & Psyche myth. However, the question is: do we want to read the Cupid & Psyche story before reading this book? Several others have said no and that has been my approach as well. It's your call for what you do. Just Google "Cupid & Psyche" and you will get tons of information.


message 8: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Clark Don't you love the effect of memory on making old things new? I can see a movie again for the first time if I just wait long enough. I can read a book and ask, "Did they add that since last I read?" catching things that I missed. And I can hear the myth and forget the details, then go read the "re-telling" and experience all sorts of new things along the way.

I'm in Book 2 right now and I'm excited to finish and then look up the myth again to draw some parallels!


message 9: by Jim (new)

Jim (jborland) I know people who can remember and recite extensive details about events that happened many years ago. In my case, I can hardly remember what happened yesterday. Thus, like you, I can read books or see movies a few years later and enjoy them all over again. I'm not sure if that is a gift or a curse.


message 10: by Kadijah Michelle (new)

Kadijah Michelle (kadmich) I started reading the book with a faint memory of the Cupid and Psyche myth as well. My Mythology book is waiting on my shelf for when I finish. What I have found interesting about this book though is how it is not just related to the the myth, but to some other famous novels. I don't want to judge too quickly, but I would like to see if anyone else finds the same thing.


message 11: by Alana (new)

Alana (alanasbooks) | 208 comments I didn't start the book intending to read it before the Cupid and Psyche story, it just kind of happened that way, since I knew little about them beforehand. Made it an interesting read that way.


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