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Classical Traditions in Modern Fantasy$
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Brett M. Rogers and Benjamin Eldon Stevens

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190610050

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190610050.001.0001

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A Time for Fantasy

A Time for Fantasy

Retelling Apuleius in C. S. Lewis’s Till We Have Faces

(p.160) 7 A Time for Fantasy
Classical Traditions in Modern Fantasy

Marcus Folch

Oxford University Press

Marcus Folch, in “A Time for Fantasy: Retelling Apuleius in C. S. Lewis’s Till We Have Faces,” focuses on the retelling of the ancient myth of Cupid and Psyche (from Apuleius’ Metamorphoses) in what Lewis regarded as his best book. Folch argues that Lewis, who is shown elsewhere to have been critical of ‘false medievalism’ in modern fantasy, offers a reflexive commentary in Till We Have Faces that problematizes the privileged position occupied by the medieval in fantasy’s evocations of space and time, deliberately contrasting the medieval with classical models. In this reading, Lewis’s imagined world changes from realistic to fantastic, becoming infused with supernatural presence, precisely when medieval structures are replaced by the classical. Folch suggests that Lewis refashions Apuleian myth in order to offer competing interpretations of the fantastic, produce hesitation in the reader, and thereby point to problems in how we read fantasy.

Keywords:   allegory, Apuleius, Cupid and Psyche (myth), Metamorphoses (aka The Golden Ass), Lewis, C. S, Till We Have Faces

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