The significance of ais not easily to be pinned on paper by analytical . It is at its best when it is presented by awhorather than makes explicit what his theme portends; who presents it incarnate in theofand , as our poet has done. Its defender is thus at a disadvantage: unless he is careful, and speaks in parables, he will kill what he is studying by vivisection, and he will be left with a formal or mechanical allegory, and what is more, probably with one that will not work. For myth isat once and in all its parts, andbefore it can be dissected. .
Nearly all marriages, even happy ones, are mistakes: in the sense that almost certainly (in a more perfect world, or even with a little more care in this very imperfect one) both partners might be found more suitable mates. But the real soul-mate is the one you are actually married to. .
There was a solemn article in the local paper seriously advocating systematic exterminating of the entire German nation as the only proper course after military victory: because, if you please, they are rattlesnakes, and don't know the difference betweenand ! (What of the writer?) The Germans have just as much right to declare the Poles and Jews exterminable vermin, subhuman, as we have to select the Germans: in other words, no right, whatever they have done. .
That story was the only thing I have ever done which cost me absolutely noat all. Usually I compose only with great difficulty and endless rewriting. I woke up one day (more than 2 years ago) with that odd thing virtually complete in my head. It took only a few hours to get down, and then copy out. .
I should say that, in addition to my - (it was originally called The Tree), it arose from my own pre-occupation with the Lord of the Rings, thethat it would be finished in great detail or not at all, and the(near ) that it would be 'not at all'. Thehad arisen to darken all horizons. But no such analyses are a complete explanation even of a short story... .
I am in fact a Hobbit (in all but size). I like gardens, trees, and unmechanized farmlands; I smoke a pipe, and like good plain food (unrefrigerated), but detest French cooking; I like, and even dare to wear in these dull days, ornamental waistcoats. I am fond of mushrooms (out of a field); have a very simple sense of humor (which even my appreciative critics find tiresome); I go to bed late and get up late (when possible). I do not travel much. .
Originally given as an Andrew Lang Lecture at the University of St. Andrews on 8 March 1939, and published in Essays presented to Charles Williams in 1947. It was republished with minor alterations in Tree and Leaf in 1964, in The Tolkien Reader in 1966, and in The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays in 1983. Tolkien On Fairy-stories, an expanded edition containing the essay, unpublished manuscripts, background material, contemporary reports, and notes and commentary, edited by Verlyn Flieger and Douglas A. Anderson, was published by HarperCollins in 2008. .
Thethat thought of light, heavy, grey, yellow, still, swift also conceived ofthat would make heavy things light and able to fly, turn grey lead into yellow gold, and the still rock into a swift water. If it could do the one, it could do the other; it inevitably did both. When we can take green from grass, blue from heaven, and red from blood, we have already an enchanter's power. .
I desired dragons with a profound desire. Of course, I in my timid body did not wish to have them in the neighbourhood, intruding into my relatively safe world, in which it was, for instance, possible to read stories in peace of mind, free from fear. But the world that contained even the imagination of Fбfnir was richer and more beautiful, at whatever cost of peril. .
I have claimed that Escape is one of the main functions of fairy-stories, and since I do not disapprove of them, it is plain that I do not accept the tone oforwith which 'Escape' is now so often used. Why should a man be scorned if, finding himself in prison, he tries to get out and go home? Or if he cannot do so, he thinks and talks about other topics than jailers and prison-walls? .
And lastly there is the oldest and deepest , the Great Escape: the Escape from . Fairy-stories provide many examples and modes of this ... Fairy-stories are made by men not by fairies. The Human-stories of the elves are doubtless full of the Escape from Deathlessness. .
The Gospels contain a fairy-story, or a story of a larger kind which embraces all the essence of fairy-stories. ... But this story has enteredand the primary world; ... It has pre-eminently the "inner consistency of ." There is no tale ever told that men would rather find was true, and none which so many sceptical men have accepted as true on its own merits. For theof it has the supremely convincing tone of Primary Art, that is, of Creation. ...this story is supreme; and it is true. Art has been verified.is the Lord, of , and of men — and of elves. Legend and History have met and fused. .
Thehas not abrogated legends; it has hallowed them, especially the "happy ending." The Christian has still to work, with mind as well as body, to , , and ; but he may now perceive that all his bents and faculties have a , which can be redeemed. So great is the bounty with which he has been treated that he may now, perhaps, fairly dare to guess that in Fantasy he may actually assist in the effoliation and multiple enrichment of creation. All tales may come true; and yet, at the last, redeemed, they may be as like and unlike the forms that we give them as Man, finally redeemed, will be like and unlike the fallen that we know. .
There was once a little man called Niggle, who had a long journey to make. He did not want to go, indeed the wholewas distasteful to him; but he could not get out of it. He knew he would have to start some , but he did not hurry with his preparations. .
To many, perhaps to most people outside the small company of the great scholars, past and present, 'Celtic' of any sort is, nonetheless, a magic bag, into which anything may be put, and out of which almost anything may come. ... Anything is possible in the fabulous Celtic twilight, which is not so much a twilight of the gods as of the reason. .
For myself I would say that more than the interest and uses of the study of Welsh as an adminicle of English philology, more than the practical linguist's desire to acquire a knowledge of Welsh for the enlargement of his experience, more even than the interest and worth of the literature, older and newer, that is preserved in it, these two things seem important: Welsh is of this soil, this island, the senior language of the men of Britain; and Welsh is beautiful. .
The basic pleasure in the phonetic elements of a language and in the style of their patterns, and then in a higher dimension, pleasure in the association of these word-forms with meanings, is of fundamental importance. This pleasure is quite distinct from the practical knowledge of a language, and not the same as an analytic understanding of its structure. It is simpler, deeper-rooted, and yet more immediate than the enjoyment of literature. .
Most English-speaking people ... will admit that cellar door is 'beautiful,' especially if dissociated from its sense (and from its spelling). More beautiful than, say, sky, and far more beautiful than beautiful...Well then, in Welsh, for me cellar doors are extraordinarily frequent, and moving to the higher dimension, the words in which there is pleasure in the contemplation of the association of form and sense are abundant. .
As for what you say or hint of 'local' conditions: I knew of them. I don't think they have much changed (even for the worse). I used to hear them discussed by my mother; and have ever since taken a special interest in that part of the world. The treatment of colour nearly always horrifies anyone going out from Britain, & not only in South Africa. Unfort[unately], not many retain that generous sentiment for long. .
I regret that I am not clear as to what you intend by 'arisch'. I am not of Aryan extraction: that is Indo-Iranian; as far as I am aware none of my ancestors spoke Hindustani, Persian, Gypsy, or any related dialects. ... But if I am to understand that you are enquiring whether I am of Jewish origin, I can only reply that I regret that I appear to have no ancestors of that gifted people. ... I have been accustomed, nonetheless, to regard my German name with pride, and continued to do so throughout the period of the late regrettable war, in which I served in the English army. I cannot, however, forbear to comment that if impertinent and irrelevant inquiries of this sort are to become thein matters of literature, then theis not far distant when a German name will no longer be a source of . .
I have in thisa burning private grudge — which would probably make me a better soldier at 49 than I was at 22: against that ruddy little ignoramus(for the odd thing about demonic inspiration and impetus is that it in no way enhances the purely intellectual stature: it chiefly affects the mere will). Ruining, perverting, misapplying, and making for ever accursed, that noble northern spirit, a supreme contribution to , which I have ever loved, and tried to present in its true . .
My lean more and more to(philosophically understood, meaning abolition of control not whiskered men with bombs) … The most improper job of any man … is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the . .
The news today about 'Atomic bombs' is so horrifying one is stunned. The utter folly of these lunatic physicists to consent to do such work for war-purposes: calmly plotting the destruction of the ! Such explosives in men's hands, while theirandstatus is declining, is about as useful as giving out firearms to all inmates of a gaol and then saying that you'this will ensure '. But one good thing may arise out of it, I suppose, if the write-ups are not overheated: Japan ought to cave in. Well we're in 's hands. But He does not look kindly on Babel-builders. .
Nothing has astonished me more (and I think my publishers) than the welcome given to . But it is, of course, a constant source of consolation andto me. And, I may say, a piece of singular good fortune, much envied by some of my contemporaries. Wonderful people still buy the , and to a man 'retired' that is both grateful and comforting. .
It was just as the 1914 War burst on me that I made the discovery that 'legends' depend on the language to which they belong; but a living language depends equally on the 'legends' which it conveys by tradition. ... Volapuk, Esperanto, Ido, Novial, &c &c are dead, far deader than ancient unused languages, because their authors never invented any Esperanto legends... .
I am doubtful myself about the undertaking. Part of the attraction of the L.R. is, I think, due to the glimpses of a large history in the background: an attraction like that of viewing far off an unvisited island, or seeing the towers of a distant city gleaming in a sunlit mist. To go there is to destroy the magic, unless new unattainable vistas are again revealed. Also many of the older legends are purely 'mythological', and nearly all are grim and tragic: a long account of the disasters that destroyed the beauty of the Ancient World, from the darkening of Valinor to the Downfall of N .
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