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Wednesday, September 09, 2020

Tolkien and Time Travel

 


Episode 7 of The Forge of Tolkien, TIME TRAVEL TOSS-UP, is now live on Unauthorized.

Frustrated that no one was writing the kinds of stories they liked to read, Tolkien and his friend C.S. Lewis did a toss-up: Lewis agreed to write a space-travel story, and Tolkien agreed to write a time-travel story. Lewis went on to write—and publish—his Space Trilogy, but Tolkien got lost...wandering along the Lost Road with Bliss-friend and Elf-friend. In this episode, Professor Rachel Fulton Brown reads the first chapter of what was supposed to be Tolkien’s time-travel story for what it tells us about Tolkien’s own autobiography as an author.

If you're having trouble logging in to Unauthorized, just hold tight. The recent security certificate update may require a minor database migration. The tech guys are working on it.

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17 Comments:

Blogger American Nationalist September 09, 2020 10:27 AM  

I would be interested in a podcast centering around C.S Lewis too. I personally enjoyed Narnia much better than Lord of the Rings, and Mere Christianity is what solidified by belief in God.

Blogger Ostar September 09, 2020 10:47 AM  

My tipping point to an Unauthorized subscription has finally been reached.

Blogger Jack Amok September 09, 2020 12:27 PM  

Is Unauthorized still emailing login info? I joined last week, and got an email saying registration was successful, but I never got any login info.

Blogger Lightning in My Hands September 09, 2020 1:08 PM  

Incredible. Not a Tolkien biographer, but I understand the rabbit-hole a writer will pursue to set up one story, then inevitably write something completely different.

Blogger Unknown September 09, 2020 1:46 PM  

OK, I finally bit

Blogger VD September 09, 2020 2:01 PM  

Is Unauthorized still emailing login info?

Yes, check your Spam and Promotions folders. Failing that, email me from the email address you used.

Blogger Macs September 09, 2020 2:13 PM  

Is the app the best way to renew my membership?

Blogger VD September 09, 2020 2:31 PM  

No, the app is defunct. We've asked them to take it down.

Blogger JamesB.BKK September 09, 2020 6:50 PM  

The unauthorized app is deauthorized?

Blogger mrpinks September 09, 2020 6:59 PM  

Just awesome! I love UATV.
I can binge watch the Tolkien episodes.
Thanks to everyone involved, it is really appreciated.

Blogger Creepingsancy September 10, 2020 1:32 AM  

Ah, the good old eagle and child.
Good taters there

Blogger Terrific September 10, 2020 3:19 AM  

I have to say, Lewis' space trilogy is by far one of the amazing literary achievements of the 20th century. At least, that's what I and the mouse in my pocket think. They are each written in such a different styles.

"Out of the Silent Planet" is a straightforward space opera. Something I can imagine being (and should have been) serialized on the radio in the late 40s or 50s.

"Perelandra" is by far my favorite with Lewis' completely original and unparalleled description of the floating islands of Venus, his intense description of a man waking up on a truly alien world and the richness of delights he finds everywhere he looks.

But by far my favorite part is in Chapter 17, the "oral symphony" that is "The Song of the Great Dance" with which he ends the book. I have tried on numerous occasions to memorize that masterpiece of poetry, apologia, and worship. If you ever doubt the reality of the personal God in this universe, read those pages and experience you heart being caught up in the brilliant beauty of God Lewis manages to fit into mere words! "Let no mouth open to gainsay it!"

By far the most difficult to get through my first time reading it but now ranks second-favorite of the trilogy is, "That Hideous Strength". Lewis called it "a fairy tale for grown-ups" because he didn't want people who dislike fantastical stories to be deceived by the prosaic setting and extremely mundane doings that occupy the first three or four chapters. And truly they are mundane to the point of being coma-inducing. I cared NOTHING for these people and their petty, parochial politics. The ending was also weak, with his heroes being given next to nothing to do and whatever something they are given to do has almost no affect on the story's climax.

Lewis seemed to recognize this deficiency and tried to explain it away. Going so far as having his protagonist offer an explanation of why this was necessarily so.

With such glaring deficiencies, why do I now rank it second of the three? Because in the concluding chapter where Lewis' hero "explains" his intrepid band's failure to be of any real use in the battle that's just been fought, Lewis has another character offer an explanation which includes a defense of the ethnic character embodied within nationhood and defends it as part of God's original plan for humankind on earth.

Here's the passage. I found it in a blog, "mrbultitudesmusings.wordpress.com", a running commentary on all three books...

"When Logres really dominates Britain, when the goddess Reason, the divine clearness, is really enthroned in France, when the order of Heaven is really followed in China – why, then it will be spring."

Blogger Terrific September 10, 2020 3:47 AM  

The Eagle and Child.

Or as Lewis knew it, "The bird and baby".

Blogger Cheryl Butler-Drake September 10, 2020 12:31 PM  

This was fantastic. I was pleasantly lost in Tolkien's world of words and images. What a joy! Thank you Professor!

Blogger Cheryl Butler-Drake September 10, 2020 12:31 PM  

This was fantastic. I was pleasantly lost in Tolkien's world of words and images. What a joy! Thank you Professor!

Blogger Cheryl Butler-Drake September 10, 2020 12:32 PM  

This was fantastic. I was pleasantly lost in Tolkien's world of words and images. What a joy! Thank you Professor!

Blogger Cheryl Butler-Drake September 10, 2020 12:33 PM  

This was fantastic. I was pleasantly lost in Tolkien's world of words and images. What a joy! Thank you Professor!

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