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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

Happy 116th Birthday to Tolkien: photos, letter #328, and a reflection.

Posted on 2008.01.03 at 15:15


illyria_novia at 2008-01-04 05:18 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, Mechtild, for the photos of the Professor and this illuminating excerpt from his letter. I am especially moved by, and agree wholeheartedly with this

If sanctity inhabits his works or as a pervading light illumines it then it does not come from him but through him. And neither of you would perceive it in these terms unless it was with you also."

along with your analysis of the nature of illumination that comes off Frodo.

And it's also humbling, and quite a reminder, the resignation the Professor feels about LOTR after the conversation with 'Gandalf', and the trust he placed on the friends of his 'child'.

Once again, thank you, Mechtild. Reading your posts has always been a very educational pleasure.
mechtild at 2008-01-04 14:38 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you so much for your reflective comments, Illyria!

When you said, "it's also humbling, and quite a reminder, the resignation the Professor feels about LOTR after the conversation with 'Gandalf'", I wondered if you meant this passage*:

I was too well acquainted with G. to expose myself rashly, or to ask what he meant. I think I said: ‘No, I don’t suppose so any longer.’ I have never since been able to suppose so. An alarming conclusion for an old philologist to draw concerning his private amusement. But not one that should puff any one up who considers the imperfections of ‘chosen instruments’, and indeed what sometimes seems their lamentable unfitness for the purpose.

This interested me, not only because I have felt it writing myself, but because I learned it from Tolkien. That he didn't always realise it is interesting, and encouraging to me: by his example he shows that people continue to learn, never stopping throughout the course of their lives. I thought the "imperfections of 'chosen instruments'", sort of in line with the thinking of the rest of my discussion, could apply as aptly to Tolkien, the story, or to the characters of Frodo himself.

* If you tried to copy and paste an excerpt from letter 328, I realise now it's impossible. So that I could make the letter look fancier, and with a "look" from an earlier time, I put it into a "make a flyer" document, so that I could absolutely control the typeface, size, colour, and margin size once it was loaded into an LJ entry. To use it here, I saved it as a jpg image and uploaded it into Photobucket, which is hosting it as an image file. That's why no part of it can be selected and copied for quotes, dang it all. Guess I got too fancy for my own good!

But I hate the way I spend so much time choosing typefonts and formatting, only to find that they all fall out if my journal is being read by anyone who is not viewing from a paid Livejournal account. I was very discouraged looking at my posts from machines at work, and seeing for the first time what happened to them for most of my readers. Why did I get a paid account, then?
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