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If you were Christopher Tolkien...

Plato to MacDonald to Chesterton, Tolkien and the Boys in the Pub.

If you were Christopher Tolkien...

Postby A#minor » 24 Jul 2005, 15:19

I was just thinking about how cool it must have been for him as a child listening to his dad reading Hobbit chapters, and sending Father Christmas letters to the kids. And then when he was older he went to Inkling meetings and read each new LOTR chapter as it was written to the guys. I mean, to sit in the same room with the Lewis brothers, Tolkien, Charles Williams, and all those guys and listen to them talk and even join in their conversations! What greater bliss could there be?
You know they liked Christopher too. They loved for him to read "the new Hobbit" , as they called LOTR before it had a title, b/c J.R.R.Tolkien mumbled so badly.[/i]
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Re: If you were Christopher Tolkien...

Postby Adam Linton » 24 Jul 2005, 23:00

In fact, in the later years of the Inklings, after his father did not participate on such a regular basis, Christopher T. became a "regular."

In the latter part of the fifties, and in the early sixties, Christopher had more of an actice, on-going connection with Lewis than did his father.
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Re: If you were Christopher Tolkien...

Postby CorShasta » 24 Jul 2005, 23:16

I would LOVE to meet him sooo much. Tolkien is one of my Earthly role models.
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Re: If you were Christopher Tolkien...

Postby Bill » 25 Jul 2005, 12:33

CorShasta wrote:I would LOVE to meet him sooo much. Tolkien is one of my Earthly role models.


What is it about Tolkien that makes him a role model for you apart from his fiction that is? I did not think that there was much of great note in his personal life apart from LOTR etc. When I read his a biography some time ago he came across as rather a boring individual in most respects. It is a few years ago and I may have forgotten something.


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Re: If you were Christopher Tolkien...

Postby A#minor » 25 Jul 2005, 14:29

Yes, I think you're right about Tolkien's life being rather boring.
(Although the bit about himself and his wife meeting secretly at a boarding house and marrying without consent years later is quite romantic and daring.)
But perhaps that's why his books are so full of adventure, b/c he didn't have any great adventures in his life. He lived his real life in his imagination.
Everybody's life is like that really. No big adventures, just little normal ones like having surgery or being robbed or even just trying to get out of bed in the morning.
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Re: If you were Christopher Tolkien...

Postby CorShasta » 25 Jul 2005, 21:36

A role model not because of things he "realy" ( in a very narrow sense of the word) did. I look up to him because he created such a immersive world. Thats what I want to do someday.
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Re: If you were Christopher Tolkien...

Postby Bill » 25 Jul 2005, 21:45

CorShasta wrote:A role model not because of things he "realy" ( in a very narrow sense of the word) did. I look up to him because he created such a immersive world. Thats what I want to do someday.


Right, I see. I wish you every joy! Strangely I think it was partly because he was rather boring as a person (if in fact he was) that he was able to produce something as large and detailed as LOTR as well as create the mythology and language to go with it.

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Re: If you were Christopher Tolkien...

Postby A#minor » 27 Jul 2005, 02:20

Bill wrote: Strangely I think it was partly because he was rather boring as a person (if in fact he was) that he was able to produce something as large and detailed as LOTR as well as create the mythology and language to go with it.

Bill


That's true. If Tolkien had been busy doing other things with his life, he never would have had the time or energy to write! Even as it is (um....or was) he didn't have as much time to write as he wanted, what with family obligations and lecturing, etc...etc...
You know the other intellectuals in his Oxford set actually looked down on him a little b/c he never wrote some big famous paper or book on his subject of expertise, dead languages.
I, however, am glad he spent his free time as he did, and not writing boring papers for the intelligentsia.
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Re: If you were Christopher Tolkien...

Postby Leslie » 27 Jul 2005, 17:00

A#minor wrote:
Bill wrote: Strangely I think it was partly because he was rather boring as a person (if in fact he was) that he was able to produce something as large and detailed as LOTR as well as create the mythology and language to go with it.

Bill


That's true. If Tolkien had been busy doing other things with his life, he never would have had the time or energy to write! Even as it is (um....or was) he didn't have as much time to write as he wanted, what with family obligations and lecturing, etc...etc...
You know the other intellectuals in his Oxford set actually looked down on him a little b/c he never wrote some big famous paper or book on his subject of expertise, dead languages.
I, however, am glad he spent his free time as he did, and not writing boring papers for the intelligentsia.

It seems also that he had trouble getting things done, and would spend hours playing solitaire instead of working. I get the impression he may have suffered from depression.
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Re: If you were Christopher Tolkien...

Postby A#minor » 27 Jul 2005, 23:37

Really? Tolkien was a solitaire freak too? I could play solitaire for hours. I once won 7 games in a row! Crazy. Hey, Tolkien was a smart guy if he loved Solitaire. Oh, yeah.
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Re: If you were Christopher Tolkien...

Postby Lirenel » 06 Apr 2009, 21:42

A#minor wrote:You know the other intellectuals in his Oxford set actually looked down on him a little b/c he never wrote some big famous paper or book on his subject of expertise, dead languages.
I, however, am glad he spent his free time as he did, and not writing boring papers for the intelligentsia.


Yah, I know. I'm going back and resurecting old threads that people haven't thought of in years. But I just needed to mention that Tolkien's lecture on Beowulf "Monsters and the Critics" is considered the benchmark of Anglo-Saxon studies, and basically every person studying Beowulf since then has had to reference Tolkien in some way because it's such a standard.
The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid? - Psalm 27:1

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Re: If you were Christopher Tolkien...

Postby galion » 07 Apr 2009, 07:40

I have to say that Tolkien was a major and hard-working scholar, with by the standards of his day a fairly repectable publication record. And what he may have lacked in quantity he more than made up for in quality. His "Beowulf" lecture had a major effect on the study of Old English literature and language, and other publications over a wide range (such as his paper on the Celtic god-name name "Nodens" for the archaeological excavations at Lydney, or his paper on "English and Welsh") were also very important in their fields. He was indeed as Lewis put it, "that great but dilatory man" - getting material out of him within a year of copy-date was like pulling dinosaur's teeth - but note that as well as "dilatory" he was "great".

As for "boring": from the age of about 27 his life was no more boring than the life of anybody else with a full-time job and a family of four children. Before that age his life was more "interesting" than most people would like. For example, his experience in the war had a major effect on his life (and his fiction!).
Last edited by galion on 09 Apr 2009, 07:02, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: If you were Christopher Tolkien...

Postby rusmeister » 09 Apr 2009, 02:30

galion wrote:I have to say that Tolkien was a major and hard-working scholar, with by the standards of his day a fairly repectable publication record. And what he may have lacked in quantity he more than made up for in quality. His "Beowulf" lecture had a major effect on the study of Old English literature and language, and other publications over a wide range (such as his paper on the Celtic god-name name "Nodens" for the archaeological excavations at Lydney, or his paper on "English and Welsh"). He was indeed as Lewis put it, "that great but dilatory man" - getting material out of him within a year of copy-date was like pulling dinosaur's teeth - but note that as well as "dilatory" he was "great".

As for "boring": from the age of about 27 his life was no more boring than the life of anybody else with a full-time job and a family of four children. Before that age his life was more "interesting" than most people would like. For example, his experience in the war had a major effect on his life (and his fiction!).

Amen to that!
My suggestion to people that perceive boredom is that they follow Lewis's advice, do as Tolkien did, and read. lots of. old. books. You can't create anything like Tolkien did if you don't.
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Re: If you were Christopher Tolkien...

Postby galion » 09 Apr 2009, 07:42

As regards Christopher, I have only met him in person very briefly, but I have corresponded with him over a number of years. My impression is that he does tend to shun publicity, but is far from an unfriendly man, albeit somewhat reserved. He lives what I suppose some people might call a boring life, in a very pleasant house in moderately big grounds (though far from an estate, as some journalists have it) in deepest Provence, spending his time, when not working on the latest batch of Tolkieniana, in such rural pursuits as picking olives. I could live with that sort of boredom! He is less mobile now than he was a few years ago - not entirely surprising, since he's pushing 85.
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Re: If you were Christopher Tolkien...

Postby A#minor » 19 Jun 2009, 16:52

Wow, galion! You actually know him?! Love your descriptive post about him. Now I have to go out and buy the latest Tolkien book he's edited for us. :)
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