This forum was closed on October 1st, 2010. However, the archives are open to the public and filled with vast amounts of good reading and information for you to enjoy. If you wish to meet some Wardrobians, please visit the Into the Wardrobe Facebook group.

Compass

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

Compass

Postby hammurabi2000 » 02 May 2009, 09:55

Tolkein'e elves had a mind to go West. 'Going West' during the Great War was a euphemism to describe all those who had either died or been wounded and were therefore no longer there. They had literally gone West but also the sun sets in the West. In Tolkein's land of Middle Earth you went West over the sea and East over the land. In Lewis's Narnia you went East over the sea towards the rising sun and the land went West. Does anyone know of anything written on the significance of these issues in the books these authors wrote?
Wardrobian since 1999
User avatar
hammurabi2000
Wardrobian
 
Posts: 229
Joined: Aug 2005

Re: Compass

Postby rusmeister » 02 May 2009, 16:23

I think it significant that Tolkien pointed to the West and Lewis to the East. Of course, there is the idea that Lewis was an anonymous Orthodox...

Don't know who's written about it, though.
"Eh? Two views? There are a dozen views about everything until you know the answer. Then there's never more than one."
Bill "The Blizzard" Hingest - That Hideous Strength
User avatar
rusmeister
 
Posts: 1778
Joined: Dec 2005
Location: Russia

Re: Compass

Postby The Quangle Wangle » 02 May 2009, 20:36

I believe Tolkien had the ocean to the west of the continent because Middle Earth was supposed to be Europe in some ancient period. I suppose Lewis just decided to go the other way round.
'It is the Co-operative Cauliflower!' exclaimed the Quangle-Wangle softly in a loud voice.
User avatar
The Quangle Wangle
 
Posts: 29
Joined: Feb 2009

Re: Compass

Postby Leslie » 03 May 2009, 01:05

The West in Tolkien's work makes me think of Tir nan og, the paradise of Celtic mythology, which also lies to the West.
"What are you laughing at?"
"At myself. My little puny self," said Phillipa.
--Rumer Godden, In This House of Brede
User avatar
Leslie
Wardrobian
 
Posts: 1809
Joined: Dec 2002
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Compass

Postby A#minor » 19 Jun 2009, 16:47

Leslie wrote:The West in Tolkien's work makes me think of Tir nan og, the paradise of Celtic mythology, which also lies to the West.

Oooh, that's interesting!

I think Lewis emphasized the East b/c he was trying to create the imagery of the morning sun and new beginnings, brand new day, and portray Christ (as the morning star)... that sort of thing. All his main characters are very young and in the morning of their lives.

Tolkien's world is already old and the time of the elves is dying, so he emphasizes the West as a place of rest at the end of a weary life. Most of his characters are older and in the midday or "sunset of their lives" we could say.
Just a thought.
"My brain and this world don't fit each other, and there's an end of it!" - G.K. Chesterton
Image
User avatar
A#minor
Wardrobian
 
Posts: 7319
Joined: May 2005
Location: Georgia, USA

Re: Compass

Postby hammurabi2000 » 20 Jun 2009, 08:31

A#minor wrote:
Leslie wrote:The West in Tolkien's work makes me think of Tir nan og, the paradise of Celtic mythology, which also lies to the West.

Oooh, that's interesting!

I think Lewis emphasized the East b/c he was trying to create the imagery of the morning sun and new beginnings, brand new day, and portray Christ (as the morning star)... that sort of thing. All his main characters are very young and in the morning of their lives.

Tolkien's world is already old and the time of the elves is dying, so he emphasizes the West as a place of rest at the end of a weary life. Most of his characters are older and in the midday or "sunset of their lives" we could say.
Just a thought.


Interesting then that the general view seems to be that the choice corresponds to the rising and setting of the sun and the context of the reader. However, it would seem they have never written as to why they chose what they did.
Wardrobian since 1999
User avatar
hammurabi2000
Wardrobian
 
Posts: 229
Joined: Aug 2005

Re: Compass

Postby tjcam » 22 Oct 2009, 02:53

Interesting point about Lewis being an anonymous orthodox, seem to remember reading a book by an ex-student of his, claiming he was an anonymous catholic.
tjcam
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2009

Re: Compass

Postby Paul F. Ford » 27 Oct 2009, 17:15

tjcam wrote:Interesting point about Lewis being an anonymous orthodox, seem to remember reading a book by an ex-student of his, claiming he was an anonymous catholic.


The book is C.S.Lewis and the Church of Rome by Christopher Derrick (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1981) ISBN-13: 978-0898700091.
Paul Ford—self-appointed president of the "245-3617 Club" and proud member of the "245-6317 Club"; author of the Companion to Narnia and the Pocket Companion to Narnia.
Paul F. Ford
Wardrobian
 
Posts: 204
Joined: Dec 2004
Location: Camarillo, California

Re: Compass

Postby Lioba » 29 Oct 2009, 14:30

Going West can refer to Tir Na Nog, maybe even Avalon. Its roots lie in Celtic mythologie.
Going East comes from Christian background. Look at the ground plan of the old churches- The altar to the East, the direction of the Eucharistical celebration originally to the East- the Athos is sometimes seen as a stronghold against the spirits of the West.
The Zephyr in pagan tradition is bringing forth fertility, positive. In the eyes of early Christianity he´s seen as bringing forth the more disorderd feelings connected with fertility.
Another aspect is the political aspect in Tolkien- also he denies direct connection there are some obvious lines.
In Lewis books we may find the contrast North- South.
Iustitia est ad alterum.
User avatar
Lioba
Wardrobian
 
Posts: 303
Joined: Oct 2007


Return to Inklings & Influences

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered members and 1 guest