Except that Bombadil isn't ascetic, spouts love for a physical woman, and the description of "being in the world but not of it" is certainly a phrase that fits the elves as much as Bombadil. And Bombadil isn't a hermit in any sense, while not a great traveler at the time of the LOTR, he once was, and even in the LoTR, and in the Bombadil poems, that he had regular concourse with Maggot, and possibly others. (Can one be defined as a hermit and have a room mate?)
There's an analogue there certainly: like a hermit, Bombadil has drawn the lines in which he will live and move and have his being and not venture out of those lines much if at all, but just an analogue.
> ...kicking around my head. Given JRRT's work on the Anhorites (Ancrene
> Wisse) and his admission that the LOTR is a Catholic work, how bout
> Bombadil as a hermit, a monk--in the world not of it, giving for this
> world not a cherry. Any likelihood that, much as Narnia was Lewis's
> supposal of our wide array of myths in a world where animals could
> talk, might Bombadill play the role of a Middle-earth ascetic?
> Oh, not the pale and parsimonious asceticism as we've come to
> understand it in our day, but more like desert fathers or all of those
> wonder-working saints, nuns, and brothers of the Middle Ages.
> He's in the world not of it, and has a different power altogether--one
> connected with the earth and rivers.
> Maybe even a rehabilitation (key word for the Inklings as Modernists)
> of Chaucer's Monk and Reeve, even?
> Just musing...
> Blessings, all. Off to Oxbridge next week!
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