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20175Re: [mythsoc] White Star over Mordor

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  • Michael Cunningham
    Nov 12, 2008
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      Thank you David,

      I have that very title on my shelf at the moment. I'll make a point of reading that tale.

      Much appreciated,
      Michael


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: David Bratman
      To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Tuesday, November 11, 2008 5:51 AM
      Subject: Re: [mythsoc] White Star over Mordor


      Michael,

      If you want to read a truly uncanny precursor of Tolkien, I suggest "The Far
      Islands" by John Buchan. It's in Doug Anderson's _Tales Before Tolkien_.

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Michael Cunningham" <vargeisa@...>
      To: <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Sunday, November 09, 2008 8:45 AM
      Subject: [mythsoc] White Star over Mordor

      I was doing some research in respect of Owen and Sassoon when I happened
      upon the following essay from the April 1917 edition of The Hydra - a
      magazine produced by the patients of Craiglockhart Hospital. A tale entitled
      'A Phantasmagoria' is included in this issue and while it is blatantly
      metaphorical the closing paragraphs recalled to mind Sam seeing the white
      star above the Mordor-black of Ephel DĂșath when:

      '[t]he beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken
      land, and hope returned to him.'(Tolkien 1991, 238).

      'A Phantasmagoria' finally finds the narrator standing alone upon the peak
      of 'mountains of hatred' when he recounts:

      'I raised my eyes, and far, far above me shone one tiny pure white star, the
      Star of Man's Love and Forgiveness. Sick and weary, my soul cried out to it,
      and as I cried the light of that Star grew stronger and brighter, until
      beneath the strength of its purity the Mountains of hate burnt and crumbled
      away, the blood-red Moon shrank and died, and once more I was standing on
      Nothing. Gradually the pure white light became absorbed into the pink flush
      of the new-risen Sun, and in the midst of that ineffable glow of promise - I
      awoke.'

      Maybe a lot of young men turned their eyes heavenwards amongst the blood and
      mud of Flanders - given that this is Remembrance Sunday I thought I would
      post the above given the sacrifice not only of Tolkien's peers but also for
      many of his generation.

      Michael

      Tolkien, JRR. 1991, The Return of the King, Grafton
      The Hydra: http://www.hcu.ox.ac.uk/jtap/hydra/
      'A Phantasmagoria' : http://www.hcu.ox.ac.uk/jtap/hydra/170428/index.htm

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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