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21519Re: [mythsoc] Re: religion in Tolkien

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  • dale nelson
    Oct 15, 2010
      Of course; although there hovers around Gandalf (in LOTR) the sense that he is a person of power who yet serves some greater power.  It is he who can tell Frodo that Bilbo was "meant" to find the Ring, and so on.  The "angel" remark merely confirms and makes explicit something that is already evident -- if one is prepared to see it.  I think your earlier message is right on target in saying that Lin Carter had an unduly restrictive, even on historical-cultural grounds, sense of what a "religion" looks like.


      From: David Bratman <dbratman@...>
      To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Fri, October 15, 2010 9:45:05 AM
      Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Re: religion in Tolkien


      dale nelson wrote:

      >"Gandalf is an angel," as Tolkien said
      >somewhere in an interview. Someone can
      >remind me of the source; but I'm sure it
      >had appeared by the time Imaginary Worlds
      >was written, although I'm not sure that
      >Lin Carter saw it.

      Edmund Fuller, in 1962, published in the revision of his Tolkien article in Isaacs & Zimbardo's _Tolkien and the Critics_ in 1968. Too late for Carter to have seen it for his 1969 book (which omits mention of some 1968 post-Tolkien fantasies he would surely have referenced had he seen them, as he cites them enthusiastically in 1973). The Isaacs/Zimbardo collection is in his 1973 bibliography, but he had perhaps not read it closely. The quote was seized gratefully by enthusiastic Tolkienists, but Carter was not a Tolkienist. The only reason for citing this quote in this context today, rather than the further explanations in the Silmarillion and elsewhere, would be on the supposition that Carter _had_ seen it.

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