9783Re: Reading the Road to Middle Earth
- Jul 9, 2003I havn't read either of those books yet, but would like to very soon.
Barfield did seem to have influenced Tolkien to some extent, but as
a Catholic I am sure Tolkien did not go for all of Barfield's ideas,
or at least his interpretations of certain facts. I find Barfield
very interesting, but it's difficult to really understand where he
is coming from in some areas. The idea that Tolkien and Barfield
seemed to share the most was the idea that language was supremely
poetical at its very birth, and denoted a sort of iconic perception
of the world, what Barfield would call 'concrete thinking'. Tolkien
makes a reference to this in The Hobbit and again in LOTR.
BTY...Why is the salvation of elves in question?
--- In email@example.com, bowring <bowring@b...> wrote:
> Tom Shippey's Road to Middle Earth has finally been reissued in a
> What a book! I am glad I read his Tolkien: Author of the Century
> otherwise I would not have enjoyed it nearly so much--RME is so
> There are some interesting things to puzzle out, too. For
> doesn't so much as mention Owen Barfield's theories about
> Flieger, in her book Splintered Light, makes Barfield an important
> on Tolkien's views on language. I am not steeped enough in all
this to really
> evaluate the two positions adequately, but I have two suspicions:
> Tolkien's philological training had already largely immunized him
> "chronological snobbery", Barfield's important contribution to
> intellectual cadre; (2) that Tolkien went no further than Lewis
did in the
> direction of Barfield's key theories about the evolution of
> Large and important questions.
> (I have another pet suspicion: that because Barfield outlived all
> principals by a good bit, and that many like Flieger got to know
him and to
> one degree or another came under his influence, he had a large
hand in shaping
> the reception of issues like the "Great War," theory of language,
> interpretation on the Imagination, etc. I would also count him
> writers that have most influenced my thinking on these issues, but
> evolution of consciousness business, at least in its
> just doesn't ring any bells for me--or rather, the bells jangle.
I am not
> entirely happy with such discussions of Lewis' and
Tolkien's "philosophy" of
> the imagination as I have thus far encountered.)
> I also find a lingering sense of pathos at Shippey's discussion of
> possibility of the salvation of elves, etc. Alas....
> Fortunately, Shippey's book is not entirely off the topic (he has
at least a
> toe over the border into my territory) of my dissertation. It has
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