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happiness/unhappiness

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  • John D Rateliff
    Happiness is . . . . . . the arrival of a new book about Tolkien, in this case THE PLANTS OF MIDDLE-EARTH: BOTANY AND SUB-CREATION by Dinah Hazell. Unhappiness
    Message 1 of 4 , Jan 16, 2007
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      Happiness is . . .
      . . . the arrival of a new book about Tolkien, in this case THE
      PLANTS OF MIDDLE-EARTH: BOTANY AND SUB-CREATION by Dinah Hazell.

      Unhappiness is . . .
      . . . the arrival of the empty box that should have contained
      Vol. III of COLLECTED LETTERS OF C. S. LEWIS, lost in the mail
      between the bookseller and my mailbox. Arrgh.

      --JDR
    • David Bratman
      John Rateliff s copy of volume 3 of the C.S. Lewis collected letters may have gone missing, but I safely conveyed mine home from a bookstore that actually
      Message 2 of 4 , Jan 17, 2007
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        John Rateliff's copy of volume 3 of the C.S. Lewis collected letters may have gone missing, but I safely conveyed mine home from a bookstore that actually carries it. Like a trilogy by Philip Jose Farmer or Gordon Dickson, this three-volume set grew in the telling, and this volume is a brick-like 1810 pages, making volume 1 at only 1057 look svelte. But it's more than Lewis's letters of 1950-1963; 160 pages are devoted to a supplement - earlier letters that have turned up since publication of the previous volumes, and letters originally omitted from volume 1 including Lewis's side of his 1920s "Great War" philosophical argument with Owen Barfield. This section includes a number of published letters to editors, and a 1947 fan letter (in pastiche 17th century English) to T.H. White, which I had heard of but never seen.

        I haven't gone over the text much, but I note that letters with Warren Lewis's "reference numbers" on them are very scattered. There's a number of 1963 letters clarifying Walter Hooper's role as Lewis's "temporary secretary." Hooper's desire to give recipients' biographies in great detail whenever possible has not abated, and in a number of cases he includes comments from the recipients explaining their recollection of what Lewis (who often replied to queries without repeating what was asked) was talking about.

        David Bratman

        -----Original Message-----
        >From: John D Rateliff <sacnoth@...>
        >Sent: Jan 16, 2007 8:42 PM
        >To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
        >Subject: [mythsoc] happiness/unhappiness
        >
        >Happiness is . . .
        > . . . the arrival of a new book about Tolkien, in this case THE
        >PLANTS OF MIDDLE-EARTH: BOTANY AND SUB-CREATION by Dinah Hazell.
        >
        >Unhappiness is . . .
        > . . . the arrival of the empty box that should have contained
        >Vol. III of COLLECTED LETTERS OF C. S. LEWIS, lost in the mail
        >between the bookseller and my mailbox. Arrgh.
        >
        >--JDR
      • ajkjr1
        As my main area of interest is with J.R.R. Tolkien but with additional interest in The Inklings, can you give me an idea of what is contain in some of his
        Message 3 of 4 , Jan 17, 2007
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          As my main area of interest is with J.R.R. Tolkien but with
          additional interest in The Inklings, can you give me an idea of what
          is contain in some of his letters? I think volume 1 is primarily his
          younger years. Do the other volumes cover any discussions with the
          Inklings, meeting at Bird & Baby and with Tolkien in particular? I
          love to soak up as much information as possible but before I spend
          the money wanted to get a better idea of what was in each volume.

          --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, David Bratman <dbratman@...> wrote:
          >
          > John Rateliff's copy of volume 3 of the C.S. Lewis collected
          letters may have gone missing, but I safely conveyed mine home from a
          bookstore that actually carries it. Like a trilogy by Philip Jose
          Farmer or Gordon Dickson, this three-volume set grew in the telling,
          and this volume is a brick-like 1810 pages, making volume 1 at only
          1057 look svelte. But it's more than Lewis's letters of 1950-1963;
          160 pages are devoted to a supplement - earlier letters that have
          turned up since publication of the previous volumes, and letters
          originally omitted from volume 1 including Lewis's side of his
          1920s "Great War" philosophical argument with Owen Barfield. This
          section includes a number of published letters to editors, and a 1947
          fan letter (in pastiche 17th century English) to T.H. White, which I
          had heard of but never seen.
          >
          > I haven't gone over the text much, but I note that letters with
          Warren Lewis's "reference numbers" on them are very scattered.
          There's a number of 1963 letters clarifying Walter Hooper's role as
          Lewis's "temporary secretary." Hooper's desire to give recipients'
          biographies in great detail whenever possible has not abated, and in
          a number of cases he includes comments from the recipients explaining
          their recollection of what Lewis (who often replied to queries
          without repeating what was asked) was talking about.
          >
          > David Bratman
          >
          > -----Original Message-----
          > >From: John D Rateliff <sacnoth@...>
          > >Sent: Jan 16, 2007 8:42 PM
          > >To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
          > >Subject: [mythsoc] happiness/unhappiness
          > >
          > >Happiness is . . .
          > > . . . the arrival of a new book about Tolkien, in this case
          THE
          > >PLANTS OF MIDDLE-EARTH: BOTANY AND SUB-CREATION by Dinah Hazell.
          > >
          > >Unhappiness is . . .
          > > . . . the arrival of the empty box that should have contained
          > >Vol. III of COLLECTED LETTERS OF C. S. LEWIS, lost in the mail
          > >between the bookseller and my mailbox. Arrgh.
          > >
          > >--JDR
          >
        • David Bratman
          A person not interested in serious Lewis research doesn t need the Collected Letters, which are very long. There s a shorter, older volume, Letters of C.S.
          Message 4 of 4 , Jan 17, 2007
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            A person not interested in serious Lewis research doesn't need the
            Collected Letters, which are very long. There's a shorter, older volume,
            "Letters of C.S. Lewis" edited by W.H. Lewis, with the highlights.

            Volume 3 of the Collected, covering 1950-1963, has a lot of casual
            references to the Bird and Baby, but the meat of the Inklings, and of
            Lewis's friendship with Tolkien, comes in volume 2, 1931-1949. The problem
            is that Lewis rarely wrote about the Inklings except to his brother during
            the brief period when he was away. Most of his comments about his
            friendship with Tolkien come in a few letters to friends from the period
            1929 to the early 1930s.

            By 1950 Lewis was fairly famous, and he got a lot of letters from readers
            asking him various questions about his books, which he liked to explain but
            was loathe to analyze, and asking his spiritual advice on various
            questions. There's a lot of both of these in here. And as they're
            complete, a tremendous amount of trivia: letters to his publisher
            correcting typographical errors in his books, letters to friends arranging
            meeting dates, that sort of thing.

            David Bratman


            At 05:40 PM 1/17/2007 +0000, ajkjr1 wrote:
            >As my main area of interest is with J.R.R. Tolkien but with
            >additional interest in The Inklings, can you give me an idea of what
            >is contain in some of his letters? I think volume 1 is primarily his
            >younger years. Do the other volumes cover any discussions with the
            >Inklings, meeting at Bird & Baby and with Tolkien in particular? I
            >love to soak up as much information as possible but before I spend
            >the money wanted to get a better idea of what was in each volume.
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