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Edison

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  • John Davis
    Hi, Does anyone know what, if anything, Tolkien thought of Edison (Worm Ouroboros)? I read in Wikipedia that Tolkien praised it , but does anyone have any
    Message 1 of 4 , Mar 19, 2009
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      Hi,

      Does anyone know what, if anything, Tolkien thought of Edison (Worm Ouroboros)? I read in Wikipedia that Tolkien 'praised it', but does anyone have any more details? Did it influence him, or were they both influenced by the same earlier texts?

      Just curious really...!

      John

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    • Margaret Dean
      ... In Tolkien s own words (from the Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien): I read the works of [E.R.] Eddison, long after they appeared; and I once met him. I heard
      Message 2 of 4 , Mar 19, 2009
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        On Thu, Mar 19, 2009 at 11:25 AM, John Davis <john@...> wrote:
        > Hi,
        >
        > Does anyone know what, if anything, Tolkien thought of Edison (Worm
        > Ouroboros)? I read in Wikipedia that Tolkien 'praised it', but does anyone
        > have any more details? Did it influence him, or were they both influenced by
        > the same earlier texts?
        >
        > Just curious really...!

        In Tolkien's own words (from the Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien):

        "I read the works of [E.R.] Eddison, long after they appeared; and I
        once met him. I heard him in Mr. Lewis's room in Magdalen College
        read aloud some parts of his own works -- from the =Mistress of
        Mistresses,= as far as I remember. He did it extremely well. I read
        his works with great enjoyment for their sheer literary merit. My
        opinion of them is almost the same as that expressed by Mr. Lewis on
        p. 104 of the =Essays Presented to Charles Williams.= Except that I
        disliked his characters (always excepting the Lord Gro) and despised
        what he appeared to admire more intensely than Mr. Lewis at any rate
        saw fit to say of himself. Eddison thought what I admire 'soft' (his
        word: one of complete condemnation, I gathered); I thought that,
        corrupted by an evil and indeed silly 'philosophy', he was coming to
        admire, more and more, arrogance and cruelty. Incidentally, I thought
        his nomenclature slipshod and often inept. In spite of all of which,
        I still think of him as the greatest and most convincing writer of
        'invented worlds' that I have read. But he was certainly not an
        'influence'."
      • scribbler@scribblerworks.us
        Irresistable funning follows -- I was initially electrified by the idea of Thomas A. having gotten into fantasy literature, or that one of the Inklings had
        Message 3 of 4 , Mar 19, 2009
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          Irresistable funning follows --

          I was initially electrified by the idea of Thomas A. having gotten into
          fantasy literature, or that one of the Inklings had some connection with
          the inventor.

          But then I realized you were inquiring about EDDison.

          Heh.

          Sarah Beach


          > Hi,
          >
          > Does anyone know what, if anything, Tolkien thought of Edison (Worm
          > Ouroboros)? I read in Wikipedia that Tolkien 'praised it', but does anyone
          > have any more details? Did it influence him, or were they both influenced
          > by the same earlier texts?
          >
          > Just curious really...!
          >
          > John
          >
          > --
          > I am using the free version of SPAMfighter.
          > We are a community of 6 million users fighting spam.
          > SPAMfighter has removed 154926 of my spam emails to date.
          > Get the free SPAMfighter here: http://www.spamfighter.com/len
          >
          > The Professional version does not have this message
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
          >
        • John D Rateliff
          Quick version: Tolkien didn t discover ERE s work until the early 40s (1942 I think). He admired THE WORM greatly, aside from the nomenclature, which he found
          Message 4 of 4 , Mar 19, 2009
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            Quick version: Tolkien didn't discover ERE's work until the early
            '40s (1942 I think). He admired THE WORM greatly, aside from the
            nomenclature, which he found rather silly (Lord Spitfire was, in
            retrospect, particularly unfortunate). He didn't think much of
            Eddison's philosophy, though, and since that dominates his later
            works he liked them less. Eddison did influence THE LORD OF THE
            RINGS, but only in a few scenes later in the work (Pippin & the
            palantir, Saruman's treacherous attack on Frodo). Both men drew on
            the sagas, but ERE added to that a strong influx from Eliz/Jacobean
            revenge tragedy, which was entirely unTolkienesque, while JRRT's
            concern for the common man is entirely unEddisonian.
            Does that help? For more, I'd recommend Paul Thomas's excellent
            editions, with their outstanding introductions and extensive endnotes.
            --John R.



            On Mar 19, 2009, at 10:25 AM, John Davis wrote:
            > Hi,
            >
            > Does anyone know what, if anything, Tolkien thought of Edison (Worm
            > Ouroboros)? I read in Wikipedia that Tolkien 'praised it', but does
            > anyone have any more details? Did it influence him, or were they
            > both influenced by the same earlier texts?
            >
            > Just curious really...!
            >
            > John
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