Barfield and Tolkien
- Kevin wrote:
"Prof. Flieger hinges her entire discussion of Barfield's influence on
Tolkien on a single reported conversation."
For heaven's sake, just read _Poetic Diction_ and then read Lewis &
Tolkien's early work. You don't need to know that the men knew each other
and were friends. The influence is clear.
Likewise, Tolkien certainly knew Coleridge, but the influence from Barfield
on his apprehension of Coleridge is similarly clear in "On Fairy Stories."
It's like the silly quoting of Lewis (was it?) that nobody ever influenced
Tolkien. Lewis himself probably influenced Tolkien more than anyone,
perhaps in championing Barfield to him alone. When you look, it just isn't
so that Tolkien was an island apart.
I think the Anthroposophy is silly, or else I just never "got" it, either,
but I think Barfield is brilliant and influenced JRRT and CSL more than
anyone else, maybe except for Plato & Aristotle. In literary terms, the two
influences that I've seen insufficiently discussed are Gower (on Lewis) and
Haggard (on Tolkien) though there have been a number of articles on the
latter in more recent years.
-- David Lenander
2095 Hamline Ave. Roseville, MN 55113
- David Lenander wrote:
>"Prof. Flieger hinges her entire discussion of Barfield's influence onDavid, I am not saying that there is no influence. I want a more careful
>Tolkien on a single reported conversation."
>For heaven's sake, just read _Poetic Diction_ and then read Lewis &
>Tolkien's early work. You don't need to know that the men knew each other
>and were friends. The influence is clear.
>Likewise, Tolkien certainly knew Coleridge, but the influence from Barfield
>on his apprehension of Coleridge is similarly clear in "On Fairy Stories."
examination of the nature and extent of the influence. Tolkien, Barfield,
Lewis--and let's add in Charles Williams for good measure--are not simply
three peas in a pod, whose ideas are interchangeable. As I said before, I am
interested in where they all both converge and diverge.
I would say the same thing for the influence of Coleridge: none of them, not
even Barfield, simply takes over Coleridge; they modified whatever they found.
I want to understand the nature of these modifications better than I do
because important matters are at stake.
I am taking a week or so to examine some of this more carefully. When I am
done, I will try to condense what I think into something of manageable email
Keep your sword at the ready!