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Letter 224

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The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
Letter 224
RecipientChristopher Tolkien
DateSeptember 12, 1960
Subject(s)Criticism of C.S. Lewis's Studies in Words

Letter 224 is a letter written by J.R.R. Tolkien and published in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien.

Summary

Tolkien had read C.S. Lewis's latest, Studies in Words, and remarked that Lewis's ponderous silliness had become a fixed manner. Fortunately, said Tolkien, he had not been mentioned. He had written a long analysis of *BHŪ, of which Lewis had only used the first nine lines and dismissed the rest with "we have not a shred of evidence".

The best part, thought Tolkien, was the wise remark on the last page: "…the very occasions on which we should most like to write a slashing review are precisely those on which we had much better hold our tongues." Tolkien commented Ergo silebo.[note 1]

Note

  1. "Therefore I will keep silent" in Latin.