Tolkien Gateway

Letter 94

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Latest revision as of 23:17, 9 June 2011

The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
Letter 94
RecipientChristopher Tolkien
Date28 December 1944
Subject(s)The power of literature, hoarfrost at Christmas, ancient Greek "democracy"

Letter 94 is a letter written by J.R.R. Tolkien and published in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien.

[edit] Summary

Tolkien was happy that Christopher had sent many letters and that more of Ring had arrived. His son liked it even though it seemed to have added to his homesickness. Tolkien commented that it just showed the difference between life and literature. Anyone actually in Kirith Ungol would wish to exchange it for any other place in the world, save Mordor itself. One thing that literature taught was that we have in us an eternal element, free from care and fear, able to survey life and evil with serenity. He counted it a triumph that the two last chapters could distract his son from the noise of the Air Crew Room!

The weather was one of the chief events of Christmas. A heavy fog had frozen and created hoarfrost such as he could only remember three times before in his life. One of the most lovely events of Northern nature, said Tolkien, describing the dim silent misty world with jewelry of rime, laced netted cobwebs, and diamond patterns. The next day the sun came out and all was breathtakingly beautiful. In the moonlight it was a vision of another world or time.

Mr. Eden in the House of Commons had expressed pain at occurrences in Greece, "the home of democracy". Was he ignorant or insincere, asked Tolkien. In Greek it was not a word of approval but nearly "mob-rule". The great Greek states, especially Athens at its time of high art and power, were rather Dictatorships.