Tolkien Gateway

Letter to Nevill Coghill

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On [[21 August]] [[1954]], [[J.R.R. Tolkien]] wrote '''[[Letters not published in "The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien"|a letter]] to [[Nevill Coghill]]'''.
 
On [[21 August]] [[1954]], [[J.R.R. Tolkien]] wrote '''[[Letters not published in "The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien"|a letter]] to [[Nevill Coghill]]'''.
  
*'''Subject:''' Coghill had written to Tolkien asking for explanations, some of which the author felt should be left until the later volumes of The Lord of the Ringsappeared and his friend was able to read them.
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*'''Subject:''' [[Nevill Coghill]] had written to Tolkien asking for explanations, some of which the author felt should be left until the later volumes of The Lord of the Rings appeared and his friend was able to read them.
 
*'''Publication:''' Not published
 
*'''Publication:''' Not published
  
 
==Extract==
 
==Extract==
  
But Tom Bombadil is just as he is. Just an odd ‘fact’ of that world. He won’t be explained, because as long as you are (as in this tale you are meant to be) concentrated on the Ring, he is inexplicable. But he’s there – a reminder of the truth (as I see it) that the world is so large and manifold that if you take one facet and fix your mind and heart on it, there is always something that does not come in to that story/argument/approach, and seems to belong to a larger story. But of course in another way, not that of pure story-making, Bombadil is a deliberate contrast to the Elves who are artists. But B. does not want to make, alter, devise, or control anything: just to observe and take joy in the contemplating the things that are not himself. The spirit of the [deleted: world > this earth] made aware of itself. He is more like science (utterly free from technological blemish) and history than art. He represents the complete fearlessness of that spirit when we can catch a little of it. But I do suggest that it is possible to fear (as I do) that the making artistic sub-creative spirit (of Men and Elves) is actually more potent, and can ‘fall’, and that it could in the eventual triumph of its own evil destroy the whole earth, and Bombadil and all.<ref>{{webcite|author=Paul Tankard|articleurl=http://wayneandchristina.wordpress.com/2014/12/30/tom-bombadil-addenda-corrigenda/|articlename=Tom Bombadil Addenda & Corrigenda|dated=|website=[http://www.wayneandchristina.wordpress.com/ Wayne and Chrtina Scull Blog]|accessed=31 December 2014}}</ref>
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{{blockquote|But Tom Bombadil is just as he is. Just an odd ‘fact’ of that world. He won’t be explained, because as long as you are (as in this tale you are meant to be) concentrated on the Ring, he is inexplicable. But he’s there – a reminder of the truth (as I see it) that the world is so large and manifold that if you take one facet and fix your mind and heart on it, there is always something that does not come in to that story/argument/approach, and seems to belong to a larger story. But of course in another way, not that of pure story-making, Bombadil is a deliberate contrast to the Elves who are artists. But B. does not want to make, alter, devise, or control anything: just to observe and take joy in the contemplating the things that are not himself. The spirit of the [deleted: world > this earth] made aware of itself. He is more like science (utterly free from technological blemish) and history than art. He represents the complete fearlessness of that spirit when we can catch a little of it. But I do suggest that it is possible to fear (as I do) that the making artistic sub-creative spirit (of Men and Elves) is actually more potent, and can ‘fall’, and that it could in the eventual triumph of its own evil destroy the whole earth, and Bombadil and all.<ref>{{webcite|author=Paul Tankard|articleurl=http://wayneandchristina.wordpress.com/2014/12/30/tom-bombadil-addenda-corrigenda/|articlename=Tom Bombadil Addenda & Corrigenda|dated=|website=[http://www.wayneandchristina.wordpress.com/ Wayne and Chrtina Scull Blog]|accessed=31 December 2014}}</ref>}}
 
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==See also==
 
==See also==
 
*[http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/321414696443?clk_rvr_id=640841943745 eBay listing]
 
*[http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/321414696443?clk_rvr_id=640841943745 eBay listing]
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{{References}}
 
{{title}}
 
{{title}}
 
[[Category:Letters|Nevill (1954-08-21)]]
 
[[Category:Letters|Nevill (1954-08-21)]]

Revision as of 10:54, 31 December 2014

On 21 August 1954, J.R.R. Tolkien wrote a letter to Nevill Coghill.

  • Subject: Nevill Coghill had written to Tolkien asking for explanations, some of which the author felt should be left until the later volumes of The Lord of the Rings appeared and his friend was able to read them.
  • Publication: Not published

Extract

But Tom Bombadil is just as he is. Just an odd ‘fact’ of that world. He won’t be explained, because as long as you are (as in this tale you are meant to be) concentrated on the Ring, he is inexplicable. But he’s there – a reminder of the truth (as I see it) that the world is so large and manifold that if you take one facet and fix your mind and heart on it, there is always something that does not come in to that story/argument/approach, and seems to belong to a larger story. But of course in another way, not that of pure story-making, Bombadil is a deliberate contrast to the Elves who are artists. But B. does not want to make, alter, devise, or control anything: just to observe and take joy in the contemplating the things that are not himself. The spirit of the [deleted: world > this earth] made aware of itself. He is more like science (utterly free from technological blemish) and history than art. He represents the complete fearlessness of that spirit when we can catch a little of it. But I do suggest that it is possible to fear (as I do) that the making artistic sub-creative spirit (of Men and Elves) is actually more potent, and can ‘fall’, and that it could in the eventual triumph of its own evil destroy the whole earth, and Bombadil and all.[1]

See also

References

  1. Paul Tankard, "Tom Bombadil Addenda & Corrigenda", Wayne and Chrtina Scull Blog (accessed 31 December 2014)