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The Notion Club Papers

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'''''The Notion Club Papers''''' is the title of an abandoned novel by [[J.R.R. Tolkien]], written during 1945 and published posthumously in ''[[Sauron Defeated]]'', the 9th volume of ''[[The History of Middle-earth]]''. It is a space/time/dream travel story, written at the same time as ''[[The Lord of the Rings]]'' was being developed. The story itself involves the minutes of the meetings of an arts discussion club at [[Oxford]], a fictionalization of (and a pun on) Tolkien's own Club, [[The Inklings]].
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'''''The Notion Club Papers''''' is the title of an abandoned novel by [[J.R.R. Tolkien]], written during [[1945]] and published posthumously in ''[[Sauron Defeated]]'', the 9th volume of ''[[The History of Middle-earth]]''. It is a space/time/dream travel story, written at the same time as ''[[The Lord of the Rings]]'' was being developed.  
During these meetings, Alwin Arundel Lowdham discusses his lucid dreams about [[Númenor]]; through these dreams, he "discovers" much about the Númenor story and the languages of Middle-earth (notably [[Quenya]], [[Sindarin]], and [[Adûnaic]] — the last very interesting since it is the sole source of most of the material on this language). While not finished, at the end of the given story it becomes clear Lowdham himself is a reincarnation of sorts of [[Elendil]]. (''Alwin'' is a modernisation of the name ''[[Ælfwine]]'', Old English for Elf-friend, or ''Elendil'' in Quenya.)  Other members of the Club also mention their vivid dreams of other times and places.  
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==Story==
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The story itself involves the minutes of the meetings of an arts discussion club at [[Oxford]], a fictionalization of (and a pun on) Tolkien's own Club, [[Inklings|The Inklings]]. During these meetings, [[Alwin Arundel Lowdham]] discusses his lucid dreams about "[[Atlantis]]"; through these dreams, he "discovers" much about the [[Númenor]] story and the languages of the [[Elder Days]] (notably [[Quenya]], [[Sindarin]], and [[Adûnaic]] — the last very interesting since it is the sole source of most of the material on this language). While not finished, at the end of the given story it becomes clear Lowdham himself is a reincarnation of sorts of [[Elendil]]. (''Alwin'' is a modernisation of the name ''[[Ælfwine]]'', Old English for Elf-friend, or ''Elendil'' in Quenya.)  Other members of the Club also mention their vivid dreams of other times and places.  
  
 
Tolkien not only created fictional meetings for these papers; he also created a fictional history for the manuscript of the papers. According to the papers, the meetings occurred in the 1980s; they even mention events that occurred in the 1970s and 1980s. About one-fourth of the papers were found among sacks of waste paper in 2012 at Oxford by a Mr. Green. Mr. Green published a first edition containing excerpts from these papers, indicating that they were written during the 1980s by one of the participants. Two scholars read the first edition, asked to examine the manuscripts, and then submitted a full report. The "Notes to the Second Edition" mentions the contradictory evidence in dating the manuscripts, and an alternative date is presented: they may have been written in the 1940s.
 
Tolkien not only created fictional meetings for these papers; he also created a fictional history for the manuscript of the papers. According to the papers, the meetings occurred in the 1980s; they even mention events that occurred in the 1970s and 1980s. About one-fourth of the papers were found among sacks of waste paper in 2012 at Oxford by a Mr. Green. Mr. Green published a first edition containing excerpts from these papers, indicating that they were written during the 1980s by one of the participants. Two scholars read the first edition, asked to examine the manuscripts, and then submitted a full report. The "Notes to the Second Edition" mentions the contradictory evidence in dating the manuscripts, and an alternative date is presented: they may have been written in the 1940s.
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==Commentary==
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These papers remind one of [[C.S. Lewis]]' commentary to Tolkien's poem ''[[Lay of Leithian]]'', in which Lewis created a fictional history of scholarship of the poem and even referred to other manuscript tradition to recommend changes to the poem.
  
These papers remind one of [[C.S. Lewis]]' commentary to Tolkien's poem ''[[The Lay of Leithian]]'', in which Lewis created a fictional history of scholarship of the poem and even referred to other manuscript tradition to recommend changes to the poem.
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''The Notion Club Papers'' may be seen as an attempt to re-write ''[[The Lost Road]]'', published and discussed in ''[[The Lost Road and Other Writings]]'', as being another attempt to tie the Númenórean legend in with a more modern tale.  There is, however, no direct connection between the modern settings of the two stories within the fictional frame.
  
''The Notion Club Papers'' may be seen as an attempt to re-write ''[[The Lost Road]]'', published and discussed in ''[[The Lost Road and Other Writings]]'', as being another attempt to tie the Númenórean legend in with a more modern tale.  There is, however, no direct connection between the modern settings of the two stories within the fictional frame.
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==Inspiration==
  
By an odd coincidence ''The Notion Club Papers'' mentions a great storm occurring during 1987 in England. In real life the Great Storm of 1987 occurred in October of that year.
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''The Notion Club Papers'' includes a mention of a "mechanical nightingale"; it has been suggested that this is a reference to [[Wikipedia:Hans Christian Andersen|Hans Christian Andersen]]'s story "[http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/nightingale/index.html The Nightingale]". Andersen was inspired to write the story after having been infatuated with the singer [[Wikipedia:Jenny Lind|Jenny Lind]] (often called "the Swedish Nightingale").<ref>{{webcite|author='Talelmarhazad' |articleurl=http://greyhavensgroup.wordpress.com/2012/05/21/tolkiens-mechanical-nightingale/|articlename=Tolkien’s Mechanical Nightingale|dated=21 May 2012|website=[http://greyhavensgroup.wordpress.com/ The Grey Havens Group]|accessed=21 May 2012}}</ref>
  
[[Category:Books]]
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==Trivia==
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By an odd coincidence ''The Notion Club Papers'' mentions a great storm occurring during 1987 in England. In real life the [[Wikipedia:Great Storm of 1987|Great Storm of 1987]] occurred in October of that year.
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{{References}}
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[[Category:Manuscripts by J.R.R. Tolkien|Notion Club Papers]]
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[[Category:Sauron Defeated chapters|Notion Club Papers]]
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[[Category:The Notion Club Papers| ]]

Latest revision as of 21:44, 21 May 2012

"I shan't call it the end, till we've cleared up the mess." — Sam
This article or section needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of article quality.

The Notion Club Papers is the title of an abandoned novel by J.R.R. Tolkien, written during 1945 and published posthumously in Sauron Defeated, the 9th volume of The History of Middle-earth. It is a space/time/dream travel story, written at the same time as The Lord of the Rings was being developed.

Contents

[edit] Story

The story itself involves the minutes of the meetings of an arts discussion club at Oxford, a fictionalization of (and a pun on) Tolkien's own Club, The Inklings. During these meetings, Alwin Arundel Lowdham discusses his lucid dreams about "Atlantis"; through these dreams, he "discovers" much about the Númenor story and the languages of the Elder Days (notably Quenya, Sindarin, and Adûnaic — the last very interesting since it is the sole source of most of the material on this language). While not finished, at the end of the given story it becomes clear Lowdham himself is a reincarnation of sorts of Elendil. (Alwin is a modernisation of the name Ælfwine, Old English for Elf-friend, or Elendil in Quenya.) Other members of the Club also mention their vivid dreams of other times and places.

Tolkien not only created fictional meetings for these papers; he also created a fictional history for the manuscript of the papers. According to the papers, the meetings occurred in the 1980s; they even mention events that occurred in the 1970s and 1980s. About one-fourth of the papers were found among sacks of waste paper in 2012 at Oxford by a Mr. Green. Mr. Green published a first edition containing excerpts from these papers, indicating that they were written during the 1980s by one of the participants. Two scholars read the first edition, asked to examine the manuscripts, and then submitted a full report. The "Notes to the Second Edition" mentions the contradictory evidence in dating the manuscripts, and an alternative date is presented: they may have been written in the 1940s.

[edit] Commentary

These papers remind one of C.S. Lewis' commentary to Tolkien's poem Lay of Leithian, in which Lewis created a fictional history of scholarship of the poem and even referred to other manuscript tradition to recommend changes to the poem.

The Notion Club Papers may be seen as an attempt to re-write The Lost Road, published and discussed in The Lost Road and Other Writings, as being another attempt to tie the Númenórean legend in with a more modern tale. There is, however, no direct connection between the modern settings of the two stories within the fictional frame.

[edit] Inspiration

The Notion Club Papers includes a mention of a "mechanical nightingale"; it has been suggested that this is a reference to Hans Christian Andersen's story "The Nightingale". Andersen was inspired to write the story after having been infatuated with the singer Jenny Lind (often called "the Swedish Nightingale").[1]

[edit] Trivia

By an odd coincidence The Notion Club Papers mentions a great storm occurring during 1987 in England. In real life the Great Storm of 1987 occurred in October of that year.

[edit] References

  1. 'Talelmarhazad', "Tolkien’s Mechanical Nightingale" dated 21 May 2012, The Grey Havens Group (accessed 21 May 2012)