A Question of Time

From Tolkien Gateway
A Question of Time:
J.R.R. Tolkien's Road to Faërie
A Question of Time 1997.jpg
AuthorVerlyn Flieger
PublisherKent State University Press
ReleasedSeptember 1997
FormatHardcover; paperback
Pages286
ISBN0873385748

A Question of Time: J.R.R. Tolkien's Road to Faërie is a scholarly book by Verlyn Flieger, first published in 1997. This book explores the theme of "Time" and "Time-travel" in J.R.R. Tolkien's writings.

This book contains several texts by Tolkien:

  • Passages from a draft note to On Fairy-stories.
  • Passages from Tolkien's unfinished essay Elvish time.
  • Extensive quotes from a previously unpublished essay concerning Smith of Wootton Major.
  • Reproductions of two manuscript pages from the drafts for the Lothlórien chapters in The Fellowship of the Ring.

The book won the 1998 Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Inklings Studies.

Contents[edit]

  • Introduction
  • 1. Between Worlds and Times
  • 2. Remembrance That Never Dies
  • 3. Strange Powers of the Mind
  • 4. Over a Bridge of Time
  • 5. Where the Dream-fish Go
  • 6. Travelers Between the Worlds
  • 7. Further Off Than Sussex
  • 8. Frodo's Dreams
  • 9. Falling Asleep Again
  • 10. A Dream of Light and Dark
  • 11. Pitfalls in Faërie
  • Epilogue: His Gift of Glee

From the publisher[edit]

J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion have long been recognized as among the most popular fiction of the twentieth century, and most critical analysis of Tolkien has centered on these novels. Granted access by the Tolkien Estate and the Bodleian Library in Oxford to Tolkien's unpublished writings, Verlyn Flieger uses them here to shed new light on his betterknown works, revealing a new dimension of his fictive vision and giving added depth of meaning to his writing.

Tolkien's concern with time—past and present, real and "faerie" — captures the wonder and peril of travel into other worlds, other times, other modes of consciousness. Reading his work, we "fall wide asleep" into a dream more real than ordinary waking experience and emerge with a new perception of the waking world. Flieger explores Tolkien's use of dream as time-travel in his unfinished stories "The Lost Road" and "The Notion Club Papers" as well as in The Lord of the Rings and his shorter fiction and poetry.

Analyzing Tolkien's treatment of time and time-travel, Flieger shows that he was not just a myth-maker and writer of escapist fantasy but a man whose relationship to his own century was troubled and critical. He achieved in his fiction a double perspective of time that enabled him to see in the mirror of the past the clouded reflection of the present.

Publication history and gallery[edit]

1997 harcover  
2001 paperback  

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


A J.R.R. Tolkien book guide
Books by Tolkien or based on his writings
Of Arda Authorized by
J.R.R. Tolkien
The Hobbit · The Lord of the Rings
(i.The Fellowship of the Ring · ii.The Two Towers · iii.The Return of the King) ·
The Road Goes Ever On · Bilbo's Last Song
Edited by Christopher Tolkien The Silmarillion · Unfinished Tales · The History of Middle-earth series
(i.The Book of Lost Tales: Part One · ii.The Book of Lost Tales: Part Two · iii.The Lays of Beleriand ·
iv.The Shaping of Middle-earth · v.The Lost Road and Other Writings · vi.The Return of the Shadow ·
vii.The Treason of Isengard · viii.The War of the Ring · ix.Sauron Defeated · x.Morgoth's Ring ·
xi.The War of the Jewels · xii.The Peoples of Middle-earth · Index) ·
The Children of Húrin · Beren and Lúthien · The Fall of Gondolin
Edited by others The Annotated Hobbit · The History of The Hobbit · The Nature of Middle-earth · The Fall of Númenor
Not of Arda Short stories
and poems
Leaf by Niggle · Farmer Giles of Ham · Smith of Wootton Major · The Adventures of Tom Bombadil ·
Letters from Father Christmas · Mr. Bliss · Roverandom ·
Tree and Leaf (compilation) · Tales from the Perilous Realm (compilation)
Fictions The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún · The Fall of Arthur · The Story of Kullervo · The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun
Translations and academic works Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, and Sir Orfeo · Finn and Hengest: The Fragment and the Episode ·
Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary · The Monsters and the Critics, and Other Essays ·
Tolkien On Fairy-stories · A Secret Vice: Tolkien on Invented Languages
Other The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
Books by other authors
Reference book The Complete Guide to Middle-earth
Scholarly books containing Tolkien's writings J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography · The Inklings · The Road to Middle-earth ·
A Question of Time · Tolkien and the Great War ·
The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion · The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide
Scholarly journal containing Tolkien's writings Tolkien Studies various issues
Other published works by Tolkien
Linguistic journals Vinyar Tengwar issues 1-50 · Parma Eldalamberon issues 1-22
Collections of artwork
and manuscripts
Pictures by J.R.R. Tolkien · Tolkien: Life and Legend · J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator ·
The Art of The Hobbit · The Art of The Lord of the Rings · Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth ·
Tolkien: Treasures · J.R.R. Tolkien: The Art of the Manuscript
This list only includes the major published works, for the full bibliography of Tolkien, see here or here