The Notion Club Papers Part Two

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Sauron Defeated chapters
Part One: The End of the Third Age
  1. The Story of Frodo and Sam in Mordor
  2. The Tower of Kirith Ungol
  3. The Land of Shadow
  4. Mount Doom
  5. The Field of Kormallen
  6. The Steward and the King
  7. Many Partings
  8. Homeward Bound
  9. The Scouring of the Shire
  10. The Grey Havens
  11. The Epilogue
Part Two: The Notion Club Papers
Part Three: The Drowning of Anadûnê
  1. The third version of The Fall of Númenor
  2. The original text of The Drowning of Anadûnê
  3. The second text of The Drowning of Anadûnê
  4. The final form of The Drowning of Anadûnê
  5. The theory of the work
  6. Lowdham's Report on the Adunaic Language

The Notion Club Papers Part Two is a chapter included in Sauron Defeated, being the second part of The Notion Club Papers.

J.R.R. Tolkien divided the Papers into two parts at some point of its composition, but ultimately he rejected this division and removed the headings of each part; however, Christopher Tolkien kept that division for editorial reasons.[1] The heading of Part Two was as written in a separated title-page of Manuscript E:[2]

"Leaves from the Notion Club Papers
[Part] II
The Strange Case of Arundel Lowdham"

Synopsis

Night 62
6 March 1987
Only half torn page is left from the entry of this night. Apparently the Club discussed more of Michael Ramer's adventures.
Night 63
13 March 1987
Only the last page is left from the entry of this night. They talked about legendary travels. Afterwards, Ramer, Arundel Lowdham, and Nicholas Guildford walked together in the streets of Oxford and reached the Radcliffe Camera, illuminated by the moonlight and with a cloud nearby that looked like it emerged from the dome. Seeing this, Lowdham turned pale and cursed someone unconsciously. Ramer and Guildford parted ways with him, and commented on how weird Lowdham was acting lately.
Night 64
27 March 1987
There was only one quiet meeting during the Holy Week holidays, which was held in Guildford's rooms. Neither Ramer nor Lowdham attended, and Guildford read an essay on ancient Jutland.
Night 65
8 May 1987
The meeting was hold in Philip Frankley's rooms in Queen's. All main members attended, and they wished Ramer to talk more, but he did not seem to. During the next hour, conversation hopped about and Lowdham was quite restless. Then the conversation, led by Lowdham and Frankley, turned to neologisms. Frankley explained that neologisms introduced by younger generations were an impoverishment to actual language, while Lowdham thought that languages and their sounds always evolved. While defending Frankley's right to choose how to talk, Lowdham also insisted that people had always been choosing collectively, which aroused a comment by Ramer: "You talk almost as if you'd seen or heard Language since its beginning...". Lowdham denied it, but said "Only since..." before breaking off the conversation and going to the window. The night sky was full of clouds and stars.
The other members derived the conversation to the matter of myths' origins. Wilfrid Jeremy explained myths were not mere inventions, but they had their roots in the human Being and its history: even if idealized, the showed something true about the Past, and even real details about the lands and individual men. Frankley doubt about tales being true as commonly thought, and Ramer pointed out anything in the past, even what happened the day before, is always recounted. But unlike mere fiction, great myths and legends had a depth that could move the minds of entire peoples. Guildford asked then what would be found if one could see back to the past using Ramer's system of dream-travelling. "If you were seeking the story that has most power and significance for human minds, then probably that's is the version that you'ld find" answered Ramer, to which other members added that whatever findings could be made that way, they would be fragmentary, although vivid.
Then Lowdham murmured that some stories can come to life on their own, unlike Norman Keeps' simplist vision of the Dark Ages. Angry, he cursed Zigūr, and everyone remained silent, confused. Lowdham was unable to explained this name, and then ran to the window speaking in an unknown language, opened it and cried out loud: "Behold the Eagles of the Lords of the West! They are coming over Nūmenōr!". Outside, a great cloud was covering the stars in the West, resembling two great wings. Suddenly, Lowdham closed the window and the courtains, and sat in a chair.
Ramer broke the silence, asking about the name of Nūmenōr, but Lowdham answered this name was coming to him, but had no idea about it. Then Ramer said that Nūmenōr was his name for Atlantis. Jeremy also stated he recognized that name from something he could not remember. Therefore they all three agreed to explore this matter using Ramer's memory method. Lowdham closed the meeting, stating he was "fightfully tired".

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Sauron Defeated, "Part Two: The Notion Club Papers: Introduction", p. 146
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Sauron Defeated, "Part Two: The Notion Club Papers Part Two", p. 282, note 1. Cf. also p. 153, note 2