Sunday 25 December 2011

The year's work in Inkling's/ Notion Club studies


2011 was certainly a 'breakthrough' year for me in relation to the project of this blog - meditating on the Notion Club Papers as a focus for engaging with the Inklings and their distinctive teaching for my time and place.

And it is fitting that I should finish this year by re-reading Verlyn Flieger's valedictory book Interrupted Music of 2005.

Anyone who finds this blog interesting really must read Flieger's book - it is an outstanding piece of work, and in many respects this blog is merely an extrapolation of her insights.


(Although mine are, mostly, extrapolations that VF would regard as inappropriate; or at the least excessively speculative. Indeed she has implied as much in some e-mails! Furthermore, Flieger often distances herself from Tolkien's reactionary perspective; whereas I regard this as one of the most important things which Tolkien has to teach us. I have come to regard JRRT as not 'merely' my favourite writer of fiction, which he already was for more than thirty years; but as something akin to a Holy Elder - a 'spiritual adviser'.)



Troels said...

I will certainly add my voice to the choir praising Verlyn Flieger's work (and I would add Splintered Light to the must-read list).

As you know I find your work interesting and thought-provoking in the good sense, even where I do not agree and cannot go the whole nine yards with you. Speculative extrapolation is quite common in the Tolkien fan community, where the limits for applicability is often not what Tolkien actually did say, but what he did not outright reject.

I have enjoyed the journey in 2011 and I look forward to following your musings in 2012, and I wish you a very happy new year (and a belated merry Christmas).

With warm regards,

Bruce Charlton said...

@Troels - thanks for your comment, and for noticing this blog in your monthly round-ups. Indeed, I think you are one of only about three regular commenters! But that is enough for me.

I hope I do not speculate according to what JRRT did-not-reject - my hope is (by immersion in his life and works) to try and understand him from the inside, and extrapolate his way of thinking to areas which he did not explicitly cover - a process mainly intended for my own spiritual benefit; and therefore I am deliberately going beyond the rules and restrictions of Literary Criticism (of which I am aware, having a Masters degree from Durham University in the subject, and a few conventional publications in that area).

Wurmbrand said...

I have a copy and I see from what you say that I had better read it! Thanks for the nudge.

Wurmbrand said...

I did read Interrupted Music. Very good book: Flieger's reconstruction of Tolkien's creative efforts seems highly probable, and I will remember her linking Tolkien's legendarium with Heorrenda, the conjectural author of Beowulf, and with the St. Brendan voyage legends etc.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Dale - I knew you'd like it. And, after time for digestion, it repays second and third readings (as do most of Flieger's Tolkien books).