Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,
Nicholas
nwhyte

A Question of Time: J.R.R. Tolkien's Road to "Faerie", by Verlyn Flieger

I've had a long-standing project of always keeping a Tolkien-related book on my "to-read" stack, since starting on The Book of Lost Tales in 2010, but I think I've come to the end of it now (though I'll continue to keep an eye out for new material). This is another of Flieger's lucid explorations of Tolkien's thought, this time looking at his interpretation of Time, as evidenced both by the time distortions experienced by visitors to the fairy realm (be it the Fellowship in Lothlórien or Smith when he leaves Wootton Major) and by the prophetic dreams revealed to many of his characters, Frodo most of all. This is all tied in very nicely with the received wisdom of time-travel between the wars - I must admit I tend to think of it in terms of Wells and Doctor Who, vessels voyaging through the timelines, but there is also the tradition of Dunne and Priestley, which Tolkien was much more comfortable with and which reached its peak in his unpublished The Notion Club Papers. This book, slim as it is, will be a lot more comprehensible if you've already absorbed the huge volumes of the History of Middle Earth.
Tags: bookblog 2015, writer: tolkien
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