You asked for a brief sketch of my stuff that is connected with my imaginary world. It is difficult to say anything without saying too much… (xi)
One of the main goals of this site is to help others develop an appreciation forThe Silmarillion, an exceedingly tough read. As I’ve said before, I tried several times to start it and, on my best attempt, made it only a little bit into Quenta Silmarillion. I really had to muscle through the first time I did finish it, but on subsequent readings, it has unfolded with ever greater beauty.
“I know exactly what you mean by the order of Grace; and of course by your references to Our Lady, upon which all my own small perception of beauty both in majesty and simplicity is founded.” (172)
In a 1953 letter to Father Robert Murray, Tolkien admitted that “The Lord of the Rings is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work; unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision” (172). Tolkien meant that “the religious element was absorbed in the story and the symbolism” (172). While the story contains no explicit reference to Catholicism or Christianity, it is nevertheless heavily infused with them. It is true that Tolkien abhorred allegory and preferred to write stories without heavy and direct symbolism. Nevertheless, on this Feast of the Annunciation, it is worth noting one very clear and quite intentional reference to Tolkien’s faith at the heart of The Lord of the Rings.
He could not get rid of his kind heart. ‘I wish I was more strong- minded’ he sometimes said to himself, meaning that he wished other people’s troubles did not make him feel uncomfortable. But for a long time he was not seriously perturbed. ‘At any rate, I shall get this one picture done, my real picture, before I have to go on that wretched journey,’ he used to say. Yet he was beginning to see that he could not put off his start indefinitely. The picture would have to stop just growing and get finished. (257)
[“Leaf By Niggle”] arose from my own pre-occupation with The Lord of the Rings, the knowledge that it would be finished in great detail or not at all, and the fear (near certainty) that it would be ‘not at all.’ (257)
Sometimes it’s necessary to come back to the most basic of all questions: Why? For the last few weeks, I have been wrestling with the question of why I started this website and, like Lúthien before “the inexorable Mandos”, wondering to what end it is doomed. I know I’m not simply creating a Tolkien fansite, but what then am I creating?