Letter 180 Faramir 1955

Discussion of the multitude of different ideas expressed by Tolkien in his published letters
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Letter 180 Faramir 1955

Post by ArathornJax »

Letter 180 is to Mr. Thompson and is a draft. In the letter Tolkien describes the writing process he went through as he wrote the Lord of the Rings. He begins by introducing the notion that legends depend on the languages to which they belong, but also, "a living language depends equally on the 'legends' which it conveys by tradition." Thus his notion of language was tied directly to the development of the legends that later came to form The Silmarillion.

I find his quote that "I have long ceased to invent . . . I wait till I seem to know what really happened. Or till it writes itself. He then shows how he knew Frodo would have a tree-adventure somewhere along the great river, but that he never invented Ents so to speak. When he came to that point of the story, he wrote "the Treebeard chapter" as it is now. without any recollection of any previous thought. Much different than how many writers are taught to write today in formal education; something we should all be grateful for and take notice of.

Tolkien further states that good did come out of The Silmarillion being rejected, "The Lord of the Rings was the result." I love his comments on hobbits, that he loves them , "since I love the vulgar and simple as dearly as the noble, and nothing moves my heart (beyond all the passions and heartbreaks of the world) so much as 'ennoblement (from the Ugly Ducking to Frodo)."

I love the noble that is in the Lord of the Rings, yet I think the theme of ennoblement is also one very dear to my heart. What is it with this book(s), that draw so many to them at such a passionate level?

Finally, of all the characters in The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien as most of us know, states "As far as any character is 'like me' it is Faramir." How do you think Faramir is like Tolkien? Based on Letter 180, if Tolkien was to get to know you, what character do you think he would say you are like? I'll share my own views later on this.
The world is indeed full of peril, and in it, there are many dark places; but still, there is much that is fair, and though in all lands, love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.
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