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Old 07-23-2002, 03:05 AM   #4
Estelyn Telcontar
Princess of Skwerlz
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: where the Sea is eastwards (WtR: 6060 miles)
Posts: 7,533
Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.

I just found the word "eucatastrophe" in Shippey's J.R.R. Tolkien, Author of the Century! He uses it to describe the ending of Leaf by Niggleand in doing so (since that story is strongly autobiographical), Tolkien's own life. When Niggle dies, the real world forgets him, a tragedy. But the world after death turns to eucatastrophe:
Niggle's reward is to find his picture come true at the end of his journey, his 'sub-creation' accepted by the Creator, there in full detail and 'finished' but (exactly the opposite of what happens in the world he has left) not 'finished with', in the sense that there is still enormous scope for development.
What a wonderful parallel to Tolkien's own works, not all finished and certainly not finished with, an inspiration to so many for so many years! This is the eucatastrophe I would wish for in my own life, to be able to look back and see that, no matter how dissatisfied I was with what I've done, something good came of it. One of my favorite Bible verses touches this: "All things work together for good... (Romans 8:28) Thank God the eucatastrophe is not something that is within my power or responsibility!!
'Mercy!' cried Gandalf. 'If the giving of information is to be the cure of your inquisitiveness, I shall spend all the rest of my days in answering you. What more do you want to know?' 'The whole history of Middle-earth...'
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