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Old 06-09-2018, 03:27 AM   #26
Legate of Amon Lanc
A Voice That Gainsayeth
 
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Join Date: Nov 2006
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Legate of Amon Lanc has passed beneath the Argonath.Legate of Amon Lanc has passed beneath the Argonath.Legate of Amon Lanc has passed beneath the Argonath.Legate of Amon Lanc has passed beneath the Argonath.Legate of Amon Lanc has passed beneath the Argonath.Legate of Amon Lanc has passed beneath the Argonath.
Nice discoveries there, hS. I think the first quote looks like Tolkien is talking about what would the public and the critics accept from a "good writer" at that time. The same way writing free-form verse would be considered awkward at certain time, or using outdated words would seem strange.

Why "scientific" is in quotation marks in the second one is hard to tell. But we should bear in mind that the first half of 20th century was also ripe with all kinds of new theories that may have seemed crazy, and also "esoteric pseudo-science" had been popular since earlier on. He may be refering to anything or nothing in particular.

The third quote at least seems to quite clearly indicate, whatever Tolkien's view of Earth's beginning was, it was not a literal copy-paste of Genesis. "A time of fire and cataclysm" does not sound like anything from the harmonious picture painted there, and to me it also sounds like simplified, average person's way of talking about the formation of primal Earth according to the latest theories in geology/astronomy of his time.

P. S. And I second the request for quotes about the Inklings - that's exactly the kind of stuff that might be interesting and good to have quoted here, if it can be found.
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"But it is not your own Shire," said Gildor. "Others dwelt here before hobbits were; and others will dwell here again when hobbits are no more. The wide world is all about you: you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot for ever fence it out."
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