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Old 08-19-2002, 02:47 PM   #32
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Join Date: Jan 2002
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Helen, I think what Kuruharan was getting at, with which I agree, is that for all the best reasons, you have (imho) misapplied the word "eucatastrophe", and you mean instead, "wonder". Especially since you are most concerned with your own reaction to the 'pointers' to the so-called primary eucatastrophe. I am convinced that Tolkien meant 'eucatastrophe' to be a unique event in a story. It is THE sudden turn, a miraculous grace unlooked for, that proves that in the end, Life will conquer Death. The single poignant eucatastrophe in LotR is that the Ring, against all odds, against all wisdom, against all likelihood, finally was cast into the Crack of Doom. The JOY on the Fields of Cormallen give evidence to this. There were many repercussions to this single eucatastrophe, and they are more evidences of the evangelium. The feeling of JOY that you experience, I venture to say, is the wonder of recovery about which Tolkien writes in On Faerie Stories, where he describes how fairy-stories function in terms of Escape, Recovery (of wonder), and Consolation. The evidences you describe of the wonder you experience in reading LotR are very real, of course. Please don't hear me denying that! My point is that the term 'eucastrophe' has a quite specific definition as created by Tolkien, as does the 'wonder' he describes.

You might want to check out other current threads that discuss very related themes: "Escape" and "The Wrong kind of Detais: the components of wonder".

With best regards, LMP - aka Paul the brooding bard
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