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Old 07-24-2021, 06:44 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Bęthberry View Post
One of the things I have been contemplating as I reread this, is why Fairie has to be limited to just one human with access at a time.

Why does only Smith have access to Fairie and not anyone else? His family knows of it but never joins him. Despite his friendships with the C.B.S. and the Inklings, did he feel that he alone had access to Fairie, no one else?
Given how Smith grew out a small story meant to illustrate something in Macdonald even as it was turning out Tolkien didn't think Macdonald had things right, and given how he quibbled over Lewis's fictions (the Williams influence on That Hideous Strength, all of Narnia), I don't think it'd be inaccurate to guess that Tolkien in the 1960s--long after the TCBS and even the Inklings--did think of faerie as something fundamentally private.

Even in the TCBS days (his greatest experience of literary like-mindedness), I think there's enough in the surviving letters to show that each of the lads had a different literary vision/desire. They were each transfixed by the others' and were privileged to been shared with them, but I think there's ample evidence in the letters that although there was a creative welter from their interactions, each of them who created still created alone--i.e. they were made for their friends and because of their friends, but nothing approaches being co-authored.

And, of course, that's BEFORE the TCBS gets halved and Tolkien goes into his post-war life (and the bulk of his literary career). As an autobiographical bit, I think entering faerie alone is well-supported.
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