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Old 07-26-2021, 04:36 AM   #23
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: The Edge of Faerie
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Originally Posted by Guinevere View Post
As I have a copy of the extended edition of Smith of Wooton Major(edited by Verlyn Flieger) I can tell you that it was Tolkien himself who suggested this, in a note to Clyde Kilby, 1967. ("Genesis of the story")

In the extended edition, there is a lengthy essay with notes to the story, by Tolkien himself. I am going to read that again and see if I find something more noteworthy...
It all comes back now. Thanks, Guinevere, for that.

Originally Posted by Legate
But my main beef is with the Smith himself and I would have expected Tolkien to show perhaps a little more, hmmm, empathy, in the sense that: it is awfully unempathetic of the Smith to just go adventuring and leave the family behind.
This story seems autobiographical even if Tolkien would gainsay it. Could it be that Tolkien was partially blind to the 'leaving behind' of his wife and his children? On the other hand, Christopher was deeply involved with Tolkien's creative process, so what of that? Did Ned inherit his father's business? It would be a surprise if he didn't. But that's different from being bequeathed the Star, as Formendacil points out.

But what you have been saying got me to thinking as I began to doze off last night, what if Smith's and Nokes' characters were switched out? What if it had been a Nokes who ate the Star in the cake, and kept the coin instead of giving it to Nell, and then got into all kinds of mischief in Faery? And what if Smith had been Master Cook instead? It would be a different story, and I wonder how much to Tolkien's point?
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