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Old 07-25-2021, 08:28 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Bęthberry
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?
Originally Posted by Formendacil View Post
... 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.
I agree with Formendacil about Smith alone having access to Faerie, but I quibble over the word 'private.' Smith didn't have a private privilege or right to Faerie any more than any other citizen of Wootton, even old Nokes. His privilege came by means of the Star.

Hence, what is the Star? It has to be more than symbol. It seems to function like a key, but not only. Without the Star, Smith has no right or access to Faerie. It gives Smith entry and some protection. The Star comes from Faerie. How did Smith get it? It was a gift. Smith is bequeathed the privilege, by no right or skill or characteristic of his own. Who is the giver? Both Alf and the Queen of Faerie, as far as can be told.

Why make such a gift? Do the King and Queen of Faerie care to gift humanity with a taste of the riches of Faerie? Apparently, and why not? We need beauty, and they seem to know it. But with beauty comes heartache, and so the Star comes with a price.

Back to Bethberry's question. I think that some kind of entrace to Faerie is not necessarily singular, one at a time, and not private, but it is a privilege, and the "Star" given to one person may be something other than a star, and that person alone will know it for what it is. I'm speaking more in general as to my experience as a reader and experiencer of Tolkien's gift of a glimpse of Faerie to us all. Our experience feels to be at least at one remove compared to Smith, and maybe more.
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