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The Company They Keep

| Filed under: Audiobooks, Award Winners, Literature & Literary Criticism, Tolkien, Lewis, and Inkling Studies
Glyer Book Cover

This important study challenges the standard interpretation that Lewis, Tolkien, Charles Williams, Owen Barfield, and the other Inklings had little influence on one another’s work, drawing on the latest research in composition studies and the sociology of the creative process. Diana Glyer invites readers into the heart of the group, examining diary entries and personal letters and carefully comparing the rough drafts of their manuscripts with their final, published work.

 


Interrupted Music

| Filed under: Literature & Literary Criticism, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Tolkien, Lewis, and Inkling Studies
Music Book Cover

In Interrupted Music Flieger attempts to illuminate the structure of Tolkien’s work, allowing the reader to appreciate its broad, overarching design and its careful, painstaking construction. She endeavors to “follow the music from its beginning as an idea in Tolkien’s mind through to his final but never-implemented mechanism for realizing that idea, for bringing the voices of his story to the reading public.” In addition, Flieger reviews attempts at mythmaking in the history of English literature by Spenser, Milton, and Blake as well as by Joyce and Yeats. She reflects on the important differences between Tolkien and his predecessors and even more between Tolkien and his contemporaries.

 


Splintered Light

| Filed under: Literature & Literary Criticism, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Tolkien, Lewis, and Inkling Studies
Light Book Cover

Verlyn Flieger’s expanded and updated edition of Splintered Light, a classic study of Tolkien’s fiction first published in 1983, examines The Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings in light of Owen Barfield’s linguistic theory of the fragmentation of meaning. Flieger demonstrates Tolkien’s use of Barfield’s concept throughout his fiction, showing how his central image of primary light splintered and refracted acts as a metaphor for the languages, peoples, and history of Middle-earth.

 


A Question of Time

| Filed under: Literature & Literary Criticism, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Tolkien, Lewis, and Inkling Studies
Question Book Cover

Tolkien’s concern with time—past and present, real and “faerie”—captures the wonder and peril of travel into other worlds, other times, other modes of consciousness. Reading his work, we “fall wide asleep” into a dream more real than ordinary waking experience, and emerge with a new perception of the waking world. Flieger explores Tolkien’s use of dream as time-travel in his unfinished stories The Lost Road and The Notion Club Papers as well as in The Lord of the Rings and his shorter fiction and poetry.

 


Charles Williams

| Filed under: Literature & Literary Criticism, Tolkien, Lewis, and Inkling Studies
Ashenden Book Cover

In Charles Williams: Alchemy and Integration, Gavin Ashenden explores both the history behind the myths and metaphysics Williams was to make his own and the hermetic culture that influenced him. He examines and interprets its expressions in Williams’s novels, poetry, and the development of his ideas and relates these elements to Williams’s unpublished letters to his platonic lover, Celia, written toward the end of his life. Since one of the foremost ideas in Williams’s work is the interdependence or coinherence of both our humanity and the creation, understanding the extent to which he lived and achieved this in his own life is important. Williams’s private correspondence with Celia is of particular interest both for its own sake, since it was previously unknown, and for the insight it offers into his personality and muse.

 


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