Comment on And What Happened After

  1. Okay, a: this series of comments made my day, and b: now I'm going to enthuse over all the stylistic underpinnings of this work, so prepare yourself!

    This was the first long fiction I'd written in - I don't know how long, and certainly the first Tolkien fiction I'd ever written. I was on a bit of medieval literature kick, partly because of fandom itself and its collaborative storytelling, and partly because its influence on Tolkien (if you haven't read it, the chapter "The Longaevi" in 'The Discarded Image' has some fascinating parallels to the way the Elves are in Middle-Earth). So "And What Happened After", more than the other stories I've written, shows the rawest influence of everything else I've read (so raw, indeed, that a more modern sensibility might say 'stole the line' where I maintain that it's quotation by way of tribute...)

    But you are most certainly not wrong in picking up the liturgical overtones! There are a good half-dozen Book of Common Prayer references in here. "All sorts and conditions" in the Halls, "your cry has come before me" from Manwe. Bilbo's nervous "to whom every thought is open, all knowledge clear, and before whom no desire can be concealed" is perhaps too blatant a riff on the lines from "The Cloud of Unknowing" via the Collect for Purity.

    There are of course a whole bookshelf's worth of other references - the "memory of light" is a Fallen London nod, the "places of the mind and heart" is from a Delmore Schwartz poem, "distant and terrible fire" from the Raj Quartet, "when you see it in the face of another" from the Seven Citadels series.

    And then both Bilbo and Gandalf - coming from very different perspectives - converse very freely in the vernacular despite the web of linguistic references that enmeshes them - commenting on and, in their way, criticizing the words that both give them and the world reality, and do not suffice to make the connection that needs to be made between the Power and the people of Arda.

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    1. Ah, Book of Common Prayer is Anglican, right? That'd explain why I didn't catch some of them.

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    2. I perked up when you mentioned fallen london, do you have an account?

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      1. Yes I do, though I haven't played for ages! I should get back into it; I miss it! I'm Lady Eleonora

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        1. I just sent you a Calling Card (I think)! I couldn't find Lady Eleonora but I found an account named just Eleonora.

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