A very productive argument

This Slate article isn’t the best I’ve ever read, but if you’re a Tolkien fan – or a C.S. Lewis fan – you might enjoy it. The author, Stephen Hart, argues that both Tolkien’s and Lewis’ careers were set in motion by an all-night argument they had in 1931.

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5 Responses to A very productive argument

  1. 1
    --k. says:

    Psst. Salon.

  2. Numenor (where Aragorn’s ancestors hailed from, after a fashion) was invented (largely) midway through the writing of The Lord of the Rings via a curious juncture: Tolkien was having nightmares of drowning (the eventual Atlantean fate of Numenor); and he had a deal with C. S. Lewis where each would write a time-travel story. Tolkien’s story never reached fruition, though what there is of it is available in The History of Middle-Earth volume… five, I think. The much expanded history of the First Men rather grew in the telling of this aborted story, and naturally this had an embellishing effect on Aragorn’s growing importance in The Lord of the Rings.

    Uh… not being a C. S. Lewis fan, I can’t rightly remember which story became his time-travel story. It was a famous one, though.

  3. 5
    Simon says:

    The way Tolkien told it, he was to write the time-travel story (The Lost Road, in the volume of “The History of Middle-earth” of the same name, vol. 5), and Lewis was to write a space-travel story, which was Out of the Silent Planet. This is all explained in the article itself, which is glib and oversimplified, but aside from some weird glitches (John Ransom?) seems free of major inaccuracies. Which is saying a lot, these days.