Christopher Christopher, Christopher Tolkien, Christopher Economic discussed on The Catholic Culture Podcast
Mole Real Babylon Babylon which is an amazing way of looking at it. So in other words his father's imagination had entered into him and opened out there and and had helped build Christopher's mind from the very beginning so that that makes him that put him in a unique position. The as a potential collaborator which I think he was in certain ways Dow's executor and editor. Even in his in childhood. Christopher did play a sort of a role as a proofreader. In a sense right. Yeah so so. They listened to the hub it when it was being written and Christopher and it was begun in it was being read to the kids before the start of nineteen sixty so Christopher was was was very young at that point he was no older than six just turned six by this time and he would pick up on points that His father had missed the other day. You said the bill buys Dole was blue. Now it's green. I'm his father would cast boy. It's about the very grateful for these corrections and make sure he amended his story so that it was all consistent it was an interesting point. I think token senior was already pretty punctilious about these things but in in fact if you look at his output. It's in the early nineteen thirties that he starts to be very very careful about pinning things down so stoltze producing animals chronologies of events in middle earth and the early nineteen hundred. He's to make sure that everything is properly synchronized between these in a complex multi threaded stories that he's writing so you you might wonder whether in fact that was a reflection of Christopher's passion for detail and consistency but it's not just that it's also just the sheer love of his fault as imaginary veterinary world. So don't think that some with Christopher as sharp attention to detail and excellent would've had all the tools necessary for what he later did with his father works. I think it took an absolute passion full. They imaginative if project to allow him to work like that. Because you know the the history of Middle Earth with eighteen years of work eighteen years at sitting getting bashing away on his father's typewriter off days if he pulled it to look what's little with set about now. These books being published in the Press Oli found would have been indifference difference and sometimes just downright school and the. There's no flow of comments that have been made about scraping the bottom of the barrel publishing. Jarrow Jero Tokens shopping lists which is deeply unfair. What we have in the history of Middle Earth is I think a unique record of human creativity? There's nothing like the creative process. The GIRO token engaged. Engaged in. And there's nothing like what he produced the books Midler. And there's nothing like the scholarly study study of all of that which Christopher Tolkien has presented us with now Christopher as he got older continued to be involved with his his father's writings and and with his father's circle of literary friends the inklings with the inklings have been after world. War Two e-eh yeah. I think honestly if we're GONNA talk about collaboration we should go back to the very beginning of the Lord of the rings which was December nineteen. He said he seven. Because that's Christmas. Holiday from school was beginning of three years. He's off school for Christopher Economic. And this was. This was a crucial period. When he's his father's beginning is brittle masterpiece in fact and there is his son the child who's most interested in these things Christopher walls his prime audience at that time aside from CS Lewis? And it's clear from Jaro Tolkien's letters having them Abbas. An audience had an impact on what he was writing so in terms of saint. Louis I think that's the story of the wall. The Wall of three three hopes across the child probably owed little to awoke. That's Tolkien and Lewis. Another of the inklings taken the previous year in Somerset. But it's it's no of mine absolutely true that Christopher Tolkien's taste for Hobart talk encouraged his fault the to write an awful lot of Hobbit talk to the point where he had to deliberately stop himself because CS Lewis said too much. So when you say hobbit talk you mean like basically pointless by charming and humorous conversations between the hobbits. Well well you put it very harshly ostensibly pointless but there. There are many points being made in a second suspect way yet and then as a later point in this in the Second World War Wall where Christopher was in the Royal Air Force and he was sent by the ARA to train as a spitfire fought pilots in South Africa on his father and him they wrote to each other very regularly and his father. During during this period wrote book for Lord of the Rings Stoning Section. From where FRODO AND SAM set out for more door Orel narrow meet Golam reached the black gate of mortal meet far Amir encounter shield and the the quest appears is to have reached its final disaster ended up book he wrote about while his son was in South Africa and he sent it chapter by chapter out to South Africa for Christopher Christopher to read on Christopher said the he would come back from flying his plane. I go from read a chapter right and I understand that. It wasn't a passive situation. You can get a sense of this reading between the lines. uh-huh in the published letters of our toll. Christopher was sending his fault knowingly encouragement but also details critiques of what Hadrian his father was responding to them. I mean the the the known point of what she responded was not to change the name of Sam Ganji because token senior had decided the full Phila- logical reasons. That Ganji was not a good name. I hope it on he was GonNa Renamed Sam Goodchild Christopher had deep affection for the surnamed Ganci because Oh it went back to stories the his father told long before motoring this was around so it stock and then on a different level again I think he influenced his father at Tyne wind in his writing because his father was writing many letters of advice to him. Basically saying I understand. Hey a you I understand that what you'll going through is unpleasant. Onerous disturbing frightening but I two went through this in my wall and I learned from it and I survived. I came through and you will too to. I think it's clear. The DOT correspondence with Christopher took token senior back back to Rian Habit his own memories of the First World War on that Visa Kamal's in book. Four of Lord of the Rings. These come out most was famously in the dead marshes where frozen Salmon Golan Paul through among pools of water where there are dead faces looking up out of the water in the desolation before the black gate of mortal which is described like a blasted battlefield and in many other ways throughout. But which had less this realist less direct less obvious. But you know for example in Farah Mir so say talking point is letter says that if anyone in my booking Farah Mir except. I wasn't too good office right so so I think yet talking. Christopher by letter helped to shape the Lord of the Rings in particular by Chris Criticisms of it critiques of it and because Christopher sent his father back to the I will so after the war Christopher comes back to England and gets involved in the inklings at least to the extent of coming to read his father's new chapters chapters to the group because they preferred his reading voice to his father's yes he's follow. Hud's unclear delivery. It makes anything sometimes of his his handwriting. To sometimes his handwriting is beautiful and Cata graphic and you you can hear him reading while the recorded some pieces this from Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit that that will towns on Vinyl and shortly after his death I think but sometimes if he saying being interviewed it's almost impossible to understand to figure out what on Earth he said there is points and I imagine this was a problem when he was redan length. Lord the ring so yes. Being very much welcomed young Christopher coming along and taking a readings I think is followed. Appreciated it too. Because it meant he he personally was not quite so much in the firing line not having to perform while his work was dissected disputed by the inklings could be a very harsh audience. Now you've already talked about some of the textual problems. uh-huh involved with all the different drafts of the Sylmar Leeann or parts of it spanning decades with not only different story details as you say but with very different imaginative approaches. And I can't help but think that you know. Part of the reason for getting more philosophical awful was the fact that Tolkien was now getting all these letters from people about the Lord of the rings with questions about the philosophical and metaphysical implications of of them including challenges from Catholics. I I remember a letter from a priest that he responded to his collected letters where he took some of these questions very seriously about the nature of ORCs about reincarnation. Christopher comes through decision and as you said he he was decided to sort of pick the approach that Tolkien was taking around the time of the completion of the Lord of the rings the Sylmar. I'm really incomes out. What's the what's the response to that? When it? When it is finally published the reviews of the Somalian were mixture of astonishment and bafflement affluent? I think so many recognize that it was an extraordinary achievement for one person to have created a mythology that had these the era of being something that a whole people might have created but at the same time there were those had patients reading it. Those he missed the habits especially and I think I think that's a valid criticism of the Somalian. Actually I think that's why the Lord of the rings is his real masterpiece not because of the whole base in isolation but precisely because of the whole bit In contradistinction to this more more ancient bowl grand enchanted world so each aspect costs is a foil for the other on the hope. It's all our the the people that we can could assholes inside. We can see everything. From that viewpoint. The Somalian does not have that. But he's not trying to is trying to be something else entirely. I think the years it's been taken to halt enrollment numbers of Tolkien fans so it didn't full of Tolkien fans who his best work. He's hey pulsa that the absolute favorite parts of anything e-right so my understanding is that some people were questioning because of the lack of transparency at that time so to speak in in Christopher's thought process in making the editorial L. decisions that he made there. There was some question from people of you know how much of this is j r Tolkien. And how much of this is is Christopher Tolkien right absolutely lately and again. That was a very valid question to ask. Even though I think Christopher in his introductory comments had tried to anticipate it and give assurances that it was virtually every word in it with his father's if we're going to read something that says it's by one person we don't want to suspect that is really by someone else writes on. Christopher was acutely conscious of of in fact he apparently said the ultra came out and he was so worried. About what done the ad says. He told the French newspaper low mold. I was in my father's office in Oxford. He entered the began and look for something with great anxiety. Then I realized with horror that it was still Merlin. I was terrified by the idea that he.