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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
It is a bittersweet letter.

dernwyn
Forum Admin / Moderator


Feb 24 2013, 2:41am


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It is a bittersweet letter. [In reply to] Can't Post

And one that has touched me deeply: that letter wherein Tolkien talks about his Lúthien. Number 340, written to Christopher on 11 July 1972, discussing the inscription on Edith's gravestone:


Quote
I have at last got busy about Mummy's grave...The inscription I should like is:
.......................EDITH MARY TOLKIEN
..............................1889-1971
.................................Lúthien

: brief and jejune, except for Lúthien, which says for me more than a multitude of words: for she was (and knew she was) my Lúthien.

July 13. Say what you feel without reservation, about this addition. I began this under the stress of great emotion & regret - and in any case I am afflicted from time to time (increasingly) with an overwhelming sense of bereavement. I need advice. Yet I hope none of my children will feel that the use of this name is a sentimental fancy. It is at any rate not comparable to the quoting of pet names in obituaries. I never called Edith Lúthien - but she was the source of the story that in time became the chief part of the Silmarillion. It was first conceived in a small woodland glade filled with hemlocks at Roos in Yorkshire (where I was for a brief time in command of an outpost of the Humber Garrison in 1917, and she was able to live with me for a while). In those days her hair was raven, her skin clear, her eyes brighter than you have seen them, and she could sing - and dance. But the story has gone crooked, & I am left, and I cannot plead before the inexorable Mandos.


This makes all the more poignant the pain of separation - in particular, that of Melian and Elrond from their daughters. At least for Tolkien, it was not forever; but at this point in his life, it must have seemed so to him.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"I desired dragons with a profound desire"





Subject User Time
Silmarillion Discussion: Of Thingol and Melian NZ Strider Send a private message to NZ Strider Feb 11 2013, 12:43am
    Everything that happens in Arda IdrilofGondolin Send a private message to IdrilofGondolin Feb 11 2013, 7:59pm
        The "take it or leave it" chapter noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Feb 11 2013, 9:35pm
    Time is a circle... telain Send a private message to telain Feb 12 2013, 4:37pm
    Of immortal marriages CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Feb 13 2013, 7:53pm
    After a long delay. sador Send a private message to sador Feb 17 2013, 2:55pm
    It is a bittersweet letter. dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Feb 24 2013, 2:41am

 
 
 

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