Chesterton, Tolkien and Lewis in Elfland

5fish

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Chesterton had a great influence over two of the greatest fantasy writers of the 20th century. He influenced Tolkien and Lewis with the writings they read during WW 1. He influenced Lewis so much that it brought him back to Christianity. Magic must mean something...

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Although it is evident that Tolkien and Lewis were well-versed in Chesterton’s work, the essay of his which was probably most influential on the philosophy of myth that underpinned their own approach to story-telling was “The Ethics of Elfland,” which formed the fourth chapter of Chesterton’s book, Orthodoxy.

Another facet of Chesterton’s “Ethics of Elfland” which would prove inspirational to Tolkien and Lewis was Chesterton’s insistence that myths and fairy stories were not unbelievable, in the sense that they conveyed untruths, but were the most believable things in the world because they conveyed truths and taught lessons that the world needed to know and learn:

It will also remind lovers of Tolkien and Lewis of the Great Music of God’s Creation in The Silmarillion and of Aslan’s singing of Narnia into being. And as for Chesterton’s proclamation that “this world of ours has some purpose” and that “magic must have a meaning, and meaning must have someone to mean it,” it leads us into the words of Gandalf, whose words of encouragement to Frodo will serve as appropriately encouraging words with which to conclude our musings on the magic of Elfland:

 

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Here is another article on Chesterton, Tolkien, and Lewis...


Although it is evident that Tolkien and Lewis were well-versed in Chesterton’s work, the essay of his which was probably most influential on the philosophy of myth that underpinned their own approach to story-telling was “The Ethics of Elfland,” which formed the fourth chapter of Chesterton’s book, Orthodoxy. For many people, this essay, or chapter, is best remembered for the perceptive and surprising connection that Chesterton makes between tradition and democracy

Another facet of Chesterton’s “Ethics of Elfland” which would prove inspirational to Tolkien and Lewis was Chesterton’s insistence that myths and fairy stories were not unbelievable, in the sense that they conveyed untruths, but were the most believable things in the world because they conveyed truths and taught lessons that the world needed to know and learn:

Evidently inspired by this metaphor of materialism as a prison, Tolkien resurrected it in his own essay “On Fairy Stories” in which he spoke of “Escape” as “one of the main functions of fairy-stories”: “Why should a man be scorned, if, finding himself in prison, he tries to get out and go home? Or if, when he cannot do so, he thinks and talks about other topics than jailers and prison-walls?”
 

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This article is about Chesterton's defense of Fairy Tales... @Bilbobaggins


I’m not the only one who feels this way. G.K. Chesterton, a popular Catholic author, frequently praises fantasy throughout his work.

“Fairy tales are not responsible for producing in children fear,” Chesterton says, “or any of the shapes of fear. Fairy tales do not give the child the idea of the evil or the ugly; that is in the child already, because it is in the world already. Fairy tales do not give the child his first idea of the bogey. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of the bogey. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon.”

In Chesterton’s words: “Fairy tales accustom people to the idea that these limitless terrors have a limit, that these shapeless enemies have enemies in the knights of God, and that there is something in the universe more mystical than darkness and stronger than strong fear.”
 

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Here is an article about Chesterton...


As for other matters of fashion, G. K. Chesterton wore the same outfit for 30 years: a distinctive cape, a nondistinctive shovel hat, and a walking stick that didn’t quite reach the ground from his great height of six feet, four inches. He carried the stick and pointed with it, to tremendous trifles and also to the adorable little universe that everyone else seemed to have forgotten about. He was gigantic and gigantically absentminded. But, as he liked to point out, “absent-mindedness only means present-mindedness about something else.” There is one subject, and his mind was ever on it. He just didn’t know where his train ticket was.

Chesterton promoted a socioeconomic philosophy that he and his colleague Hilaire Belloc called distributism, which is best understood today as decentralization, or localism. This philosophy recommended widespread small ownership and economic independence as opposed to wage employment. Chesterton recognized government as an evil necessity, but believed that we should keep our politicians close enough to kick them. He really believed in democracy, which is direct rule over government functions by the people, but more importantly in self-rule. Self-government to Chesterton meant freedom, but it also literally meant self-control; it meant restraint, not rebellion.


You know people wanted Chesterton to be a saint But? I agree with Saint Hood for Chesterton!!!


In 2013, Bishop Peter Doyle of Northampton, Chesterton's home diocese, ordered that an initial investigation into the possibility of Chesterton's sainthood be opened, however, he has decided not to pursue the cause, meaning the pipe-loving, cigar-smoking and general booze-enthusiast will not become a saint – at least,

Speaking to Crux, he said that “now more than ever we need more lay saints, with clergy being under a cloud.” He said it often seems to be “easier” for priests or religious who found orders to be canonized, since the order typically promotes the person’s cause for sainthood.

Chesterton is a “prime example of what lay spirituality is supposed to look like. I think all the evidence of his spiritual life is there,” he said, saying doubt over Chesterton’s spiritual life is a “weak reason” to halt the cause.
 

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Here is a site taking a shot at Tolkien politics... He was a Burkean... may not believed in constitutions... @Bilbobaggins


First, Tolkien was a conservative and a Burkean. His wife confirmed the former, and C.S. Lewis’s letters seem to confirm the latter.

Fifth, when Tolkien writes “unconstitutional,” he is likely thinking of an Alfred the Great, restrained by tradition, custom, and common law, as opposed to King John, supposedly restrained by the Magna Carta. There is nothing in Tolkien’s writings to claim that Tolkien opposed a constitution, only that a real king stood his word and his oath. Beowulf rather than Henry VIII.
 

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Here is a book that Tolkien had three copies of it in his library... It is one of those books ahead of its time... Lindsey died because of his teeth... Thoughts @rittmeister English lit...


Described by critic, novelist, and philosopher Colin Wilson as the "greatest novel of the twentieth century",[1] it was a central influence on C. S. Lewis' Space Trilogy,[2] and through him on J. R. R. Tolkien, who said he read the book "with avidity".[3] Clive Barker called it "a masterpiece" and "an extraordinary work ... quite magnificent".[4]


After the war Lindsay and his young wife, Jacqueline Silver, moved to Porth near Newquay in Cornwall, and lived there from 1919 to 1929.[4] He became a full-time writer there. His novel A Voyage to Arcturus was published in 1920, but it was not a success, selling fewer than six hundred copies. The work shows links with Scottish fantasists such as George MacDonald, whose work Lindsay was familiar with,[3] and it had a central influence on C. S. Lewis's Out of the Silent Planet.[5] J. R. R. Tolkien said that he had read the book "with avidity", and characterised it as a work of philosophy, religion and morality

A video on it...

 

rittmeister

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Here is a book that Tolkien had three copies of it in his library... It is one of those books ahead of its time... Lindsey died because of his teeth... Thoughts @rittmeister English lit...


Described by critic, novelist, and philosopher Colin Wilson as the "greatest novel of the twentieth century",[1] it was a central influence on C. S. Lewis' Space Trilogy,[2] and through him on J. R. R. Tolkien, who said he read the book "with avidity".[3] Clive Barker called it "a masterpiece" and "an extraordinary work ... quite magnificent".[4]


After the war Lindsay and his young wife, Jacqueline Silver, moved to Porth near Newquay in Cornwall, and lived there from 1919 to 1929.[4] He became a full-time writer there. His novel A Voyage to Arcturus was published in 1920, but it was not a success, selling fewer than six hundred copies. The work shows links with Scottish fantasists such as George MacDonald, whose work Lindsay was familiar with,[3] and it had a central influence on C. S. Lewis's Out of the Silent Planet.[5] J. R. R. Tolkien said that he had read the book "with avidity", and characterised it as a work of philosophy, religion and morality

A video on it...

never heard of it - i shall read it - free downloads:
 
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