My first thought for this report was ‘what a funny old meeting!’ and so it was from one perspective because only Mike and Anne and I were able to attend, so it was not at all like our usual gathering. Hence, no actualy blog report, rather a reminiscence about a very interesting afternoon’s conversation.
We all admitted as we went out separate ways that we had expected to be on our way home after about an hour – just long enough to have a coffee together and run out of things to chat about. Far from it! we found so much to talk about that we were almost chased out by the librarians. It was nearly 3.45 before I even remembered to look at the clock. Now that might not seem odd if you don’t know that right above our meeting room stands the mighty Tower of Ecthelion (actually the Civic Centre clock tower) with a bell that chimes across the city every quarter of an hour!
The conversation became deeply engaged for a while in considering whether it is possible to see some latent effect of the wider linguistic and philosophical environment in which Tolkien was working at Oxford. We pondered whether he could have been entirely ignorant of the work of e.g. Wittgenstein, and A.J.Ayer. This topic came out of our consideration of the possible effect on his education at all levels of the work of e.g. Jung and Nietzsche. There is at least one attempt at Jungian analysis of some of Tolkien’s work but that is not perhaps the same as finding a direct influence. The case with Nietzsche is naturally more complex and we didn’t take that very far.
There was a great deal more wide ranging discussion even though we missed the rest of our friends, but I didn’t get round to making any notes.
We confirmed that we would not meet again until 28th July to avoid The Torch. We will take some time at that meeting to finish off The Book of Lost Tales 1, before hopefully moving on to The Book of Lost Tales 2 . It will probably be enough just to look at the first chapter of this.