Whenever Tolkien: Sunrise, Sunset

Filed under:Tolkien — posted by Anwyn on August 14, 2007 @ 9:46 pm

Here’s a little nibble for discussion. In Tolkien, everything good flows from (or to) the West. Mankind’s doomed Atlantis, Numenor, was there. Elvenhome, Valinor, remains there. One associates West, in Tolkien, with the home of the gods, as Valar and Maiar dwelt and visited there.

In Lewis, everything good flows from (or to) the East. The castle of Cair Paravel sits on the eastern seashore looking to the sunrise. Anybody who seeks Aslan’s Country sails east, as it is always from the East that the great Lion appears. One associates East, in Lewis, with the home of God.

Tolkien wrote his works slowly, with many revisions and much “niggling.” Lewis wrote his quickly and shipped them off to press. Tolkien was dismayed by his own tendency to procrastinate by playing solitaire. Lewis was the social center of their group of friends, always with a quip, anecdote, or new writing to read to the group. Tolkien was quieter and more serious–in fact disliked Lewis’s Narnia stories for their tendency to what he considered hodgepodge and inconsistency.

I submit the difference between their personalities is very strongly observed in the directional preferences of each. Tolkien looked forward to sunset, to rest, while Lewis preferred sunrise as renewal. Tolkien tended towards depressive, while Lewis may have been more continuously on the “up.”

It may be a minor point but is worth looking at–and could even partially explain the cooling of their friendship in later years. There’s only so long that “down”-westward-rest can tolerate “up”-eastward-new day dawning.

Time Zones

Filed under:It's My Life — posted by Anwyn @ 9:36 pm

I crossed three of them today. I’m pretty beat, but home again to all the same clutter I left a month ago. Woo. Yay.

image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace