After years of procrastination, I finally bought a copy of Sauron Defeated. I already had "The End Of The Third Age," so I was familiar with that section of this volume, but the Notion Club Papers was entirely new to me. It's exciting to read some "new" Tolkien.
I haven't reached The Drowning of Anadûne yet, but I'm finding the Notion Club Papers to be very curious and engrossing. Part One is a bit long-winded at times, but I like the general ideas being put forth via Ramer. Tolkien does closely approach Lewis and Williams (and even a slight echo of Algernon Blackwood) territory with this story. It's certainly unique to me among all his writings.
Something very odd happened while reading Part Two (which I haven't finished yet.) When Lowdham shares the writings that came to him in dreams (Night 67), and I read the excerpts and the following discussion of them, an eerie sensation crept over me. I began to feel as though I was not reading fiction, but an actual account of something terrible and strange that took place in our remote past.
Arda and Middle-earth have always been "real" to me on an emotional level, but for a few moments here, it all became perhaps TOO real. It was an uncomfortable feeling to think that Zigur once walked the earth and brought about the destruction of the ancient world. A remnant of his spirit may still be hovering somewhere nearby.
The story would have made a fine thriller if finished, though I'm not sure how Tolkien would have satisfactorily ended it, beyond an account of the Fall of Númenor.
From: The Niagara Frontier | Registered: Jan 2006
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