Note: "All readers interested in the works of J.R.R. Tolkien and in the genre of fantasy literature will welcome this important bock. Verlyn Fliegers investigation of time and dream in Tolkien's fiction breaks new critical ground and includes intriguing excerpts from the manuscript drafts of Tolkien's seminal essay On Fairy-Stories and from his unpublished commentary on Smith of Wootton Major" (Wayne G. Hammond, author of J.R.R. Tolkien: A Descriptive Bibliography).
J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and Silmarillion have long been recognized as among the most popular fiction of the twentieth century, and most critical analysis of Tolkien has centered on these novels. Granted access by the Tolkien estate and the Bodleian Library in Oxford to Tolkien's unpublished writings, Verlyn Flieger uses them here to shed new light on his better-known works, revealing a new dimension of his fictive vision and giving added depth of meaning to his writing.
Tolkien's concern with time - past and present, real and "faėrie" - captures the wonder and peril of travel into other worlds, other times, other modes of consciousness. Reading his work, we "fall wide asleep" into a dream more real than ordinary waking experience and emerge with a new perception of the waking world. Flieger explores Tolkiens use of dream as time-travel in his unfinished stories The Lost Road and The Notion Club Papers as well as in The Lord of the Rings and his shorter fiction and poetry.
Analyzing Tolkiens treatment of time and time-travel, Flieger shows that he was not just a myth-maker and writer of escapist fantasy but a man whose relationship to his own century was troubled and critical. He achieved in his fiction a double perspective of time that enabled him to see in the mirror of the past the clouded reflection of the present.
A Question of Time places J.R.R. Tolkien firmly in the mainstream of modern writers and will appeal to anyone interested in imaginative fiction.
I. Between Worlds and Times
II. Remembrance That Never Dies
III. Strange Powers of the Mind
IV. Over a Bridge of Time
V. Where the Dream-fish Go
VI. Travelers Between the Worlds
VII. Further Off Than Sussex
VIII. Frodo's Dreams
IX. Falling Asleep Again
X. A Dream of Light and Dark
XI. Pitfalls in Faėrie Epilogue: His Gift of Glee
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