A new book from J.R.R. Tolkien (+ 1973)

For all you fans of The Professor, J.R.R. Tolkien, … he has a new book!

The Fall of Arthur

US link HERE
US Kindle HERE
UK link HERE
UK Kindle HERE 

Here is the blurb from amazon:

The Fall of Arthur, the only venture by J.R.R. Tolkien into the legends of Arthur, king of Britain, may well be regarded as his finest and most skillful achievement in the use of Old English alliterative meter, in which he brought to his transforming perceptions of the old narratives a pervasive sense of the grave and fateful nature of all that is told: of Arthur’s expedition overseas into distant heathen lands, of Guinevere’s flight from Camelot, of the great sea battle on Arthur’s return to Britain, in the portrait of the traitor Mordred, in the tormented doubts of Lancelot in his French castle.

Unhappily, The Fall of Arthur was one of several long narrative poems that Tolkien abandoned. He evidently began it in the 1930s, and it was sufficiently advanced for him to send it to a very perceptive friend who read it with great enthusiasm at the end of 1934 and urgently pressed him, “You simply must finish it!” But in vain: he abandoned it at some unknown date, though there is evidence that it may have been in 1937, the year of publication of The Hobbit and the first stirrings of The Lord of the Rings. Years later, in a letter of 1955, he said that he “hoped to finish a long poem on The Fall of Arthur,” but that day never came.

Associated with the text of the poem, however, are many manuscript pages: a great quantity of drafting and experimentation in verse, in which the strange evolution of the poem’s structure is revealed, together with narrative synopses and significant tantalizing notes. In these notes can be discerned clear if mysterious associations of the Arthurian conclusion with The Silmarillion, and the bitter ending of the love of Lancelot and Guinevere, which was never written.

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  1. Suburbanbanshee says:

    It’s out already? Woohoo!

  2. Lucas says:

    Came out in May ;)

    I had it preordered and got it the day it came out.

    It’s good, but I’ve heard from some people who thought it was going to be a story like LOTR and not a poem. Make you know what you are getting yourself into.

  3. David Zampino says:

    I can hardly wait to read it!

  4. Hope it’s less daunting than The Silmarillion.

  5. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    If he had finished it in the 1930s, might Tolkien have been first known to a wider audience as the author of the great Arthurian poem after E.A. Robinson and John Masefield and before Charles Williams?

  6. Lucas says:

    If you thought the Silmarillion was daunting I would tell you not to touch this with a 10 foot pole. IMO of course.

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  8. Choirmaster says:

    This has been on my Amazon Wish List for some time. I’m only waiting for the day that I have the disposable income and enough of a “bug” to buy yet another Tolkien selection ostensibly for light reading, but practically for the exclusive purpose of decorating my bookshelf.

    As with all of Tolkien’s literature, other than the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings, you must have a certain fanaticism for the man’s writing in itself to enjoy it. As for me, I am one such fan, and can be edified reading something as obscure and disjointed as Humphry Carpenter’s Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien. To wit:

    “Out of the darkness of my life, so much frustrated, I put before you the one great thing to love on earth: the Blessed Sacrament … There you will find romance, glory, honour, fidelity, and the true way of all your loves upon earth.”

    “The Resurrection was the greatest ‘eucatastrophe’ possible in the greatest Fairy Story — and produces that essential emotion: Christian joy which produces tears because it is qualitatively so like sorrow, because it comes from those places where Joy and Sorrow are at one, reconciled, as selfishness and altruism are lost in Love.”

    “I perceived or thought of the Light of God and in it suspended one small mote (or millions of motes to only one of which was my small mind directed), glittering white because of the individual ray from the Light which both held and lit it…And the ray was the Guardian Angel of the mote: not a thing interposed between God and the creature, but God’s very attention itself, personalized…This is a finite parallel to the Infinite. As the love of the Father and Son (who are infinite and equal) is a Person, so the love and attention of the Light to the Mote is a person (that is both with us and in Heaven): finite but divine, i.e. angelic.”

    “The only cure for sagging of fainting faith is Communion… Frequency is of the highest effect…”

    If I am guilty of hoarding anything, like books, it would be books by Tolkien. I use the Amazon Wish List like a surrogate hoard, where I can pretend I have all these books, but I still get plenty of time to thoroughly consider whether the items are something I actually need, really want, or was only being impulsive.

  9. Mariana2 says:

    On my wish list, but thought it hadn’t been published yet! Thanks!

  10. Caesar says:

    I bought this a couple of months ago. Inspired stuff!

  11. samwise says:

    Let’s hope for a re-claiming of the Grail Legend too. If anybody could do it, Tolkein could! His work with the “Fall…” should fit nicely with “Morte d’Artur”, “Perceval”, and last but not least “The Fisher King”!

  12. samwise says:

    The latest Dan Brown books have not helped with the above. I’m especially ticked over “Inferno” since I just finished Dante’s “Divine Comedy”!

  13. Caesar says:

    Surprisingly, the Grail doesn’t figure into Tolkien’s take on the Arthurian mythos. Go figure :s

  14. samwise says:

    Dang it, well, at least it’ll get people thinking and researching. Amazingly, Indiana Jones is more reverent than Brown

  15. Vecchio di Londra says:

    I’m afraid the idea of Even More Tolkien doesn’t meet with universal approval. The following review has reached me recently, huffily headlined:

    “Enough is Enough!
    …Just When You Thought You Were Safe…”

    “What! Prosy poesies a-plenty anent ancient Arthurian antics
    Abundantly abound – whole Hordes of the Things, methinks –
    Not brusquely brief be the tall tales of Tolkien.
    Yon Oracle of the Orcs once out of the worldly way
    And his oeuvre Hollywood-harrowed, thought we all That was That.
    All unwary, unwisely weened we, deemed ourselves undangered
    Carefree of Camelot-claptrap, its potions, pixies, perils;
    Secure supposed us from sleep-seeking sagas of Galahad, Guinevere,
    Merlin and Mordred, Lionel and Lancelot: lol! laughable innocents we!
    Now pops up posthumously the pesky romancer with reams, shovelfuls of Stabreim.
    Reverently re-revere now, must we? Rejoice re the Return
    Of Round-Table teller Tolkien II, the Hobbit Handcrafter, from the Hereafter? Hell no!”

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