Every writer making a secondary world wishes in some measure to be a real maker, or hopes that he is drawing on reality: hopes that the peculiar quality of this secondary world (if not all the details) are derived from Reality, or are flowing into it.
Any corner of that county (however fair or squalid) is in an indefinable way 'home' to me, as no other part of the world is. There was a willow hanging over the mill-pool and I learned to climb it. It belonged to a butcher on the Stratford Road, I think. One day they cut it down. They didn't do anything with it: the log just lay there. I never forgot that.
But some of us are beginning to pull well away, in our irritation, from... the exquisite tasters, the vintage snobs, the three-star Michelin gourmets. There is, we feel, a decent area somewhere between boiled carrots and Beluga caviar, sour plonk and Chateau Lafitte, where we can take care of our gullets and bellies without worshipping them.
I stand in Minas Anor, the Tower of the Sun; and behold! the Shadow has departed! I will be a Shieldmaiden no longer, nor vie with the great Riders, nor take joy only in the songs of slaying. I will be a healer, and love all things that grow and are not barren.
I wonder if people will ever say, Let's hear about Frodo and the Ring. And they'll say, Yes, that's one of my favorite stories. Frodo was really courageous, wasn't he, Dad? Yes, m'boy, the most famousest of hobbits. And that's saying a lot.
In those days of our tale, there were still some people who had both elves and heroes of the North for ancestors and Elrond, the master of the house, was their chief. He was as noble and as fair in face as an elf lord, as strong as a warrior, as wise as a wizard, as venerable as a king of dwarves and as kind as summer.
If I am to understand that you are enquiring whether I am of Jewish origin, I can only reply that I regret that I appear to have no ancestors of that gifted people. My great-great-grandfather came to England in the eighteenth century from Germany: the main part of my descent is therefore purely English, and I am an English subject?which should be sufficient. I have been accustomed, nonetheless, to regard my German name with pride, and continued to do so throughout the period of the late regrettable war, in which I served in the English army. I cannot, however, forbear to comment that if impertinent and irrelevant inquiries of this sort are to become the rule in matters of literature, then the time is not far distant when a German name will no longer be a source of pride.
If you want to know what cram is, I can only say that I don?t know the recipe; but it is biscuitish, keeps good indefinitely, is supposed to be sustaining, and is certainly not entertaining, being in fact very uninteresting except as a chewing exercise.
If thou hadst thy will what wouldst thou reserve? said Manwe. Of all thy realm what dost thou hold dearest? All have their worth, said Yavanna, and each contributes to the worth of the others. But the kelvar can flee or defend themselves, whereas the olvar that grow cannot. And among these I hold trees dear. Long in the growing, swift shall they be in the felling, and unless they pay toll with fruit upon their bough little mourned in their passing. So I see in my thought, would that the trees might speak on behalf of all things that have roots, and punish those that wrong them!
Frodo stood up. He had laughed in the midst of all his cares when Sam trotted out the old fireside rhyme of Oliphant, and the laugh had released him from hesitation. 'I wish we had a thousand oliphants with Gandalf on a white one at their head,' he said. 'Then we'd break a way into this evil land, perhaps. But we've not; just our own tired legs, that's all. Well, Smeagol, the third turn may turn the best. I will come with you.