Thursday, April 23, 2020

Vignettes of Christopher

So, my newest publication is just out: a short memorial of Christopher Tolkien that appears as a Note in the newest issue of MYTHLORE.* It's paired with a piece by Bill Fliss, the Tolkien archivist at Marquette, which gives a brief but fact-filled account of Marquette's interactions with Christopher over the years. I had not known, for example, that Christopher had been in touch with Marquette as long ago as 1974, when he wrote to them seeking a copy of the unpublished EPILOGUE to LotR. As part of his due diligence he needed to consult the Epilogue in case it contained any link or allusion to THE SILMARILLION, upon which he had just embarked.

My own piece, I now see in retrospect, is a series of glimpses of Christopher in different settings, some wholly in keeping with the persona or image we all had of him and others very much at variance thereto. Christopher in an I-Hop the morning the 1987 MythCon ended. Christopher at the Wade in Wheaton. Christopher in the quad at Keble College. Christopher at the Eagle and Child. I wasn't able to marshal my thoughts to write a proper memoir, but it seemed right to share a few memories that so far as I know weren't written down anywhere, or at least not from my perspective.

--John R.

*MYTHLORE #136 (Spring/Summer 2020) pages 125-127; Bill's piece immediately precedes it, on pages 123-125. The two pieces go well together and read as if we'd planned them as complementary pieces, but this is more from good fortune than design.

2 comments:

Josh Renaud said...

I enjoyed reading those anecdotes. I hope someone writes a proper biography of Christopher. What a life and what a man.

Unknown said...

Agree that someone should write a CJRT biography.