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Notion club papers

Beleg

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Notion Club Papers: One of Tolkien’s much hyped about work.
But when I started it I found it difficult to follow the story. It seems so boring and so complicated that it is difficult to understand it some phases. Any advice upon how to read and understand Notion club papers, specially the Old English he uses in some of his poems?
 

Aulë

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lol- I knew that I shouldn't have supplied you with all those HoME e-copies ;)
lol

Ane yes, I found the Notion Club papers to be one of the most difficult things to read in the latter HoME's.
These mysterious papers report the discussions of an Oxford club in the years 1986-7, in which, after a number of topics, the centre of interest turns to the legend of Atlantis, the strange communications received by other members of the clubfrom the past, and the violent irruption of the legend into North-west of Europe.
The Atlantis part was especially difficult to read, and I just really couldn't 'get into it'.
And when it started on possibilities of travel in space and time- Bleh. :(

I suppose that you must just realise that it isn't a published story, just a collection of unpublished work. Just stick to it, and re-read it a few days after you read it for the first time.
 

FoolOfATook

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Beleg- have you read "The Lost Road"? It might help to start there, and then move on to "Notion Club". I can't think of any tips to help with the Old English- I'm a lit student with four years of studying German, and I have trouble with it from time to time.
 

Walter

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Originally posted by FoolOfATook
I can't think of any tips to help with the Old English- I'm a lit student with four years of studying German, and I have trouble with it from time to time.
Just don't mind it, I'm studying German ever since I started ground-school (some 40 years ago) and still have trouble with it from time to time... ;) (...did I mention that German is my first language?)

As for the Old-English: The close relationship to Old-High-German shows (though I haven't really studied either) in a way, that I don't find it too troublesome doing some (rough) translations of Old-English.
 

Elfarmari

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I finally bought myself copies of the History of the Lord of the Rings books, and read the Notion Club Papers first. I knew it was unfinished (or it wouldn't be in the book), but I was so disappointed when it ended. I know that a lot people dislike that kind of story, but I love the convoluted plot, the intrusion of the story into reality. The discussions about time travel, memory, and having a good frame for a story are the kinds of things that me and my equally insane friends enjoy discussing, except we aren't ridiculously creative linguists.
Has anyone else read the Notion Club Papers? (or any of the other LotR history books?)
 

Gordis

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Has anyone else read the Notion Club Papers? (or any of the other LotR history books?)
I have read the Notion Club papers. It is the only place when one can find some Adunaic! Also, I have read many times in various places that ME is our Earth, only much earlier. But the NCP is the only book that makes this real somehow.
 

Arvegil

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I have read The Notion Club Papers.

I have often wondered about how many aborted efforts Tolkien made to connect Middle-Earth to our world (Aelfwine), and yet they were all abandoned in the end.
 

Afalstein

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I see this post hasn't been looked up in a while, but I really like this idea, so I thought I'd renew it, if possible.

I read Notion Club Papers about 3 or 4 years ago, and I've looked through it several times. I found out about the Lost Road later, and I thought that was pretty cool too. They're pretty obviously related.

Both of them seem to be Tolkien's attempt to write a time-travel story to match Lewis' space trilogy. I wish he'd finished it, it seems like the coolest thing ever. It's got all sorts of references to old works of literature, like Camelot and King Sheaf (mentioned in Beowulf) I suppose it might need to be dumbed down to be popular, but you never know.

I have a question, though. There's something of a link to Tolkien in "That Hideous Strength", where Ransom mentions "Numenor" as the source of magic beyond Camelot (or something like that). And in "The Dark Tower" (said to be by Lewis, but difficult to say), there's a club of men who make a time machine using chemicals from the brain.

So it's just speculation, and largely based upon the fact that they both have these academic clubs, but do you think these stories might be relatable? Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra are both mentioned in NCP. Maybe there was going to be a link. After all, they all read each other's stories.
 

Alcuin

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So it's just speculation, and largely based upon the fact that they both have these academic clubs, but do you think these stories might be relatable? Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra are both mentioned in NCP. Maybe there was going to be a link. After all, they all read each other's stories.
What a comprehensive first post, Afalstein. Welcome to TTF.

Yes, I think there is a deliberate link between the two works. Tolkien never finished his, which began as the Notion Club Papers. Some echoes remain in Lord of the Rings, such as Faramir’s recurring dream of the overwhelming wave of green water, which Ramer has in Notion Club Papers. (Tolkien had the dream all his life: CJRT describes his impression of his father’s dream in footnote 45 to Part One, p 217 in my hardcopy of Sauron Defeated.) He also puts the phrase “What a lumber-room!” into the mouth of Lowdham in describing Ramer’s dreams, a phrase strikingly similar to one Gandalf uses to describe the cluttered memory of Barliman Butterbur.

Lewis finished his part of the deal. Tolkien seems to have been miffed by his reference to “Numinor and the True West” in That Hideous Strength. Dr. Elwin Ransom is a character that appears in both Lewis’s and Tolkien’s work, at least in the first version of Notion Club Papers. How many other shared characters there are, I cannot say: I am not fond of Lewis’s fiction, and so I do not read it, though I enjoy his nonfiction immensely. (Screwtape Letters scared the hmmm out of me! I suppose that counts as fiction.)

I have read Notion Club Papers once or twice. Like Beleg and Aulë, I did not care for it. I strongly prefer The Drowning of Anadûnê, which is Part 3 of Sauron Defeated.
 

Afalstein

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Drowning of Anadune was pretty cool. It's actually linked with the Notion club papers, or at least with its precursor The Lost Road. In that book, the story went back to a father and son in Numenor at that time. The Father despises Sauron and his work, but the son is somewhat won over to the new way of thought.

Ransom and Ramer do seem connected. I do think it would be interesting to write a combination of those two.
 

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