“The Whole Story”

From a letter written to Christopher Tolkien by his father dated 28 December 1944:

I am glad the third lot of Ring arrived to date, and that you liked it– although it seems to have added to yr. homesickness.  It just shows the difference between life and literature: for anyone who found himself actually on the stairs of Kirith Ungol would wish to exchange it for almost any other place in the world, save Mordor itself.  But if lit. teaches us anything at all, it is this: that we have in us an eternal element, free from care and fear, which can survey the things in “life” we call evil with serenity (that is not without appreciating their quality, but without any disturbance of our spiritual equilibrium).  Not in the same way, but in some such way, we shall all doubtless survey our own story when we know it (and a great deal more of the Whole Story).  I am afraid the next two chapters won’t come for some time (about the middle of Jan) which is a pity, as not only are they (I think) v. moving and exciting, but Sam has some interesting comments on the rel. of stories and actual ‘adventures.’

Cirith UngolThis is another great example of getting something of a record of what was going on with Tolkien as he was writing The Two Towers (and here, including a reference to Sam’s speech once they are released by Faramir).

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