Notions and Inklings

A fascinating essay by Bruce G Charlton today on the Superversive blog:

Few people know that, just as the second world war was ending, JRR Tolkien broke off from writing The Lord of the Rings and spent about a year and a half working on a modern novel called The Notion Club Papers (NCPs).

The draft novel material can be found on pages 143-327 of the Sauron Defeated, which is The History of Middle Earth Volume Nine, edited by Christopher Tolkien and published twenty years ago (1992) – and in addition there are a further hundred pages of drafts of the history of Numenor which was intended to have been integrated into the story. This is a big chunk of writing, done at the peak of Tolkien’s powers, so it may be surprising that it is not better known – but of course the Notion Club Papers forms merely one part of a scholarly volume also dedicated to charting the evolution of Lord of the Rings, so few Tolkien fans are even aware of its existence.

An elfish time travel story telling about dreams and quests to bring the fiery wine of Faerie back to the vinegar of the dreary half-dead modern world! If someone else does not write it first, I surely must.

Hm. I should write it even if a dozen folks write it first. My elves would be different.