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(did you mean Carpenter's Letter #265?)

TCG Letter #265 / Carpenter Letter #113


From
J.R.R. Tolkien
To
C.S. Lewis
Date
25 January 1948
Type
Unknown
Transcript
Partial
Apparently Tolkien and Lewis had been corresponding about Tolkien's criticisms of something Lewis had read aloud to the Inklings. This may have been part of Lewis' English Literature in the Sixteenth Century.

Tolkien said it was good of Lewis to write in return. Lewis had written mostly about "offense" but Tolkien recalled that he had said "pained" instead of "offended". There had only been a few times, said Tolkien, when his pen found the words rather than his head or heart, and this was one of them. In speech and manner Lewis had not shown that he was offended, but Tolkien could see how he felt and his letter showed how much.

Tolkien was not sure if he had made himself clear. He then went into a theological discussion of forgiving a thief, considering different outcomes of forgiving or not forgiving and repenting or not on the part of the culprit. He also discussed the charming relations between G.M. Hopkins and Canon Dixon, who were two men starved of "recognition".

Tolkien rejected as a self-defensive rumour by Hugo Dyson that he, Tolkien, had said that Lewis had a loud manner. We are safe, Tolkien said, with Lewis as president from contention, ill will, detraction, or baseless accusations. While Tolkien had a right to criticize he would not lightly forget the wounds he had caused.
Tags
References
The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien (1981), pp. 125-9, p. 441 (Carpenter notes)
Tolkien and Gerard Manley Hopkins, Thoughts on Tolkien web blog
Error in Kindle editions: hypercritical > hyper-critical
Cartas de J.R.R. Tolkien, pp. 191-6, p. 630 (notas de Carpenter)


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