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(did you mean Carpenter's Letter #340?)

TCG Letter #340 / Carpenter Letter #213


From
J.R.R. Tolkien
To
Deborah Webster
Date
25 October 1958
Type
Unknown
Transcript
Partial
Tolkien says he does not like giving facts about himself, "other than 'dry' ones". Not only for personal reasons but Tolkien says he dislikes contemporary criticism "with its excessive interest in the details of the lives of authors and artists." he states that personal facts about an author only distract the reader from engaging with their writings.

One of Tolkien's most famous quotes derives from this: "I am in fact a Hobbit (in all but size). I like gardens, trees and unmechanized farmlands; I smoke a pipe, and like good plain food (unrefrigerated), but detest French cooking; I like, and even dare to wear in these dull days, ornamental waistcoats" which has been published in many books and articles.

Partially quoted in Daniel Grotta-Kurska's J.R.R. Tolkien: Architect of Middle-earth (1976, p. 8).

Some quotes appear in Humphrey Carpenter's article 'A World of His Own' in the Telegraph Sunday Magazine, London, 11 September 1977.

A complete transcript of this letter can be seen at the Marquette archive which varies slightly from the version published as Letter #213.
Tags
References
The Fictitious Characters of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien by Deborah Webster
J.R.R. Tolkien A Descriptive Bibliography, Di1, p. 350; Dii21, p. 356; Dii33, p. 358; Dii37, p. 359
Silke Anzinger, "Von Troja nach Gondor.Tolkiens „The Lord of the Rings“ als Epos in vergilischer Tradition," in Vestigia Vergiliana: Vergil-Rezeption in der Neuzeit edited by Thorsten Burkard , Markus Schauer and Claudia Wiener. (2010) pp. 363-401. p. 371 note 27
Deborah Webster Rogers and Ivor A. Rogers, J.R.R. Tolkien (1980), pp. 125-6


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