I am pleased to say that as of this morning, +simon cook
, +Tom Hillman
, +Jeremiah Burns
, +Oliver Stegen
, and I have submitted (before the deadline!) our paper, Do Eldar Dream of Immortal Sheep?: Dreams, Memory, and Enchantment at the end of the Third Age
for the Verlyn Flieger Festschrift, A Wilderness of Dragons.
The paper, which is somewhere in the ballpark of 10,000 words, is a close analysis of the nature of J.R.R. Tolkien's evocation of "Faerie" via the states of consciousness and geography of The Lord of the Rings
, and looks at the subject of mortal versus Elvish dreams. It also has the single best definition I have ever come across of "Faerie" - but if you want to know what that is you'll just have to read the paper.
We've spent about eight months working on this paper all told, and in the course of trying to figure out what the thesis really was we did a lot of research that never made it into the final draft, but which will doubtless prove interesting later on (such as reading through the first five volumes of HoME and cataloging every reference to light).
I am immensely proud of the work we've done and very honored to have been included. This is the first time I've ever written a paper collaboratively before, and one of my favorite things about it is that the spirited (and sometimes daily) arguments we had over various points have only resulted in sharpening the paper as a whole. It is a rare thing to find a group of people (especially online) who you can argue with and come away with a sharper understanding of your subject matter, and these four gentlemen are in my opinion a notch or three above the usual denizens of cyberspace.
So here's to you, gents. It has been a wonderful thing to stroll with you under the leaves of Lorien in its final winter.