Wednesday, September 30, 2015

"The Fall of Arthur"

The Fall of Arthur by J.R.R. Tolkien was edited by his son Christopher Tolkien & published after his death. The poem is not completed but as Christopher mentions in his commentary Tolkien wrote this in a similar style to various other epic poems. He also draws on other Arthurian literature to formulate his version of the tale.

I really enjoy his style of poetry! I loved it in the Silmarilion and was pleased that I enjoyed it in this book too. What exists of The Fall of Arthur was every bit as rich & enthralling as Tolkien's other works. I really wished that Tolkien had the opportunity to finish his account of King Arthur and found myself sad that it ended soon. I have been searching for a version of the Arthur legend to get excited about for a while now but every version I read is disappointing. Had he finished it this might have been what I was looking for!

The commentary by Christopher was surprisingly enjoyable. Sometimes I find it difficult to read analysis of a work I have just read, or maybe don't know as well. What I enjoyed was Christopher uses examples of the early drafts & Tolkien's source material to explain himself. I also particularily enjoyed the comparisons to Silmarilion as well as Nuemenor & Valinor that were outlined.

I would definitely recommend this book to readers that have an above average are interested in Tolkien and/or Arthurian Legend. Otherwise The Fall of Arthur might not hold your attention. Parts of it are a bit dry.

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