Wednesday, 15 January 2014

A Missed Connection

In the previous post, I mentioned modern continuations of the Arthurian legend, including Tolkien's unfinished poem and Lewis' and Gaiman's treatments of Merlin. I also contrasted Gaiman's time traveling Tim Hunter meeting the young Merlin with Lewis' space traveling Elwin Ransom meeting the revived Merlin and the undying Arthur. I thought that these were neat connections. To completely tie these three authors together, we can add that, of course, Tolkien and Lewis were friends and that both Lewis and Gaiman reference Tolkien in their fiction.

However, I missed a whole heap of other connections between Tolkien, Lewis, space travel, time travel, "Elwin" and Atlantis. (Tim Hunter also visits Atlantis.)

Lewis and Tolkien agreed that Lewis would write a space travel story, which became the first Ransom novel, and that Tolkien would write a time travel story - the unfinished The Lost Road, which would have taken its hero to Atlantis. A modern character was to have have been called "Elwin, "Elf-friend," whereas Ransom's "Elwin" means "friend of the eldila." Information about The Lost Road and about Numenor, Tolkien's version of Atlantis (referenced by Ransom), are in Volume V of The History Of Middle-earth by Christopher Tolkien.

Gaiman, through the DC Comics Atlantean magician Arion, rightly tells us that there are many Atlantises.

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