Monday, September 17, 2012
Tolkien Week: J.R.R. Tolkien, the Inklings, and Writing Groups
But to me, the book never stands alone. In the background stand the rest of the Inklings, the Thursday evening literary society Tolkein was part of, a group which included C.S. Lewis and Charles Williams, and which was sometimes visited by the likes of Enid Blyton and E.R. Eddison. When I came across Humphrey Carpenter's biography of Tolkein, the idea that so many of the Inklings' books were in conversation with each other was a fascinating one, and it's one that's made me feel freer about entering into the great conversation of novels, a slow and long-lasting discussion that is still only getting started.
It's one of the reasons I love the writing group I work with, Horrific Miscue, because I'll see an idea from one story bounce into another, even while we're all drawing fast and furiously from the other works we've read. To me, Middle Earth, as well as Narnia and Perelandra and sundry other fantasy realms, are all richer for the glimpses into their mundane backgrounds and the themes those writers, as well as anyone writing today, continue to explore.