Day 1. Untold stories:
[An emotion] that moves me supremely…the heart-racking sense of the vanished past….A story must be told or there’ll be no story, yet it is the untold stories that are the most moving.
Day 2. Keeping up Christopher’s spirits during the last days of WWII:
Wars are always lost, and The War always goes on; and it is no good growing faint!
Day 3. Criticizing some proposed illustrations for The Hobbit:
[They] are, I fear, too “Disnified” for my taste: Bilbo with a dribbling nose, and Gandalf as a figure of vulgar fun rather than the Odinic wanderer that I think of.
Day 4. Horror and comedy in LOTR:
I cannot bear funny books or plays myself, I mean those that set out to be all comic; but it seems to me that in real life, as here, it is precisely against the darkness of the world that comedy arises, and is best when that is not hidden. Evidently I have managed to make the horror really horrible, and that is a great comfort; for every romance that takes things seriously must have a warp of fear and horror, if however remotely or representatively it is to resemble reality, and not be the merest escapism.
Day 5. LOTR is not an allegory:
Do not…suspect “Allegory.” There is a “moral,” I suppose, in any tale worth telling. But that is not the same thing….Of course, Allegory and Story converge, meeting somewhere in Truth. So that the only perfectly consistent allegory is a real life; and the only fully intelligible story is an allegory….The better and more consistent an allegory is the more easily can it be read “just as a story”; and the better and more closely woven a story is the more easily can those so minded find allegory in it.
Day 6. Struggling to finish LOTR:
I certainly hope to leave behind me the whole thing revised and in final form, for the world to throw into the waste-paper basket.
Day 7. Actually…
It is written in my life-blood, such as that is, thick or thin; and I can do no other. I fear it must stand or fall as it substantially is. It would be idle to pretend that I do not greatly desire publication, since a solitary art is no art.