Day 1. To Jack (C. S. Lewis), about the Inklings:
It is an Inkling’s duty to be bored willingly. It is his privilege to be a borer on occasion.
Day 2. Reaching the finish line, from a letter dated October 31, 1948:
I succeeded at last in bringing the “Lord of the Rings” to a successful conclusion….It will be a massive book far too large to make any money for the publisher (let alone the author): it must run to 1200 pages. However, length is no obstacle to those who like that kind of thing.
Day 3. To Sir Stanley Unwin, February 24, 1950:
I have produced a monster: an immensely long, complex, rather bitter, and very terrifying romance, quite unfit for children (if fit for anybody)….I am tired. It is off my chest.
Day 4. Creating for England a story of its own:
I was from early days grieved by the poverty of my own beloved country: it had no stories of its own (bound up with its tongue and soil), not of the quality that I sought….There was Greek, and Celtic, and Romance, Germanic, Scandinavian, and Finnish (which greatly affected me); but nothing English….But once upon a time (my crest has long since fallen) I had a mind to make a body of more or less connected legend, ranging from the large and cosmogonic, to the level of romantic fairy-story…which I would dedicate simply to: to England; to my country.
Day 5. The vision for The Lord of the Rings:
It should possess the tone and quality that I desired, somewhat cool and clear, be redolent of our “air” (the clime and soil of the North West, meaning Britain and the hither parts of Europe…), and, while possessing (if I could achieve it) the fair elusive beauty that some call Celtic…, it should be “high”,…linked to a majestic whole, and yet leave scope for other minds and hands, wielding paint and drama and music.
Day 6. Every story concerns a fall:
There cannot be any “story” without a fall–all stories are ultimately about the fall.
Day 7. Why hobbits are small:
They are made small (little more than half human stature, but dwindling as the years pass) partly to exhibit the pettiness of man,…and mostly to show us, in creatures of very small physical power, the amazing and unexpected heroism of ordinary men “at a pinch.”