Day 1. In response to those calling The Hobbit a children’s story:
The so-called “children’s story” was a fragment, torn out of an already existing mythology. In so far as it was dressed up as “for children”, in style or manner, I regret it. So do the children.
Day 2. Defending his use of what one critic called “archaic” language as the trilogy progressed:
Such “heroic” scenes do not occur in a modern setting to which…modern idiom[s] belong. Why deliberately ignore, refuse to use the wealth of English which leaves us a choice of styles[?] I can see no more reason for not using the much terser and more vivid ancient style, than for changing the obsolete weapons, helms, shields, hauberks into modern uniforms.
Day 3. Regarding fairy stories:
I think the so-called “fairy story” one of the highest forms of literature, and quite erroneously associated with children (as such).
Day 4. Why Tolkien wrote The Lord of the Rings:
[I] set myself a task…to restore to the English an epic tradition and present them with a mythology of their own.
Day 5. Writing even while not writing:
The early work was mostly done in camps and hospitals between 1915 and 1918–when time allowed. But I think a lot of this kind of work goes on at other…levels, when one is saying how-do-you-do, or even sleeping.
Day 6. The art of writing–not inventing, but discovering:
I have long ceased to invent…. I wait till I seem to know what really happened. Or till it writes itself.
Day 7. Tolkien was meant to write LOTR:
The Silmarillion was offered for publication years ago, and turned down. Good may come of such blows. The Lord of the Rings was the result…. And I saw that I was meant to do it (as Gandalf would say), since without thought, in a “blurb” I wrote for The Hobbit, I spoke of the time between the Elder Days and the Dominion of Men. Out of that came the “missing link”: the “Downfall of Númenor.”
Day 4 reminds me of Nate’s choice to give his stories a distinctly American setting rather than the usual vaguely European setting of most fantasy-ish fiction.