Nazism, Arthurian myths, C.S. Lewis, and Tolkien
#1
Are there any connections between them?
Don't insult the precious, my precious!:book:
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#2
Oh, sure!
Tolkien and Lewis were friends, albeit somewhat estranged in the last years of Lewis' life.
Lewis liked to work with Arthurian legendarium elements at times (e.g. Perelandra and That Hideous Strength), Tolkien didn't.
The peak of their writing careers came as Nazism waged war on the western world. They both heartily disapproved. One of my favorite Tolkien letters is the one (# 30, dated July 1938) in which he responded to a series of insinuating questions from a prewar Nazi-era German publisher (Rütten Loening Verlag) interested in The Hobbit, by trolling them shamelessly in his dissembling reply to their inquiry whether he was of "arisch" ancestry. It ended with the howler-of-a-statement "...if I am to understand that you are inquiring whether I am of Jewish origin, I can only reply that I regret that I appear to have no ancestors of that gifted people."
Did I miss anything? Big Grin
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#3
Arthurian myths are a sort of pseudo-Celticism (or post-Latin Celtic tradition) so I don't see the Nazis wanting to have anything to do with those stories. But I'm not enough of a Nazi historian to say that with any conviction.

The Nazis gravitated toward the kind of pseudo-Noridicism that Tolkien detested. Modern Nazi sympathizers misrepresent Tolkien's fiction as an example of the kind of mythology they want to believe in.

Lewis, like Tolkien, detested the Nazis and all they stood for. So I can't agree with the idea that there was a connection.
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#4
Yeah, about the only connection is that all were descended from Indo Europeans who had vaguely similar religious and mythological storytelling traditions. So a bold hero with a magic sword on some quest was a common theme... but that cold be Sinbad or Hercules too.
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#5
Not to mention, the Arthurian legends as we have them and visualize them were collected and transmitted to us over a century after the Norman conquest, some 8 centuries after whatever historical persons and events inspired the tales, by descendants of French immigrants to England in the "high Middle Ages," in terms familiar to them. A Romanized Celtic chieftain and his followers in the AD 400's therefore morphed into fictional royalty and knights with customs, arms, and architecture of the period just before the War of the Roses.

Then, Monty Python got hold of them... Wink

"Run away! Run away!"
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