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Old 05-25-2013, 11:30 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Aiwendil View Post
I don't recall any mention of Williams, no.

As for the possibility of Williams's work being a reason that Tolkien abandoned the poem - I suppose one can't rule that possibility out, but it's worth noting that although Tolkien stopped working on the poem after the 1930s, he referred to it in a letter of 1955 saying that he still hoped to finish it. It seems to me more likely that it was the beginning of his work on a sequel to The Hobbit in 1937 that led to the abandonment of "The Fskids tf Arthur".
I do seem to recall reading (Carpenter's Inklings?) that Tolkien hated Williams' Arthurian poems. It would be odd if he didn't bring up his own attempts during meetings - especially if he hadn't abandoned FoA altogether. I do wonder whether Williams' publication of his Arthurian poems didn't have an effect on Tolkien's decision not to pick up the work again during the war. It was clearly very significant to Williams and maybe Tolkien felt he would be 'stepping on Williams' toes' if he continued. Whatever, it seems odd that CT wouldn't even mention Williams' greatest work even in passing, given the common subject matter - not to mention the amazing coincidence that both of them happened to hit on the idea of writing an epic poem on the subject at the same time.
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