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Nigel PJ
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Thanks Bill for the helpful way of approaching this. Us readers must still suffer some cognitive dissonance in attempting to understand the biography of a favourite character! Thank God Waugh stopped with just two different conclusions...
Bill, I greatly enjoy your discussions and thought that this particular one was germane to a literary one I am having elsewhere. Your thoughts would be appreciated. You say: "If Tolkien made up Frodo, but Frodo does not exist, then what did Tolkien create? A mere modification of his own consciousness? No. He created a character that outlasted him and that cannot be identified with any part of Tolkien's body or mind." Evelyn Waugh published three novels that became known as the Sword of Honour trilogy. He revised the final volume several years after publication, which at a stroke rendered Guy Crouchback, the central character and the father of two children in the first edition, childless. Now if Tolkien had produced two published accounts with Frodo having similar radical differences to those that affect Guy Chrouchback, can we say then "Frodo" exists? Or "Frodos"? Should we give precedence to the original version or accept the author's revision? If a previously unknown version of Lord of the Rings was discovered in a publisher's vault, clearly ready for publication and dated subsequently than the published one, with Frodo dying at the outset; how would we understand this fictional character?
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Jun 29, 2014