This is my 3rd interview with Dr. Verlyn Flieger. Verlyn Flieger, one of the world’s leading Tolkien scholars, has offered her time and friendship to discuss with me her unpublished book, “Chancer and the Orphan Child”. It is a story of revelation to true identity, pasts remembered, sacrifice, death following the main characters symbolized by a Crow, etc.
Death – for Verlyn, both in story form and real time, is the *Final passage*. To Verlyn she says, ‘There is nothing after the porthole of death; it is over’.
Verlyn believed that early Christian Fantasy writers such as George MacDonald and C.S. Lewis (especially) had an agenda to proselytize though she doesn’t see Tolkien being a proselytizer in his works (so far as she has told me).
My answer to Verlyn in this fairly lengthy interview is that “Meaning” points to ‘causality and teleology’ (a.k.a., “Intent”)…something that lies past the ‘middle meaning’ of just a ‘fateful story’.
To sum it up, Verlyn and I have found true friendship over the years by not pulling punches but regarding each other with respect and dignity in our differing respective belief systems.
Please take time to listen to an endearing interview that might bring tears to your eyes. I consider Verlyn a scholar of scholars.