The recent publication of The Fall of Arthur, an unfinished poem by J.R.R. Tolkien, revealed a startling aspect of the legendarium. The key is found in notes Tolkien left about how he intended the fragmentary Fall of Arthur to continue (included in Christopher Tolkien’s editorial matter). After Arthur was carried away for healing, Lancelot would follow him into the West, never to return.
In other words, Lancelot functions like Eärendel. He sails into the West, seeking a lost paradise. If Tolkien had finished this poem, he could have woven it together with The Silmarillion so that his elvish history mapped onto the legends of Arthur, forming a foundation for “real” English history and language. In addition, he could have collaborated with Lewis, Williams, and Barfield, creating a totalizing myth greater than any they wrote individually.
The publication of this extraordinary poem thus invites an examination of the theological, literary, historical, and linguistic implications of both the actual Arthurian writings by the major Inklings and of an imaginary, composite, Inklings Arthuriad. This collection will compare the Arthurian works, especially the mythological geographies, of Tolkien, Lewis, Williams, Barfield, their predecessors, and their contemporaries.
Topics may include, but are not limited to:
Survey of Arthurian literature to 1900
Arthur in England during the World Wars
Spiritual Quest in a Scientific Age
On Mythological Geographies
Tolkien and/or Lewis as Arthurian scholars
Lancelot as Eärendel? The Fall of Arthur andThe Silmarillion
Western Isles and and Faerie Land: The Geography of The Fall of Arthur
Perelandra: Avalon in the Heavens?
That Hideous Strength: Merlin and The Pendragon
Williams’ Anatomical Arthur or Williams’ Occult Arthur
Tolkien, Lewis, or Williams as Political Commentators
George MacDonald and Faerie
G.K. Chesterton and the Historical Arthur
James Frazer and Jessie Weston on Romantic Rituals
Arthur Machen and Arthur Edward Waite: Occult Arthurs
Arthur for Kids: Roger Lancelyn Green
Owen Barfield and the Holy Grail
World War Arthurs
John Cowper Powys’s Glastonbury
T.S. Eliot’s Wasteland
Meta-Malory: T.H. White
ABSTRACT SUBMISSION PROCESS
Submissions are invited from any geographic region, and representing the disciplines of literature, theology, or history. Abstracts should be between 500 and 1000 words and should include:
• Name(s) and contact information, including institutional affiliation and email address(es);
• A brief introduction to the topic, including scope and texts under consideration;
• The theoretical framework used;
• The main conclusions;
• The implications of this paper for the overall vision of this volume.
In addition, please submit a curriculum vitae, including a list of previous publications. However, please note that younger and emergent scholars, including promising graduate students, are especially invited to submit, so a shorter list of publications should not deter applications.
Please note: all submissions must represent previously unpublished work.
Interested authors are invited to submit an abstract for a proposed chapter by 1 February 2014 to the collection editor, Sørina Higgins: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Selected authors will be notified by 1 April 2014, and will be invited to contribute a full-length chapter by 1 November 2014. Essays should be between 4,000 and 10,000 words and conform to MLA style. All chapters will be peer-reviewed by the collection editor and at least one other external reviewer before submission to the publishing house Editor.
Please direct inquiries and submissions to email@example.com.
Sørina Higgins blogs about Charles Williams at The Oddest Inkling. She is currently editing The Chapel of the Thorn by Williams (forthcoming from Apocryphile). Her article “Double Affirmation: Medievalism as Christian Apologetic in the Arthurian Poetry of Charles Williams” featured in a topical issue of The Journal of Inklings Studies in October 2013, and her chapter “Is a ‘Christian’ Mystery Story Possible? Charles Williams’ War in Heaven as a Generic Case Study” appears in Christianity & the Detective Story (Cambridge Scholars, 2013). Sørina serves as Review Editor of Sehnsucht: The C. S. Lewis Journal, teaches English at Penn State (Lehigh Valley) and Lehigh Carbon Community College, and holds an M.A. from Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English.