J. R. R. Tolkien
Go not to the Elves for counsel, for they will say both no and yes.
Middle English is an exciting field – almost uncharted, I begin to think, because as soon as one turns detailed personal attention on to any little corner of it, the received notions and ideas seem to crumple up and fall to pieces – as far as language goes, at any rate.
I never liked Hans Christian Andersen because I knew he was always getting at me.
A friend of mine tells that I talk in shorthand and then smudge it.
Short cuts make long delays.
A box without hinges, key, or lid, yet golden treasure inside is hid.
Do not meddle in the affairs of Wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger.
Myth and fairy-story must, as all art, reflect and contain in solution elements of moral and religious truth (or error), but not explicit, not in the known form of the primary ‘real’ world.
They say it is the first step that costs the effort. I do not find it so. I am sure I could write unlimited ‘first chapters’. I have indeed written many.
A safe fairyland is untrue to all worlds.
I don’t like allegories.
The original ‘Hobbit’ was never intended to have a sequel – Bilbo ‘remained very happy to the end of his days and those were extraordinarily long’: a sentence I find an almost insuperable obstacle to a satisfactory link.
It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.
In October 1920 I went to Leeds as Reader in English Language, with a free commission to develop the linguistic side of a large and growing School of English Studies, in which no regular provision had as yet been made for the linguistic specialist.
I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.