The Notion Club Papers Part One
|Sauron Defeated chapters|
J.R.R. Tolkien divided the Papers into two parts at some point of its composition, but ultimately he rejected it and removed the headings of each part; however, Christopher Tolkien kept that division for editorial reasons. The heading of Part One read as:
The Ramblings of Michael Ramer
Out of the Talkative Planet"
Michael Ramer finished reading a story (which is lost according to the editor) to the crouded Club. The audience began criticizing with reluctance, but Nicholas Guildford finally gave his main objection with the story, which were the spaceships. He rejected the idea that spaceships could exist and criticized their use in literature with a false scientific approach. He and Flankley mentioned different examples from early century books and how these became more unbelievable as science evolved. Thus Guildford expressed his dissatisfaction with mechanical transports for space travel and pointed the need for other means, to which Wilfrid Trewin Jeremy added that there was no need for anything but the author's storytelling to see distant places of space. However, Guildford explained one cannot write a story about space travel with other natural laws or imaginary places (unlike the Fairy-stories), as they are set in our Universe.
Then Dolbear woke up from dozing off, but showing he was aware of the conversation. He explained they had been overlooking an important detail: the spaceship from Ramer's story was obviously made up by Ramer to give a narrative frame, while the story in between was unrelated to it. This moved Dolbear to ask Ramer what he had been up to and what was the place of his story. Ramer acknowledged the place was real and he had seen it, raising a great silence in the Club. The members tried to get some answers from him, but he refused to elavorate. Soon after, the meeting finished and Ramer said he would come the next week. While in the street, Guildford told Ramer they believed him, and Ramer promised telling his secret in the next meeting.
All the members of the Club attended, being Ramer the last to come. They all expected him to bring an essay or anything to explain them what he promised in the last meeting, but he told them he will just talk instead. Ramer began explaining the story read in the last meeting was a real experience, but he made up the travelling with the spaceship, which had not convinced the Club. Moved by some fiction books, he had been wondering how to travel with the mind and see places from space beyond human reach. At the same time, he had been thinking about dreams and how they work, being sure that if dreams allow us to see things from other time (past and future), they can also be used to experience other places. Ramer gave the example of literary creation: when the mind is absorved, it can evoke some images with details we can notice later, when we pay attention to them; he also noticed that these images do not usually come at his will, but independent.
- "Scientifiction", term by Hugo Gernsback.
- A Voyage to Arcturus, novel by David Lindsay.
- The First Men in the Moon and The Time Machine, novels by H. G. Wells.
- "Cavorite", a fictional substance in The First Men in the Moon.
- The Space Trilogy (mainly Out of the Silence Planet and Perelandra), a series by C.S. Lewis.
- "Erewhon", a ficional country in the novel Erewhon by Samuel Butler.
- News from Nowhere, a novel by William Morris.
- "Skíðblaðnir", a magic ship in the Prose Edda.
- Last Men in London, novel by Olaf Stapledon.
- Geoffrey of Monmouth, author of The History of the Kings of Britain.
- "Elvish Drama", term from On Fairy-Stories by J.R.R. Tolkien.