Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Short Story Club: February 2014~~~Leaf By Niggle by JRR Tolkien


February 2014

The selection for February 2014 is Leaf By Niggle
        Inspired by the five titles from 5 Short Stories that Every Catholic should Read , we have picked this story.
"Leaf by Niggle" is a short story written by J. R. R. Tolkien in 1938–39 and first published in the Dublin Review in January 1945. It can be found, most frequently, in Tolkien's book titled Tree and Leaf.
     While I was looking around the Internet for an online version to read......I found so many fun rabbit trail websites for this story.

      Leaf By Niggle can be found here, for your online reading. 

     I have no idea about the premise of the story......I have vaguely heard of it, but I have never read it.  I am so looking forward to it! Willa has not yet read it either.....

      The blog author at Saint Peter's List recommends: "to have tissues or a handkerchief close by, not because it is sad, but, because it elucidates a beautiful reality of humanity’s participation in the Kingdom of God."  This quote definitely has me intrigued!

     A few other interesting quotes found around the Internet........

"Leaf by Niggle" is often seen as an allegory of Tolkien's own creative process, and, to an extent, of his own life.

“Leaf by Niggle” illustrates Tolkien’s writing philosophy of “creation” and “sub-creation” that he lays out in “On Fairy Stories”.  
Tolkien mentioned on several occasions his extreme dislike for allegory, and yet it is hard to read “Leaf by Niggle” as anything but an allegory of the creative process (particularly Tolkien’s creative process), and in many ways also an allegory of the Christian belief system.

The above two quotes came from an essay written about the story.  I am planning to read this after I read the story.

Today I was reading in Letters by Humphrey Carpenter, while i was looking on a totally different subject iIaccidently bumped into letter 98 (18 March 1945), to Stanley Unwin. In this letter Tolkien talks about 'Leaf by Niggle': "...that story was the only thing I have ever done which cost me absolutely no pains at all. Usually I compose only with great difficulty and endless rewriting. I woke up one day (more the 2 years ago) with that odd thing virtually complete in my head. It took only a few hours to get down, and then copy out."
The above quote came from another interesting webpage from The Tolkien Library

      Looking forward to reading a work from Tolkien.  Please join us?  It does not look like it will take very long!

Reading Blessings,

                 Chari & Willa



  1. Hi Chari; just found you from your comment - thank you! I will hunt around your blog - I love and need all the reading material I can get! (Yes, I have three boys and then three girls!)

    1. Thanks for stopping by! Any time you need reading material.....I am sure one of us can point you in any of various directions. :)

      We are both of us addicted to the written if perusing our blog does not give that away. ;)

      Enjoy raising your brood! It truly does go too fast.

  2. This looks so fun, I am going to join in with you guys!!

    1. Yay, Meredith! So glad to have you read with us! I cannot wait to read it!

  3. By a happy coincidence, I was reading Tolkein's Tales From the Perilous Realm to my boys and Leaf by Niggle was in the collection. I am now going to read the links you have shared. Thank you!

  4. Thanks for stopping by and your comment. I love those kinds of coincidences! Has happened to me much in life. :)


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