17 December 2020

Eucatastrophae non sunt multiplicandae praeter necessitatem.

‘The birth of Christ is the eucatastrophe of Man’s history. The Resurrection is the eucatastrophe of the story of the Incarnation. This story begins and ends in joy’
(OFS ¶ 104)
These days I hear so many of the events in The Lord of the Rings described as eucatstrophes that I think we have lost sight of how very miraculous and weighty a thing Tolkien held a eucatastrophe to be. The eucatastrophes at the end of myths or fairy-stories are echoes of the Incarnation and the Resurrection, not the other way around. For a man as devout as Tolkien, who could write the sentence quoted above, it was no cheap parlor trick or deus ex machina which through overuse trivializes the events it brings about. It could not be so.

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