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Search tags: JRR-Tolkien
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text 2017-03-06 21:11
193 of 432 (45%)
The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien - J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien,Humphrey Carpenter

It is actually shameful how long it's taken me to read only this much of Tolkien's letters. In my defense, my last semester of school was crazy, and I have about a million sticky notes in this because I used so much of it for my essay. I stopped having time to read it when I started writing my thesis, and then when I graduated, I was just like, "I NEED A BREAK FROM READING," and haven't touched just about anything since...

 

For those who don't know (I'm assuming most of you), I wrote my senior thesis on The Lord of the Rings because I'm a nerd. Usually, the English department of my school wouldn't allow a thesis on something that hasn't really broken into the classical literature mold (dumb scholars have a hard time accepting fantasy as great literature, even now), but my teachers also knew me well enough to see that I was passionate about Tolkien in a way that I could craft a unique, critical thesis of his work and make it academic.

 

(I did awesome, by the way, ya'll can read it if you want.)

 

ANYWAY, The Letters of JRR Tolkien was my greatest asset to writing this paper, and the more I read from Tolkien about crafting The Lord of the Rings, the more I love it and him and everything he accomplished. I truly believe Tolkien is a genius for this work, and my heart breaks a little bit every time I meet someone who hasn't read (or even seen) The Lord of the Rings because you're seriously missing out on one of the greatest stories in English literature.

 

I'm currently in the middle of a letter to Peter Hastings, who criticized Tolkien for playing God too much in his work by allowing things that God (as Catholics believe) does not do in reality. I think the whole world could do with a lesson from Tolkien about not allowing ridiculous accusations from people to bother him. This response of his is incredibly long, and he addresses everything so perfectly, but in the end, he never sent it because "it seemed to be taking myself too importantly."

 

Also, I found out what happened to the Ent-wives, which I literally never knew. Apparently they were all either killed or enslaved by Sauron, and the remaining Ent-wives moved West, only to be taken captive by the people in those lands. They eventually fell asleep as prisoners and never woke up (just like the Ents that Treebeard says have forgotten what they truly are). So in case you need some morbidity in your life, every fruit tree you see is just an enslaved Ent-wife...

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text 2016-07-18 21:47
Finished!
The Children of Húrin - J.R.R. Tolkien,J.R.R. Tolkien

Well, what the frick??

 

This book was an emotional nightmare... I mean, I learned a lot of great things, and I absolutely love everything about the Middle-earth universe, but... frick, man!

 

On the plus side, I am pursing the seven deadly sins/seven virtues in Tolkien's characters. There was a lot of the traditional pride cycle in Turin's character here, and I want to see what I can find when I look at other Tolkien characters in Middle-earth. Then I could argue that Tolkien succeeded in creating his own mythology for England because mythology is usually tied to religion, and this would create a firm tie to religion, etc. 

 

Wish me luck!

(And bring me some tissues...)

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text 2016-07-15 20:14
66 of 313 (21%)
The Children of Húrin - J.R.R. Tolkien,J.R.R. Tolkien

"But upon all whom you love my thought shall weight as a cloud of Doom, and it shall bring them down into darkness and despair. Wherever they go, evil shall arise. Whenever they speak, their words shall bring ill counsel. Whatsoever they do shall turn against them. They shall die without hope, cursing both life and death."

 

HOLY CRAP.

 

Sometimes, I feel like I know a lot about Lord of the Rings, and in my arrogance, I feel like a little bit like an expert. However, the more I learn about Tolkien's world, the more I realize I know basically nothing. 

 

Middle-earth's lore and legend is SO DETAILED. It's so precise, so seamless, and I can't even comprehend the depth of Tolkien's genius. Additionally, as someone who is religious, I keep seeing crazy parallels to Christianity that are so perfect. 

 

I'm still searching for my thesis, but I've been playing with the idea of east vs. west because that has been a consistent theme through both Lord of the Rings and this. East is the direction of danger, fear, and adventure, while safety, protection, and divinity lie in the West. This is a pretty good reflection of orientalism in literature, but I don't know what it means yet. 

 

Onward!

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text 2016-07-14 22:10
13 of 313 (4%)
The Children of Húrin - J.R.R. Tolkien,J.R.R. Tolkien

Hello!!

 

So I've been gone for a long time, I know, but I am back for a little bit. I'm going to be playing catch up for sure once I graduate college (in October!!!), but until then, I have a senior paper to think about, and a killer thesis to find.

 

I want desperately to write about Tolkien, so I have been reading a lot of Tolkien. However, on the recommendation of a friend, I am taking a break in my reread of the trilogy (just finished Two Towers) to read The Children of Hurin because he thinks it'll have more connections to classic tragedy that I can follow to form a solid thesis. 

 

This is the first time in awhile that I've read new Tolkien because 1) I don't have a lot of time to read outside of class, and 2) when I do read Tolkien, I go back to what I know, but I am incredibly excited right now. 

 

In order to keep more detailed notes on my thoughts, you might see a lot of updates from me as I read this book, which will be a huge difference from the gap of silence there has been from me for the last two years, hahah. But here we go!

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review 2015-12-26 07:47
Tolkien makes it feel like Christmas even in NZ summer
Letters from Father Christmas - J.R.R. Tolkien,Baillie Tolkien

This is the first Christmas I've had where I wasn't with my family and there wasn't snow on the ground. It's been weird to say the least and overall hasn't really felt like Christmas. But I came prepared. One of the few books I brought with me down to New Zealand was Tolkien's Letter's to Father Christmas. 

 

I made reading this a sort of present to myself. Once December began and I started my new job at Hobbiton I picked this up, even though there were lots of other "more adult" books that I could've given my attention to. If you don't know the premise of the book, basically it is a collection of letters Tolkien wrote to his children as if he were Father Christmas because he's a BA like that. The letters are hand-written in a flourished, albeit trembling, font accompanied with illustrations. 

 

Like his other works of fiction, there are many characters in these letters, not just Father Christmas. You meet FC's helper North Polar Bear, his elf secretary Ilbereth, as well as the Snow-elves, Snow-men and less savory characters. Copies of most of the original letters are included, along with typed versions of the text, and most are paired with the related illustrations. 

 

Reading through the books is actually a bit sad. The letters start out simple. Not too long, nothing too descriptive. The earliest letters are addressed to John, the eldest son, and as more of Tolkien's children are born, their names appear in the text. And just as new names are added, old names begin to fade away. The children grow up and out grow Father Christmas. They no longer hang up their stockings. 

 

The stories begin to become more detailed and we learn more about Father Christmas' friends as the years go on (he continued to write the letters for over 20 years). Many of the tales Father Christmas relays are about Polar Bear's misadventures and skirmishes with the goblins. All the stories are fun and light-hearted and sometimes tinged with sadness. 

 

I think I love this book so much because it is such a gosh darn cute thing for a father to do for his children. So there. Another thing that makes me love Tolkien. 

 

~Ren

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