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Old 11-21-2014, 12:33 AM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Armenelos, Nmenor
Posts: 205
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Originally Posted by Zigr View Post
Has anyone read this? It's pretty lightweight and insubstantial as they go, mostly just cataloguing a bunch of references to The Lord of the Rings in 60s and 70s culture (it also erroneously assumes that pipe-weed was a hallucinogen rather than ordinary tobacco), but it raises a couple of curious points.

As my PhD thesis nears its completion I've been considering some elements of Professor Tolkien's relationship to "alternative lifestyles" or "radical activism," largely in terms of how his work does what I think was a rather bold thing for his context by critiquing modernity, which seems to have been (and still is in some quarters) a bit of a sin in academic discourse, where any criticism of modernity automatically makes you "nostalgic." People always seem to miss the completely overt criticism of the pointlessness of nostalgia in the books too. I am somewhat intrigued by the idea that Professor Tolkien argues in favour of alternatives to modernity rather than a regression from it, which was a proposal firmly made by his literary precursor, William Morris.

At the same time, it's not as if The Lord of the Rings is some kind of manifesto for a better society, although it may suggest better ways of being as individuals and communities.
I never made the connection between Tolkien's works and alternative lifestyle. I always saw it as Tolkien just writing really good stuff set in a high fantasy world.
All of that counterculture stuff is just a different interpretation of his works which is neither right nor wrong; it just is.
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