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Old 09-18-2022, 04:44 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2002
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Tolkien Twentieth Century Tolkien

This thread is brought to you courtesy of the following two comments from Boro and Lal

Originally Posted by Boromir88
Please correct me if this is wrong, because I did not study literary criticism, and don't know the lingo. One point you seem to be making is Tolkien was a product of his time. I don't mean that as a negative, but he was still a 20th century author. Yes, he was inspired by historical literary works, classics and mythologies. But to me, he was also clearly a 20th century writer, and also incorporated modern ideas of his time.

An author cannot of course remain wholly unaffected by his experience, but the ways in which a story-germ uses the soil of experience are extremely complex, and attempts to define the process are at best guesses from evidence that is inadequate and ambigious.~Foreward to Lord of the Rings end quote.

Tolkien definitely deals with modern topics such as industrialism, the destruction of nature, colonialism, the horrors of war (Frodo's post traumatic stress). Again this isn't a criticism, but it's the product of being a 20th century author. You can't remain wholly unaffected by the period you're writing in. It's not surprising to me that Rings of Power is distinctly a product of 21st century writers. I agree that it is more than baggage.

Originally Posted by Lalwendë
Anyway, I'm now waiting for Bethberry to elaborate on that comment about Tolkien being a 20th century writer and make a thread. It's been a bugbear of mine for, oh, decades now that some people see him as a pastiche medieval writer when he really is not. His work is thoroughly modern, the product of a man who saw some of the worst of the 20th century, and filled with that same sense of loss that his contemporaries also filled their writing, music, art, and architecture with.
I think it will be interesting to see where these two comments lead us. Have at it!
I’ll sing his roots off. I’ll sing a wind up and blow leaf and branch away.
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