J.R.R. Tolkien and His Literary Resonances: Views of Middle-Earth (Contributions to the Study of Science Fiction and Fantasy)

Overview

Although Tolkien's literary works have, over the past few decades, attracted a considerable and varied body of criticism, much of this material is inaccessible, unreflective, and repetitive. Most criticism has concentrated on his sources and biographical influences, but such studies generally do not look beyond his interest in medieval literature. Nonetheless, Tolkien's writings have links and resonances with the whole of English literature from Old Norse traditions to contemporary literary thought. This book ...

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Overview

Although Tolkien's literary works have, over the past few decades, attracted a considerable and varied body of criticism, much of this material is inaccessible, unreflective, and repetitive. Most criticism has concentrated on his sources and biographical influences, but such studies generally do not look beyond his interest in medieval literature. Nonetheless, Tolkien's writings have links and resonances with the whole of English literature from Old Norse traditions to contemporary literary thought. This book corrects a striking imbalance in Tolkien scholarship by placing his works within a larger literary context.

The volume ranges over the entire history of English literature, including oral narrative tradition, Anglo-Saxon poetry, medieval romance, Renaissance poetics, 19th-century adventure stories, modern art, and contemporary fantasy. Each chapter is written by an expert contributor who demonstrates Tolkien's relation to an earlier literary movement and examines the literary resonances of his works from a variety of informed perspectives. By grounding Tolkien's writings within the larger canon of literature, the book argues that his works actually fall within the mainstream literary tradition.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
New essays on Tolkien recognize his stature in literary history and examine his works afresh. This collection seeks to address and redress the gaps in Tolkien scholarship, put Tolkien's works in their proper contexts, and explore some of the springs that nurtured his imagination. Contributors are medievalists, critics, and fantasy literature and Tolkien scholars. Some topics include Tolkien and Old English and Old Norse tradition, Tolkien's use of medieval allegory, and women fantasists. Clark is professor emeritus of English at Queen's University, Canada. Timmons has published articles on Tolkien. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

Meet the Author

GEORGE CLARK is Professor Emeritus and Adjunct in English at Queen's University at Kingston. He has published a book on Beowulf and numerous scholarly articles.

DANIEL TIMMONS is Communication Instructor at Ryerson Polytechnic University.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1. Tolkien the Bard: His Tale Grew in the Telling 11
2. The Dragon-Lore of Middle-earth: Tolkien and Old English and Old Norse Tradition 21
3. J.R.R. Tolkien and the True Hero 39
4. Tolkien's Versecraft in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings 53
5. The Monsters Are Talismans and Transgressions: Tolkien and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight 71
6. The Sins of Middle-earth: Tolkien's Use of Medieval Allegory 83
7. Is Tolkien a Renaissance Man? Sir Philip Sidney's Defense of Poesy and J.R.R. Tolkien's "On Fairy-Stories" 95
8. Weaving Nets of Gloom: "Darkness Profound" in Tolkien and Milton 109
9. Gagool and Gollum: Exemplars of Degeneration in King Solomon's Mines and The Hobbit 121
10. "Joy Beyond the Walls of the World": The Secondary World-Making of J.R.R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis 133
11. Taking the Part of Trees: Eco-Conflict in Middle-earth 147
12. Women Fantasists: In the Shadow of the Ring 159
13. Loss Eternal in J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth 173
14. Orcs, Wraiths, Wights: Tolkien's Images of Evil 183
Selected Bibliography 199
Index 207
About the Contributors 211
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