Tolkien and the Study of His Sources: Critical Essaysby Jason Fisher
Source criticismanalysis of a writer's source materialhas emerged as one of the most popular approaches in exploring the work of J.R.R. Tolkien. Since Tolkien drew from many disparate sources, an understanding of these sources, as well as how and why he incorporated them, can enhance readers' appreciation. This set of new essays by leading Tolkien
Source criticismanalysis of a writer's source materialhas emerged as one of the most popular approaches in exploring the work of J.R.R. Tolkien. Since Tolkien drew from many disparate sources, an understanding of these sources, as well as how and why he incorporated them, can enhance readers' appreciation. This set of new essays by leading Tolkien scholars describes the theory and methodology for proper source criticism and provides practical demonstrations of the approach.
- McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)
Meet the Author
Jason Fisher is an independent scholar specializing in J.R.R. Tolkien, the Inklings, and Medieval Germanic philology. He is also the editor of Mythprint, the monthly publication of The Mythopoeic Society, and has written for Tolkien Studies, Mythlore, Beyond Bree, North Wind, Renaissance, and other publications.
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >
Since Tolkien didn¿t care for source criticism, or people spending hours trying to decide where he got his ideas, it seems strange that this book should come together. The author makes it clear from the beginning that there is indeed value in wondering what influences might have been present when Tolkien wrote his most famous work. One of the most valid reasons to me is that the time period has changed, education has changed, and the world has changed. We aren¿t as familiar today with the literature of Tolkien¿s lifetime as he was, for example. If for no other reason than this one, it is worthwhile considering source criticism. With that in mind, I set off to read this book. Some of the essays are better than others. A couple of them are little more than endless comparisons between various works of Tolkien and obscure writers that may have been familiar to Tolkien. It is interesting in one respect: these writers are unknown to most of us today, so I suppose there is value in learning a little about them. The last essay, "Biography as Source", is the one that I enjoyed the most. These essays are not light reads; I suspect they are geared more for the Tolkien scholar rather than those of us who enjoy Tolkien's work for what it is. But, if I am understanding Tolkien correctly, he intended only that we enjoy Middle Earth and not try to second-guess how it came into being.