Tolkien's Modern Middle Ages

Overview

J.R.R. Tolkien delved into the Middle Ages to create a critique of the modern world in his fantasy, yet did so in a form of modernist literature with postmodern implications and huge commercial success. These essays examine that paradox and its significance in understanding the intersection between traditionalist and counter-culture criticisms of the modern. The approach helps to explain the popularity of his works, the way in which they continue to be brought into dialogue with twenty-first century issues, and ...

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Overview

J.R.R. Tolkien delved into the Middle Ages to create a critique of the modern world in his fantasy, yet did so in a form of modernist literature with postmodern implications and huge commercial success. These essays examine that paradox and its significance in understanding the intersection between traditionalist and counter-culture criticisms of the modern. The approach helps to explain the popularity of his works, the way in which they continue to be brought into dialogue with twenty-first century issues, and their contested literary significance in the academy.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The reconsideration and further development of commentary on the disparate sources of, influences on, and analogues to LotR that I have summarized here make Tolkien’s Modern Middle Ages a worthy addition to the canon of Tolkien scholarship."—W.A. Senior, Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts

"The outward appearance of this nicely designed volume spells 'quality' - and indeed, fair is not foul (though, as we all know, not all that is gold glitters ...). The overall quality of the essays assembled in this collection is quite high and the two editors did a good job in dividing the fourteen papers into four parts - the medieval in postmodern Middle-earth, Middle-earth and Victorian medivalism, modern ideologies in Middle-earth, and visualizing medievalism in Middle-earth...To sum up: the collection is an interesting example of what happens when medievalists (most of them anyway) read modern theories and apply them to Tolkien's work."—Hither Shore

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781403969736
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 11/1/2005
  • Series: New Middle Ages Series
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Jane Chance is Andrew W. Mellon Distinguished Chair and Professor of English, Rice University.

Alfred K. Siewers is Associate Professor of English Literature and Coordinator of the Nature and Human Communities, Bucknell University.

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Table of Contents

* Preface and Acknowledgments
• Abbreviations
• Introduction: Tolkien's Modern Middle Ages?—Jane Chance & Alfred K. Siewers
• A Postmodern Medievalist—Verlyn Flieger
• The Medievalist's Fiction—Gergely Nagy
• Tolkien, Dustsceawung, and the Gnomic Tense—John R. Holmes
• The Reanimation of Antiquity and the Resistance to History: Macpherson-Scott-Tolkien—John Hunter
• Archaism, Nostalgia, and Tennysonian War in The Lord of the Rings—Andrew Lynch
• Pastoralia and Perfectibility in Tolkien and William Morris—Chester N. Scoville
• English, Welsh, and Elvish—Deidre Dawson
• Fantastic Medievalism and the Great War in Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings and David Jones's In Parenthesis—Rebekah Long
• Tolkien's Cosmic-Christian Ecology—Alfred K. Siewers
• Fear of Difference, Fear of Death—Brian McFadden
• Tolkien and the Other—Jane Chance
• Similar but not Similar—Ted Nasmith
• Tolkien in New Zealand: Man, Myth, and Movie—Michael N. Stanton
• Bibliography
• Contributors
• Index

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