1 Dec 2014

THERE AND BACK AGAIN: J.R.R. TOLKIEN AND THE ORIGINS OF THE HOBBIT.


THERE AND BACK AGAIN: J.R.R. TOLKIEN AND THE ORIGINS OF THE HOBBIT by Mark Atherton.

SOURCE: A GoodReads win.

AMAZON.CO.UK BLURB: 'Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.' The prophetic words of Galadriel, addressed to Frodo as he prepared to travel from Lothlorien to Mordor to destroy the One Ring, are just as pertinent to J.R.R. Tolkien's own fiction. For decades, hobbits and other fantastical creatures of Middle-earth  have captured the imagination of a fiercely loyal tribe of readers, all enhanced by the immense success of Peter Jackson's films: first, 'The Lord Of the Rings', and now his new 'the Hobbit'. But for all Tolkien's global fame and the familiarity of modern culture with Gandalf, Bilbo, Frodo and Sam, the sources of the great mythmaker's own myth-making have been neglected. 

Mark Atherton here explores the chief influences on Tolkien's work:

... Read more by clicking on book title.  

FIRST SENTENCE {Part One: Shaping the plot}: J.R.R. Tolkien often regarded his moments of creative inspiration as epiphanies that came to him unexpectedly during moments of concentration, when his mind was elsewhere, engaged in the intricacies of philological scholarship or carrying out his duties as a university teacher.

MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 224}: The translation of Tolkien's riddle 'Meolchwitum sind marmanstane' which for copyright reasons I cannot reproduce here but can link to here. TT

MY THOUGHTS: Never a big fan of the star rating system, I feel it is books like this, well enough written but simply not to my taste, that suffer because of it. 

Interesting in parts (and with some good illustrations) but essentially this is a dry, academic study of the myriad of influences that shaped Tolkien's works and in particular the Hobbit.

Essential reading for fans? Perhaps, but I'm guessing that with headings such as 'The appeal of philology' and 'Sound symbolism and onomatopoeia' this may well only really appeal to those fans of the books with a serious interest in linguistics.


7 comments:

Suko said...

Thanks again for your honest, concise, and well-written review. Happy Cyber Monday, Tracy!

Kelly said...

I read The Hobbit as a young teen and really didn't enjoy it. That's why I never plowed on through the Ring Trilogy.

I appreciate your honest review and can assure you it wouldn't be to my liking, either.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

This would be great for the obsessed fan. For the more casual fan I don't think this one would work. Brilly review!

Brandi Kosiner said...

Yeah, origins and philosophy turns me off, but I didn't read anything besides hobbit

Melliane said...

I haven't read any Tolkien and I need to see the Hobbit movies but I'll. As for the books I'm not sure yet.

Brian Joseph said...

Like many I love The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.

I would also sheepishly admit that detailed academic like books like this about writing sometimes fascinate me :)


One dilemma that I have is whether to spend time reading this sort of book or literature itself. Time is so limited.

Philology can be fun :)

Gina R said...

Ooh...I do believe I'll pass on this one, though the actual story I loved!