Section 7: Tolkien Studies
- Good Guys, Bad Guys, Fantasy and Reality.
- This paper begins by considering the
nature of some of the stylised
"evil" and "good"
character types employed by J.R.R.
Tolkien in his Middle-earth works, and
their relationship both with folklore and
with related character types appearing in
the contemporary world (in Tolkien's time
and in our own). The paper then goes on
to consider the role of women in
Tolkien's fictional world, with
particular reference to their status as
mothers (particularly as absent mothers),
and as heroic figures, and looks at the
victimisation of the woman/wife/mother in
the Biblical tradition of the Book of
Genesis, and its possible relation to
Tolkien's own situation. The paper then
relates these areas, particularly the
latter, to the underlying stress in all
the Middle-earth writings between a
longing for certainty and permanence, and
the recognition that there is no certain
path to these desirable states.
- The Realm of Faërie.
- Middle-earth is not the only glimpse we
get of Tolkien's view of Faërie. This
paper examines his definition of Faërie
and how it applies to Niggle's Parish and
to the forest in Smith of Wootton
Major. Once we are aware of certain
aspects of Faërie (for example the
double vision possible), we can
appreciate them in Middle-earth.
- Point of View in Tolkien.
- Many stories are told by more than one
teller in Tolkien's works. This paper
compares different versions to see what
areas of interest or emphasis arise, and
what differences might be explained by
the specific interests or culture of the
teller. The paper also evaluates which
kinds of stories are told most often by
Joe R. Christopher
- J.R.R. Tolkien and the Clerihew.
- The clerihew, a form of light verse, is
part of Tolkien's oeuvre. This study
offers (1) a brief history and an
elaborate definition of the genre, (2) a
discussion of the clerihews that have
been written about Tolkien or his works,
and (3) an analysis of the clerihews that
Edith L. Crowe
- Power in Arda: Sources, Uses and Misuses.
- Power and renunciation of power has long
been recognised as an important theme in
the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. This paper
will examine the issue of power with
particular attention to Riane Eisler's
dominator/partnership model of power
relations and the power within/power over
dichotomy. It will consider the sources
of various types of power: spiritual,
political, physical; and how these are
wielded by the various peoples and
individuals of Middle-earth.
- Tolkien and Englishness.
- This paper discusses ways in which
Tolkien draws upon various ideas of
Englishness in order to construct his
epic fictional world. In particular,
Tolkien's combinations of different
periods and traditions of Englishness -
Anglo-Saxon, nineteenth-century - are
Carl J. Hostetter and Arden R. Smith
- A Mythology for England.
- As J.R.R. Tolkien developed a mythology
for his invented languages to dwell and
grow in, he found himself increasingly
drawn to satisfy for himself his desire
for a true English epic. Tolkien thus
encompassed elements of English
geography, language, and mythology within
his geography, languages, and mythology,
as demonstrated through an examination of
five figures of Tolkien's mythology,
Eärendil, Ermon and Elmir, Ælfwine, and
- A Tolkien Chronology.
- Premise: A writer's professional and
personal life affect his creative
writing. A knowledge of what Tolkien was
doing, and when, may give insight into
his Mythology, or creative writing on
Middle-earth. Outlines Tolkien's life,
giving dates of important events,
professional and personal life, status of
writing. Divides creative output into
three Periods, Early, Middle, and Late,
plus an Ur-Period (youth) before the
Mythology was formed. Describes thematic
and linguistic characteristics of each
Tadeusz Andrzej Olszanski
- Evil and the Evil One in Tolkien's Theology.
- This paper analyses Tolkien's theological
theory of evil: first its cosmological
aspect (especially the relation between
Eru and Melkor), then the place of evil
in the structure of the world, the
question of salvation, and finally, the
question of the End and the second
"Doom of Mandos" announcing
René van Rossenberg
- Tolkien's Exceptional Visit to Holland: A
- In March 1958 Tolkien was the guest of
honour at a "Hobbit Meal" in
Rotterdam, Holland. He had never before
accepted such an invitation and never did
again. By interviewing the organisers and
many people who met Tolkien, the visit
has been reconstructed, and many, often
funny anecdotes have come to light.
- A Mythology? For England?
- It is well known that J.R.R. Tolkien said
that he wanted to make "a mythology
for England". Well known, but not
true. This paper investigates how Tolkien
really used the word mythology,
and also looks at the relation with
- Tolkien's Elvish Craft.
- This paper examines "fusion", the basis of artistry, in
the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. Fusion takes place in descriptive passages,
in the characters' perception and in the language Tolkien uses. Fusion
works toward the purpose of Tolkien's fiction, which is to be found
in the Christian views of earth and escapism, especially as expressed
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