Escape to the book: J. R. R. Tolkien’s view on escapism from the realia of the Robot Age.

When we speak about fantasy or fairy-tales, the term “escapist literature” often goes hand in hand with them. However, it is not always used in a good sense: while some view escapism as good and harmless, others treat it with contempt and mistrust. Read more

When the Nine are abroad.

Following the success of The Hobbit, Tolkien was asked to write the sequel to it: the publisher and the public wanted more adventures of the Hobbits. As the Professor began working on the follow-up to his story, the new tale, which eventually became The Lord of the Rings, was slowly diverging from the light tone of The Hobbit and the area of children’s literature into the darker and more sinister realm. One of the chief contributors to the darkness of the new tale were the Black Riders. Read more

What makes The Hobbit special?

In September 2017 The Hobbit celebrates its 80th birthday. Since being released in 1937 the book has been enchanting readers all over the world – both children and grown-ups, and has joined the ranks of world classics. As it happens with many books that are in for a legendary fate, The Hobbit did not seem to be especially planned for writing or publication. The written-down story began on the spur of the moment as Tolkien was marking examination papers and, turning over one of them and finding a blank page there, he wrote: In the hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Upon many occasions later the Professor admitted that he did not know or remember clearly why he wrote this line, but these ten words began the life of what would later became one of the most favourite and best books in literature Read more

The wonder of Middle-earth.

Wonder surrounds us everywhere if we care to look carefully. It can be hidden in the smallest details which seem ordinary and which we tend to take for granted as time passes, but which are still wonderful in their own right. “Invoking Wonder” was the topic of Mythmoot IV held at the beginning of June by Mythgard Academy. Unfortunately, I was not present at the conference, but these invoked-wonder posts by Tom and Joe inspired me to do a similar essay.  Read more

Sea the majestic (Part III).

All roads are now bent

Over the course of Ages, the Sea in Arda was becoming an increasingly impenetrable obstacle on the way to the Blessed Realm. Having gone the whole way from being a passable border between two continents to the realm of confusing waters and magical islands, the Sea turned into the border between two worlds within different planes of the universe.

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«Alone of the Valar he knew fear»

for though his might was greatest

of all things in this world,

alone of the Valar he knew fear.

(Silmarillion, p.178)

Quite often throughout The Silmarillion we can read of Morgoth’s being afraid at those especially tense moments when his safety was in peril. While fear is a common reaction in mortals as a means of self-preservation, it does not seem to be a very typical emotion for immortal divine beings, even in their physical forms. Morgoth was the only exception: he could feel fear. But how come the mightiest of the Ainur was frightened of anything at all? Read more

The Oxford company.

Well, has nobody got anything to read us?

Those who write will agree that having an audience to read your works to is one of the key elements and among the most potent driving forces in keeping a writer going. Having a company of like-minded people is even essential for any person who decided to master the art of putting words into stories. After all, who if not those who share your beliefs, ideas and views will be able to provide the best criticism, feedback and encouragement when you feel stuck?

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