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Minas Tirith Forums » The Ivy Bush » Tolkien Tutorial: A Request for 'Memories and Insight'.
Author Topic: Tolkien Tutorial: A Request for 'Memories and Insight'.
Miranthridel Bloom
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This semester at uni I'm doing a history unit entitled History in Fantasy/Fantasy in History. I'm presenting a tutorial on LoTR (book 1, specifically), and as the description of this forum is "Where veteran readers share their memories and insight", I figured it was the right place to ask for such contributions, especially from venerable veteran readers. To give you a bit of an idea, I'm including the unit description, although I'll probably be more specific the closer I get to the presentation.
quote:
Content: "In a faraway galaxy, long, long ago…". Fantasy and science fiction are vital aspects of the modern mentality, as reflected in the resonance of this epigraph from the Star Wars films, the vast popularity of Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, or the flourishing subculture which has developed around Star Trek. This unit examines genre fantasy and science fiction in their historical context, and at the same time considers how their ‘historical imaginary’ has contributed to the making of the modern world. The utopian and dystopian futures imagined in science fiction; the alternative history genre ("What if the Nazis had won the Second World War?"); the imaginary realms and imaginary histories of 'high fantasy', the eschatological vision of ‘dying earth’ science-fantasy—are analysed in their historical and ideological dimensions. Students engage with primary sources, including film, and with the sophisticated critical and contextual studies that have accumulated around these texts. The unit thus enhances students’ grasp of contemporary cultural studies in its fruitful marriage to cultural history and the history of ideas.
The A/Prof is big on 'the historical imaginary', and 'world building'. I've not had any in-depth discussion with the girl I'm presenting with, but for now, I guess I'd just like feedback on what drew you to LoTR, and, perhaps more important, what has kept you? References to Tolkien's other Middle Earth works are fine [] .

Thanks, guys!

From: HMAS Fire & Ice, Miranistan | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lórien
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Great thread Miran!

What drew me to LoTR was firt and formost, the fact that one of my friends(not Rumil) had read the trilogy and told me it was great. I decided to pick it up and try. My eyes were stuck to the pages for the next 3 months.( it took me 3 months to read the Fellowship, I know , it sounds horrible, I was 10 years old okay!) Tolkien quickly became my favorite author. After the trilogy I read the Hobbit. I ended up grounded for reading to long(yeah sounds funny....) I read the trilogy aain this time it took me a month for the whole trilogy. [] . Thats it for Mr. UnVeteren Lori.

From: thats completely up to you. | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Adanedhel
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Thought this might help you; 'Why are Tolkien's works so great to you?'

And of course my thoughts: []

What drew me to LOTR originally was the Hobbit. I read The Hobbit, at the age of 12, and the world that Tolkien presented was so fantastic that I wanted to know more, and so I found out everything I could about him. That's when I came across LOTR. His writing was so complete so detailed that you were drawn into his world and you could nearly start believing it was real.
His mix of detailed characters and relationships with a rich and colourful world and tying it to such an epic story of adventure with so many themes of everyday life running through them like sacrifice, courage, dedication, etc, made for such a rich story that it made you want to keep reading. In turn this made me want to know so much more about this world that he had created and throw myself as deeply into it, always finding something new about it that I didn't know before.

I believe it was because he put every fibre of his being into writing that book and so his passion and drive shows through his writing and that's what has captivated millions of people across the world. You not only seeing an insight into the world of Middle Earth but an insight into the mind of one of the greatest authors of our time.

Sounds like an awesome unit to be studying at uni! I wish I could do something like that! Instead I'm stuck in an office all day []

Good luck!

Ad

From: Hithlum (Dor-Lomin) | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Miranthridel Bloom
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Thanks guys, especially for the link, Ad!

To further clarify, I'll give you the questions we're to discuss in the tutorial:
LotR is one of the great achievements in 'world creation' ('sub creation'in Tolkien's own pious parlance) within either the Fantasy or Sci-Fi genres.
  • Why did a relatively minor genre suddenly explode in popularity with the publication of Tolkien's great work?
  • Who was JRRT, and why has he come to be considered 'the writer of the century'?
  • How does LotR embody the historical imagination?
  • How does Tolkien create a sense of 'history'in this text?
  • What ideas of history can be discovered in it?
  • How does the work exemploify its times, while intervening in them?
  • Does its historical imagination still speak to us in 2006?




quote:
Sounds like an awesome unit to be studying at uni! I wish I could do something like that! Instead I'm stuck in an office all day []
*Smugly huggles her Arts degree [] [] *
The unit's a world first, no one's ever taught anthing like this before, which is really exciting [] . We had a tut on H. P. Lovecraft and his Cthulhu Mythos today, which was fascinating.
*Is such a nerd [] *

[ 08-14-2006, 07:00 AM: Message edited by: Miranthridel Bloom ]

From: HMAS Fire & Ice, Miranistan | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Eluchil
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Miran, have you read JRR Tolkien, Author of the Century from Tom Shippey ? If not, you should : it contains a lot of answers to your questions.
From: Menegroth, deep under the sea | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Miranthridel Bloom
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Cheers, Elu!
Although, I'd really love some first-hand comments from fans about how they feel about Tolkien's works, and especially the sense of history created therein.
All efforts are much appreciated! []

From: HMAS Fire & Ice, Miranistan | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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