Minas Tirith Forums Create a New Topic  Reply to this Topic
profile | register |
search | faq | avatars | citizens
donate | about | library
 
Minas Tirith Forums » The Ivy Bush » JRR Tolkien: Academic Medievalist and "Father of Fantasy"
Author Topic: JRR Tolkien: Academic Medievalist and "Father of Fantasy"
Roll of Honor Gna
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 3830

posted      Profile for Gna   New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post 
This report on an international meeting for medieval scholars appeared recently in the Chronicle of Higher Education. The author credits Tolkien with establishing fantasy literature in a medieval setting:

quote:
"When you say 'fantasy,'" she said, "you think 'medieval.' So: Why?"

The simplest answer to that question is John Ronald Reuel Tolkien.

Dungeons & Dragons, World of Warcraft, EverQuest: All of them derive from Tolkien's vision of Middle Earth, a world built from medieval languages, references, and literary conventions. And some scholars say Renaissance Faires and the Society for Creative Anachronism got their momentum from Tolkien's surge in popularity in the 1960s.

At the same time, Tolkien, an Anglo-Saxonist, is an immensely important figure in medieval studies. Sessions on Tolkien's scholarship as well as his fiction abound at Kalamazoo. Modern medievalists credit him with being the first scholar to treat Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight as texts with literary depth, instead of just as linguistic time capsules. It is thanks to him, many believe, that those poems have become canonical works rather than obscurities.

Are you drawn to medieval studies (of any sort: languages, history, literature, art) because, as the young woman in the audio link maintains, you read Tolkien at an early age?

Or, were you drawn to Tolkien's works because you already had an interest in medieval history and culture?

From: Andustar | Registered: Jul 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Hamfast Gamgee
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 5528

posted      Profile for Hamfast Gamgee   Author's Homepage   Email Hamfast Gamgee   New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post 
I'm not completely convinced that Tolkien did invent the idea that there could exist a land which was unaccesible by conventinal means from our world. I can't think of any examples, but I do think it unlikely that he invented the concept by himself. The Hobbit came before Narnia, but I believe that Narnia was published before Lotr. Although, I suppose there must be some debate as to weather The Hobbit was intended to exist in a fantasy world or in some unrecorded time in our past.
From: Bagshot Row, Hobbiton, The Shire! | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Miranthridel Bloom
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 3050

posted      Profile for Miranthridel Bloom   Author's Homepage   Email Miranthridel Bloom   New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Are you drawn to medieval studies (of any sort: languages, history, literature, art) because, as the young woman in the audio link maintains, you read Tolkien at an early age?

God yes. Well, a combination of interest in Fantasy lit, and myths and legends is the basis for me chosing my degree, a BA with a double major in Ancient History and Medieval & Early Modern Studies, including a unit called Fantasy in Hitsory and History in Fantasy and another called Arthur: Life of a Medieval Legend. Also, for my Early Medieval England unit, I did a document study on a poem Tokien had written on [Poem on the Battle of Maldon], to the point where the term "post-Tolkien orthodoxy" was cropping up in the critical assessments of the work.
I think the phrase "anyone sensing a pattern here?" is a tad obselete [] .

From: HMAS Fire & Ice, Miranistan | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Varnafindë
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 4097

posted      Profile for Varnafindë   Author's Homepage   New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
The Hobbit came before Narnia, but I believe that Narnia was published before Lotr.
The Narnia books were published from 1950 till 1956. Lewis knew about Tolkien's LotR project long before 1950.
From: Narnia, also connected with Norway | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Hamfast Gamgee
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 5528

posted      Profile for Hamfast Gamgee   Author's Homepage   Email Hamfast Gamgee   New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
The Narnia books were published from 1950 till 1956. Lewis knew about Tolkien's LotR project long before 1950.
Maybe, but did Tolien know about Lewis and did Narnia influence him, or was there a fantasy tale written before both of them? It would be fascinating to know. I suppose that I could look it up on Wikepdia
From: Bagshot Row, Hobbiton, The Shire! | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mithrennaith
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 5239
posted      Profile for Mithrennaith   Author's Homepage   Email Mithrennaith   New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post 
Tolkien and Lewis read their works in progress to each other (and other Inklings that happened to be present). So yes, they would each be well aware of the others works. Lewis had also heard or read parts of 'The Silmarillion'-material as it was in the 30s and 40s - that's why 'Tor and Tinidril' in Perelandra is an echo of Tuor and Idril in The Silmarillion rather than the other way round.

Lewis was influenced by Tolkien to a certain extent, hardly the other way round, however, in Lewis' words "you had more chance of influencing a Bandersnatch".

From: Amsterdam, Netherlands | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Varnafindë
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 4097

posted      Profile for Varnafindë   Author's Homepage   New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post 
I don't know whether the Narnia stories were read to the Inklings. Tolkien didn't like them - he didn't think they were good enough (Lewis probably wasn't enough of a perfectionist for him). So I doubt he would have been influenced by them.
From: Narnia, also connected with Norway | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Create a New Topic  Reply to this Topic Minas Tirith Forums » The Ivy Bush » JRR Tolkien: Academic Medievalist and "Father of Fantasy"
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic       The Red Arrow!       Admin Options: Make Topic Sticky   Close Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic

About  ~ • ~  Contact  ~ • ~  Minas Tirith  ~ • ~  F. A. Q.  ~ • ~  Help

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.6.1