Tag Archives: J. R. R. Tolkien

Happy birthday, Mr Tolkien

On his birthday, I wish to quote the master story-teller, J. R. R. Tolkien:

Let me begin with:

“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.”

To one of my favourite quotes from the Lord of the Rings:

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

IMG_9362I liked the above quote so much, I had it tattooed on my forearm in Elvish, some time ago.

This one makes me smile:

“I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”

This that speaks of universal experience and learning,

“Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.”

This is one of the quotes I find myself quoting most often, and especially in times like these:

“Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.”

A lesson to be learnt in these:

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”

“War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.”

Many times people who do not wish to Imagine ask me what is it that makes me like Fantasy, fiction, the imaginary instead of what they constitute as the Real, to them, what better explanation to give then in the words of Tolkien himself:

“Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisioned by the enemy, don’t we consider it his duty to escape?. . .If we value the freedom of mind and soul, if we’re partisans of liberty, then it’s our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!”

“I have claimed that Escape is one of the main functions of fairy-stories, and since I do not disapprove of them, it is plain that I do not accept the tone of scorn or pity with which ‘Escape’ is now so often used. Why should a man be scorned if, finding himself in prison, he tries to get out and go home? Or if he cannot do so, he thinks and talks about other topics than jailers and prison-walls?”

I cannot end without a mention of his prowess as a poet:

“Still round the corner there may wait
A new road or a secret gate
And though I oft have passed them by
A day will come at last when I
Shall take the hidden paths that run
West of the Moon, East of the Sun.”

and

“I sit beside the fire and think
Of all that I have seen
Of meadow flowers and butterflies
In summers that have been

Of yellow leaves and gossamer
In autumns that there were
With morning mist and silver sun
And wind upon my hair

I sit beside the fire and think
Of how the world will be
When winter comes without a spring
That I shall ever see

For still there are so many things
That I have never seen
In every wood in every spring
There is a different green

I sit beside the fire and think
Of people long ago
And people that will see a world
That I shall never know

But all the while I sit and think
Of times there were before
I listen for returning feet
And voices at the door.”

And finally, let me end with his words to people like me:

“A single dream is more powerful than a thousand realities.”

Happy birthday, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien.

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“An exciting week.”

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Tolkien on Elves, Dwarves, Men and The Hobbit

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One Ring to Rule Them All

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J. R. R. Tolkien

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, CBE (3 January 1892 – 2 September 1973) was an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor, best known as the author of the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.

 

Tolkien was Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford University from 1925 to 1945 and Merton Professor of English Language and Literature there from 1945 to 1959. He was a close friend of C. S. Lewis—they were both members of the informal literary discussion group known as the Inklings. Tolkien was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II on 28 March 1972.

 

After his death, Tolkien’s son Christopher published a series of works based on his father’s extensive notes and unpublished manuscripts, including The Silmarillion. These, together with The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, form a connected body of tales, poems, fictional histories, invented languages, and literary essays about an imagined world called Arda, and Middle-earth within it. Between 1951 and 1955, Tolkien applied the term legendarium to the larger part of these writings.

 

While many other authors had published works of fantasy before Tolkien, the great success of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings led directly to a popular resurgence of the genre. This has caused Tolkien to be popularly identified as the “father” of modern fantasy literature[6][7]—or, more precisely, of high fantasy.[8] In 2008, The Times ranked him sixth on a list of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945”. Forbes ranked him the 5th top-earning dead celebrity in 2009.

 

The Hobbit

Tolkien never expected his stories to become popular, but by sheer accident a book called The Hobbit, which he had written some years before for his own children, came in 1936 to the attention of Susan Dagnall, an employee of the London publishing firm George Allen & Unwin, who persuaded Tolkien to submit it for publication. However, the book attracted adult readers as well as children, and it became popular enough for the publishers to ask Tolkien to produce a sequel.

 

– Wikipedia

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