It was some time ago that I discovered this three-part lecture series by Dr. Tom Shippey on Tolkien’s translation of Beowulf, and it has been on my mind to share it with you. Dr. Shippey is a respected Tolkien scholar, specializing, like Tolkien, in Old and Middle English language and literature.1 His lectures are always … Continue reading Exploring Tolkien’s Beowulf with Dr. Shippey
I very recently finished reading John Lesslie Hall’s translation of Beowulf. Several months ago I shared my reflections on Seamus Heaney’s and J.R.R. Tolkien’s translations of Beowulf in Beowulf: Seamus Heaney vs. J.R.R. Tolkien. It feels appropriate to share my thoughts on Hall’s translation as well. Hall’s translation is a verse translation which, to the … Continue reading Yet Another Translation of Beowulf
“Good morning!” said Bilbo, and he meant it. The sun was shining, and the grass was very green. But Gandalf looked at him from under long bushy eyebrows that stuck out further than the brim of his shady hat. “What do you mean?” he said. “Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that … Continue reading A Reflection on “Good Morning”
As far as Middle-earth and our world are concerned, Hobbits are uneducated. They are the personification of country-bumpkins, with little or no knowledge of math and science (outside of what is required for farming and marketing), literature (save their own tales and ditties), or history. Yet in both The Hobbit and The Lord of the … Continue reading Courage in Spite of Ignorance
Here, friends, is the post on skriking, which I mentioned bore writing in Rereading The Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings, Part 1. Prior to writing this post, I had not the faintest idea of what skrike meant, though I could glean a general sense from its context in The Hobbit. As for its etymology ...
In some ways, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien differ greatly in their approach to stories. However, in many other aspects the two share very similar ideas. One example is in their depictions of the towns of Narrowhaven in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and Lake-town in The Hobbit. The leaders of both towns are … Continue reading Lake-town & Narrowhaven: Monetary Gain and Unbelief
“The Feminine Principle in Tolkien” is an essay I happened upon about a month ago. I was meandering through various byways---an article to a book to an article on that book which mentioned this essay---and discovered it like one finds a pretty pebble on the road. It appeared at a particularly timely moment, as in … Continue reading “The Feminine Principle in Tolkien,” by Melanie Rawls
Sometimes, in reading a work of literature, I encounter a snippet of wording which illuminates a previously unnoticed pattern in another work. This was the case with a particular reference in W.B. Yeats’ preface to Lady Gregory’s translation of the Finn Cycle to the degradation of the mortal-immortal relationship over the course of Irish mythology. … Continue reading The Wearing of Time on Mortal-Immortal Relationship
Lord Henry Wotton is one of the chief characters in The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde. He is a young aristocrat who seeks to bring himself attention by an apparent careless attitude and wit. His flippant tongue drips with hedonic philosophy which he dolls out for the purpose of sensation alone. However, amongst … Continue reading A Particle of Truth Spoken by Lord Henry Wotton
It appears that The Return of the King is the hardest book in the trilogy for me to put down or, more accurately, the hardest for me to resist picking up. This may be because of the many day-spring moments in The Return of the King: flashes of incredible beauty...