Tolkien: The Forest and the City

Tolkien: The Forest and the City

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Despite the popular and scholarly association of J.R.R. Tolkien with the natural world and literary world-building, Middle-earth as a landscape and a built environment has been relatively neglected as the background, the foreground, and the actor in his texts. This study presents new work by some of the finest scholars in Tolkien studies, as well as research from a number of emerging scholars, addressing this lacuna. The permeable interface between nature and culture, creation and sub-creation, within Tolkien's world is of absolute importance to our understanding of Tolkien's larger point in writing. From deforestation to the shape of a window, from Sam's cooking gear to the origins of the party tree, this book surveys a world written to distill and intensify the realities of our own. Presented in a clear, approachable style, and drawing on a wide variety of critical approaches, from philology to eco-criticism, this collection explores the interaction of culture and nature that imbues J.R.R. Tolkien's secondary world with the immediacy of our own. Contents include: forests as places of transformation in The Lord of the Rings * fractures, corruption, and decay: understanding speculative cities through imagery of Minas Tirith, Minas Morgul, and Metropolis * Tolkien's use of riddles in The Hobbit * cultural materialism and the reverse discourse of the wild in Tolkien's The Hobbit * Goths and Romans in Tolkien's imagination * empire, deforestation, and the fall of Numenor * an introduction to the etiquette of Middle-earth * inscribing tragedy on the landscape of Middle-earth in The Children of Hurin * the forest and the city: the dichotomy of Tolkien's Istari * 'raw forest' versus 'cooked city': Levi-Strauss in Middle-earth * Hobbits and the Arts and Crafts Movement * the forests and trees: Sal and Ian in Faerie * the party tree and its roots in the Spanish Civil War * Tolkien and Dante's Earthly Paradise: enculturing nature * the tower and the ruin: the past in J.R.R. Tolkien's works. *** "This is an elegant collection, comprising elegant essays...many are by postgraduate students, and the contributors and the editors are to be applauded for gathering such fine work by young scholars. While tending to focus on The Lord of the Rings, the collection does make welcome forays into Tolkien's wider legendarium." - Gramarye, Issue 7, Summer 2015 [Subject: Literary Criticism, Mythology]
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Product details

  • Hardback | 200 pages
  • 157.48 x 236.22 x 22.86mm | 476.27g
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • English
  • New.
  • charts (black and white)
  • 184682429X
  • 9781846824296
  • 675,770

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9 ratings
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