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A Journey through Aesthetic Realms

J. R. R. Tolkien: Father of Modern Fantasy Literature

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John Ronald Reuel Tolkien or J. R. R. Tolkien, was a renowned English writer, poet, and professor of ancient languages and philology. From his vast imagination, he created the fantastic world of Arda, wherein lies the mortal land of Middle-Earth, an immersive continent populated not only by Men, but also by Elves, Dwarves, Hobbits, Ents, Orcs, Trolls, Dragons, and other mythical beings. J. R. R. Tolkien’s intricate world of magic and fantasy took shape through an extensive series of published works that culminated in the hugely successful novels “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings,” both of which have been made into blockbuster films.

Among the trademarks of Tolkien’s books are the fascinating “fairy” languages some of the characters speak, sounding out of this world, yet familiar. In developing the Quenya, Sindarin and other languages for Elvish in the tale of Middle Earth, Tolkien was seemingly much influenced by Finnish. He was, in his own words, “quite intoxicated” by the sound and style of this language when he discovered it. He also listed Greek, Latin, Spanish, and other languages among his inspirations. “What I’m doing now is to try and write in Elvish, which obviously my writing is very inferior to the Elves. Their standard greeting when meeting: ‘A Star shines upon our meeting.’”

J.R. R. Tolkien brought an abundance of natural beauty into his works, which express his extraordinarily intense feeling for and amazing ability to visualize landscapes. It seems that certain places from his background and life experience influenced the places he created in the tales.

We can learn much about Tolkien’s philosophy and worldview from this passage from a letter addressed to his son, Michael: “Out of the darkness of my life with so much frustrated, I put before you the one great thing to love on Earth, the Blessed Sacrament. There you will find romance, glory, honor, fidelity, and the true way of your love upon Earth.”

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