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Jance Chance, Tolkien, Self and Other

"This Queer Creature".

Palgrave, 2019. 1e druk. Paperback.

This book examines key points of J. R. R. Tolkien’s life and writing career in relation to his views on humanism and feminism, particularly his sympathy for and toleration of those who are different, deemed unimportant, or marginalized—namely, the Other. Jane Chance argues such empathy derived from a variety of causes ranging from the loss of his parents during his early life to a consciousness of the injustice and violence in both World Wars. As a result of his obligation to research and publish in his field and propelled by his sense of abjection and diminution of self, Tolkien concealed aspects of the personal in relatively consistent ways in his medieval adaptations, lectures, essays, and translations, many only recently published. These scholarly writings blend with and relate to his fictional writings in various ways depending on the moment at which he began teaching, translating, or editing a specific medieval work and, simultaneously, composing a specific poem, fantasy, or fairy-story. What Tolkien read and studied from the time before and during his college days at Exeter and continued researching until he died opens a door into understanding how he uniquely interpreted and repurposed the medieval in constructing fantasy.*

Chris Vaccaro (red.), Tolkien and Alterity

Palgrave, 2017. 1e druk. Paperback.

This exciting collection of essays explores the role of the Other in Tolkien’s fiction, his life, and the pertinent criticism. It critically examines issues of gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity, language, and identity in The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, and lesser-known works by Tolkien. The chapters consider characters such as Lobelia Sackville-Baggins, Saruman, Éowyn, and the Orcs as well as discussions of how language and identity function in the source texts. The analysis of Tolkien’s work is set against an examination of his life, personal writing, and beliefs. Each essay takes as its central position the idea that how Tolkien responds to that which is different, to that which is “Other,” serves as a register of his ethics and moral philosophy. In the aggregate, they provide evidence of Tolkien’s acceptance of alterity.*

Lisa Coutras< Tolkien's Theology of Beauty

Palgrave, 2016. 1e druk. Ingebonden (geen stofomslag uitgegeven).

 In this book, Lisa Coutras explores the structure and complexity of J.R.R. Tolkien’s narrative theology, synthesizing his Christian worldview with his creative imagination. She illustrates how, within the framework of a theological aesthetics, transcendental beauty is the unifying principle that integrates all aspects of Tolkien’s writing, from pagan despair to Christian joy.
J.R.R. Tolkien’s Christianity is often held in an unsteady tension with the pagan despair of his mythic world. Some critics portray these as incompatible, while Christian analysis tends to oversimplify the presence of religious symbolism. This polarity of opinion testifies to the need for a unifying interpretive lens. The fact that Tolkien saw his own writing as “religious” and “Catholic,” yet was preoccupied with pagan mythology, nature, language, and evil, suggests that these areas were wholly integrated with his Christian  worldview. Tolkien’s Theology of Beauty  examines six structural elements, demonstrating that the author’s Christianity is deeply embedded in the narrative framework of his  creative imagination.*