Books I’ve Read In 2017

Stacks of books

It takes me around 2.5-3 weeks to read a 200-page book. With that in mind, I’ve calculated that over the years my annual read of The Lord of the Rings occupies a good 3-month period. This year I’ve managed to whittle that down to 2.5 months – which is impressive for me. Although I know the source material and seem to breeze through each page, I never somehow manage to complete the book in that 1 or 2-week reading period that some fans claims to be able to do. Continue reading

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Approaching Tolkien: The Story of Kullervo

The Story of Kullervo (header)

In what has become something of a tradition in posthumous Tolkien publications, The Story of Kullervo is an unfinished literary work by the author, as he attempts to rewrite an account from the Finnish legend of the Kalevala into the short story format. Continue reading

The Silmarillion turns 40 … [perhaps a pocket edition now?]

 

The Silmarillion_2

It was on 15 September 1977 when that J.R.R. Tolkien’s (possible) magnum opus was released. Christopher Tolkien’s laborious and successful attempts to bring his father’s complex and vast array of writings into a cohesive and readable format were achieved. Continue reading

Debating Tolkien’s Magnum Opus

The Silmarillion_4

Stephen King has The Dark Tower series. George Orwell has 1984. Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy is the author’s own unparalleled piece of writing.

“Magnum Opus” (translated from Latin as “masterpiece”) is a term that can be applied to virtually any piece of art or literature that has somehow had a significant impact upon those who experience it, and was brought about by a sophisticated, high standard and excellent creative impulse on the part of its creator. Continue reading

The Gates of Morning and the Door of Night, Eä and the Void

Banner (Cosmology Arda)

[Highly complex illustration follows below]

The Silmarillion contains two obscure references to places or “structures” that seem to be the opposite of each other. Both are fascinating concepts but difficult to grasp given how little information we have access to. Continue reading

Was Gwaihir the “Great Eagle” in The Hobbit?

Eagles

On my first few readings of The Hobbit I paid no attention to the possible connection between the Lord of the Eagles, who rescues the Hobbit and the Dwarves from a fiery forest, and Gwaihir, the Eagle who saves Gandalf three times in The Lord of the Rings.

Yet, the more I read the books, the more I found it unquestionable that the creature was one and the same in both stories. Continue reading