Category Archives: Tolkien (J. R. R.)

Beowulf Transcends Tolkien’s Racism

“Beowulf” and “Lord of the Rings” have blind spots but they are transcendent works for all that.

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Fantasy Adventure, an Aid to Hiking

Monday Literary Hub has alerted me to an article on the importance of Lord of the Rings to long-distance hikers. According to a Rebecca Booroojian Outsider essay, many people have Lord of the Rings trail names (especially Gandalf), and inscriptions from the trilogy can be found in abundance. For instance, one will find everywhere Bilbo’s […]

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Fantasy and the Problem of Violence

Thursday Today I will be delivering the following talk as part of Sewanee’s Lifelong Learning series, delivered in a venue that used to be my high school and where I spoke 50 years ago. It may sound strange to some of you that a literary scholar such as myself would talk about fantasy. Aren’t we […]

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Bilbo Back from a Long Journey

Tuesday Julia and I returned home last night after 16 days on the road. Given that we traveled from Sewanee to Washington, D. C. to southern Maryland to Pennsylvania to Cincinnati to Des Moines and back to Sewanee, I lacked the energy to write a new post. I’ve therefore repurposed an old essay on the […]

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Fantasy Keeps Dreams Alive

Thursday In Monday’s and Tuesday’s posts (see here and here), I laid out the outlines of my first “Wizards and Enchantresses” class, which I’m currently teaching as part of Sewanee’s Lifelong Learning Program. The first class I devoted to Merlin, the second will focus on Morgan Le Fay, the third will take up Shakespeare’s Prospero, […]

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  • Literature is as vital to our lives as food and shelter. Stories and poems help us work through the challenges we face, from everyday irritations to loneliness, heartache, and death. Literature is meant to mix it up with life. This website explores how it does so.

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