Tolkien and the Great War (英語) ペーパーバック – 2004/9/3
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A new biography exploring J. R. R. Tolkien's wartime experiences and their impact on his life and his writing of The Lord of The Rings. To be caught in youth by 1914 was no less hideous an experience than in 1939 ... by 1918 all but one of my close friends were dead. So J. R. R. Tolkien responded to critics who saw The Lord of the Rings as a reaction to the Second World War. Tolkien and the Great War tells for the first time the full story of how he embarked on the creation of Middle-earth in his youth as the world around him was plunged into catastrophe. This biography reveals the horror and heroism that he experienced as a signals officer in the Battle of the Somme and introduces the circle of friends who spurred his mythology to life. It shows how, after two of these brilliant young men were killed, Tolkien pursued the dream they had all shared by launching his epic of good and evil. John Garth argues that the foundation of tragic experience in the First World War is the key to Middle-earth's enduring power. Tolkien used his mythic imagination not to escape from reality but to reflect and transform the cataclysm of his generatuion. While his contemporaries surrendered to disil
"Very much the best book about JRR Tolkien that has yet been written. Even if you are not a Lord of the Rings fan, I commend this book to you. It is all so interesting in itself, and I have rarely read a book which so intelligently graphed the relation between a writer's inner life and his outward circumstances." A.N.Wilson, Evening Standard "A highly intelligent book exploring Tolkien's personal experience of the First World War... Garth displays impressive skills both as a researcher and writer." Max Hastings "Garth's brilliantly argued study convincinly portrays Tolkien in an entirely different leagues from other, more familiar writers on war." Daily Mail商品の説明をすべて表示する
After reading this, I feel I have a much greater understanding of Tolkien and his works and interests. I knew, of course, that he had fought in WWI and that it had a profound impact on his life (losing most of his friends) and viewpoint. I was not aware that it was during this time that he was doing a great deal of work developing his original languages, Quenya and Sindarin, not to mention his myths which form the background of Middle-Earth.
It's been many years since I read _The Silmarillion_ and I've only read bits and pieces of the other posthumous works, so I was pleased by how readable this book was to a non-scholar.
Clearly, the greatest contribution of this work is the impact of the loss of half of the TCBS upon Tolkien - and the fact that these were the other two land-serving WWI officers of the small group, besides Tolkien himself. Tolkien was a member of several well-knit academic/social all-male groups, including the TCBS and much later the Inklings. When he entered such groupings after WWI, he did so after this poignant TCBS experience. That had to have affected his Inklings, and other friend-group, experiences. After the dissolution of the TCBS, he may have felt that he carried w/ him an obligation to literarily produce not for one only, but for the absent two TCBS members as well. And it may have also made him more reserved and hesitant in his friendships.