Sunday, April 29, 2007

Tolkien's unfinished chairs

The story of Frodo the hobbit and his plucky band of companions, who undertake a dangerous voyage with the One Ring of the Dark Lord Sauron, is among the most beloved books ever published. Inevitably, for most of its readers the enormous body of lore behind it is nothing more than a colorful backdrop, full of incomprehensible genealogies, invented languages and unpronounceable names. Yet as the universe of hardcore Tolkien fans is well aware, the author had imagined and examined every detail of his creation… No author in fantasy or any other genre has ever constructed a world of such linguistic and historical density; it almost seems that this immense architectural work exhausted Tolkien, and with the sole exception of the "Lord of the Rings" narrative he had no energy left to tell its stories...
An outstanding review of The Children of Hurin by Salon's Andrew O'Hehir, complete with the back-story on J R R’s long and complex writing career (which I briefly covered in this post).

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