Our Own Dear John Ronald: Reconstructing

Here’s a more scholarly way of expressing how (and why) Tolkien saw himself as a discoverer of legends rather than an inventor of stories.

No comments

But Tolkien also thought – and this takes us back to the roots of his inventions – that philology could take you back even beyond the ancient texts it studied.  He believed that it was possible sometimes to feel one’s way back from words as they survived in later periods to concepts which had long since vanished, but which had surely existed, or else the word would not exist.  (…) However fanciful Tolkien’s creation of Middle-Earth was, he did not think he was ENTIRELY making it up.  He was ‘reconstructing’, he was harmonizing contradictions in his source-texts, sometimes he was supplying entirely new concepts (like hobbits), but he was also reaching back to an imaginative world which he believed had once really existed, at least in a collective imagination: and for this he had  very great deal of admittedly scattered evidence.

~ Tom Shippey: J.R.R. Tolkien.  Author of the Century.

IMG_2294 - Edited

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.