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Some of the essays are inspiring and illuminating, others mere fun anecdotes about discovering Tolkien, but all share one thing in common: A profound respect for the man who pretty much put fantasy on the map.Yes, I know works like , but it was Tolkien who elevated fantasy into the mainstream.
His is a calm, adult, rational dislike of unbridled modernity. Frodo’s “triumph” at the mouth of Mount Doom was just a temporary victory.
The world of men was coming, and with it great good and unspeakable evil.
As he advanced in reading at an early age, peers would have difficulty with the content that he’s already achieved.
Other kids would frown upon him because it was out of the ordinary for an Indian to be smart.
Magazines like as one of the top 100 novels ever written, according to Wikipedia it’s one of the top 10 best-selling books of all time with 150 million copies sold, and the movies upon which it’s based won several Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
Haven’t we established Tolkien’s credentials by now?Literary and stylish are frequently used to describe his works, terms with which I agree wholeheartedly.Even though “The Best Introduction to the Mountains” never saw print in taught him that right and wrong can be absolutes, and that absolute moral equivalency is another piece of Mordor.As it turns out, Wolfe had submitted the essay for Haber’s consideration in .Among fantasy aficionados he’s known as one of the genre’s best writers.In addition, it taught him that “progress” is not necessarily progressive, and with change comes inevitable loss.Says Wolfe: It is said with some truth that there is no progress without loss; and it is always said, by those who wish to destroy good things, that progress requires it.Fortunately, much of the legwork has already been done in works like .Published in 2001, Meditations is a collection of essays about Tolkien by a host of bestselling fantasy and science-fiction authors, including George R. Martin, Poul Anderson, Terry Pratchett, Robin Hobb, Ursula Le Guin, Douglas Anderson, Orson Scott Card, Charles De Lint, and Terri Windling, among others.No great insight or experience of the world is necessary to see that such people really care nothing for progress.They wish to destroy for their profit, and they, being clever, try to persuade us that progress and change are synonymous. My only quarrel with Wolfe is with his belief that Tolkien also saw change as harmful in the main. While Tolkien did experience nostalgia for the past, and mourned for the loss of a mythic time and a world drained of its magic, I would argue that Tolkien viewed change as not always bad, just inevitable, and “progress” as a harbinger of difference, not decay. Loss of individual freedom, increased mechanization and urbanization, the destruction of wood and field and stream—or the loss of native English language and mythology following the Norman invasion of 1066, to touch on a subject near and dear to Tolkien’s heart—are all reasons to treat progress with skepticism.