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Modernity: Tolkien and His Contemporaries

Author: Anna Vaninskaya
Edition/Format: Chapter Chapter : English
Summary:
This chapter examines the question of Tolkien's modernity in relation to nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature and culture. The first half of the chapter argues that Tolkien's early work follows in the romantic tradition of William Morris and W. B. Yeats in both formal and thematic terms, and has some affinities with the Symbolist and Celtic Revival projects, alongside its better-known connections to  Read more...
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All Authors / Contributors: Anna Vaninskaya
ISBN: 9781118517468; 9780470659823
Publication:Lee, Stuart D.; Context; A Companion to J. R. R. Tolkien; 350-366; John Wiley & Sons, Ltd : Oxford, UK
Language Note: English
Unique Identifier: 5593142930
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Abstract:

This chapter examines the question of Tolkien's modernity in relation to nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature and culture. The first half of the chapter argues that Tolkien's early work follows in the romantic tradition of William Morris and W. B. Yeats in both formal and thematic terms, and has some affinities with the Symbolist and Celtic Revival projects, alongside its better-known connections to Victorian philological mythopoesis and the supernatural and adventure romance. The second half of the chapter turns from literature to politics to consider how Tolkien's mature work gives expression to romantic anti-statism and Little Englandism, exemplified by such authors as G. K. Chesterton and George Orwell, and participates in interwar constructions and critiques of national character and suburbanization. The chapter concludes by examining Tolkien's practice in relation to war and modernism.

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