J.R.R. Tolkien a writer of note (17.07.15 by Prakash Chandani) -
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien commonly referred to as J.R.R. Tolkien is a South African born novelist, poet and anthologist who churned out the famous The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings books. He is best known for the three books which were adapted into hit box office movies thereby making him even more relevant to students. Research has shown that students’ reading book choices are highly dependent on trending movies or even series. This means that a little known book can become an overnight success due to a great movie adaptation. Moreover, a great book can enjoy even greater success after the same. This can be illustrated by J.K. Rowling’s books, the Harry Potter Series, which flew off the shelves after each film adaptation release.
It is a sign of true success for any writer, when students read their book and write essays on it, not because it is in the curriculum but because they enjoy doing it. The said writers get through writer’s block (which never happened to J.R.R.) and also in writing and making future editions or reissues. J.R.R. also wrote other books which might not be as well known such as Bilbo’s last song, Letters from Father Christmas and The Monsters, the critics and other essays.
The Silmarillion is a book that most students prefer and enjoy. It is an anthology of tales which detail the adventures of hobbits and the elves. It talks of wars so furious, and romances so fierce that one believes in the existence of the Silmarils, the land the cosmic beings are fighting to control. Like most Tolkien books it is set on the fantasy stage of Middle-earth. Its time setting is earlier than that of The Lord of the Rings. It was however published posthumously in 1977, by Tolkien’s son Christopher, four years after Tolkien senior’s death in 1973. The books most famous story is the song of Luthien and Beren. John wrote this song for his wife Edith after watching her dance in a field of flowering hemlocks. It is a beautiful tragic story of an elf maiden who gave her love to Beren, a mortal man. The story is even more resonant as John’s death was two years after his wife’s. Many think he died of a broken heart, a true life imitation of fiction. John’s and Edith’s gravestones are inscribed with the names Beren and Luthien respectively. This is definitely one more reason for anyone who has not read the Silmarillion to pick it up. It is proof that even great men are susceptible to even greater fetes of love, a storyline that most preteens and teens gobble up.
Not all who wander are lost
The above is a very famous quote from a poem that John wrote for the second installation of The Lord of the Rings. The first book is called, The Fellowship of the Rings the second The Two Towers and the third and last being Return of The King. They are all incredibly interesting with incredible plot twists that one immediately understands why they are so popular not just among students but across all ages and generations as well. The hobbit is a book that precedes the trilogy but is of less fame and not as widely read. The book has risen into most read by students lists after a trilogy of films loosely based on the book were released. The hobbit like most of John Tolkien's works is an adventure story that tells of greed, duplicity, betrayal and other vices common among men as displayed by mythical creatures in the middle earth setting.
About Prakash Chandani
Prakash Chandani is an Educator, Blogger and translator. He is an avid reader has reviewed several books. He is senior marketing director at HKSL.
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