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Philology

MARS HILL AUDIO Conversation 17

Maker of Middle-Earth

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While it is not a story set in the twentieth century, Tom Shippey (author of J. R. R. Tolkien: Author of the Century) claims that The Lord of the Rings is very much a work of the twentieth century; the momentum of evil sweeps characters into action before they understand the events in which they are involved. Joseph Pearce (author of Tolkien: Man and Myth) defends The Lord of the Rings fantasy genre against those who would claim that realistic fiction is a better vessel for truth; because mythology is stripped of the factual, he explains, it can deal with truth unencumbered and therefore convey its moral more directly. Literary critic Ralph C. Wood explains why he has been drawn to J. R. R. Tolkien's moral Middle-Earth since his first reading of The Lord of the Rings in the 1960s. It is a world ordered by heroism, friendship, loyalty, and hope. These ties alone, he states, enable the hobbits to complete their quest and go where no one else can. 86 minutes. $6.