Thursday, 21 August 2014

Was JRR Tolkien a lunatic?


Tolkien certainly seemed to think so!

...if the evidence of his fictional alter egos is anything to go by.

Or rather, Tolkien was humble enough to recognize that this was how he would appear to others.


And he defused the accusation by the pre-emptive strike of having some of the main characters with whom he identified described as one or another form of lunatic; but so-described by those whose opinions and world views were narrow, cynical, and often corrupt.


e.g. The autobiographically-hinting poem titled Looney (published in the Oxford Magazine in 1934; later re-named The Sea Bell, published in The Adventures of Tom Bombadil and fictively nicknamed Frodo's Dreme).

Bilbo's nickname of 'Mad Baggins' (mentioned at the end of The Hobbit).

Frodo described as 'cracking' (and Bilbo as 'cracked') by Sandyman in Lord of the Rings.

Specifically, this lunatic, mad, cracked status was accorded to characters who exhibited a strong interest in (or claimed to have visited) visit elves or the land of faery. 


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