The Fiction of Literature: Folk Tales, Fan Fiction, and Oral Tradition in the Internet Age

2388 Words Feb 20th, 2018 10 Pages
After outlining the scope of his many interconnected plots, Tolkien self-consciously articulated his hopes for his novel’s reception:
"Do not laugh! But once upon a time (my crest has long since fallen) I had a mind to make a body of more or less connected legend, ranging from the large and cosmogonic to the level of romantic fairy-story… The cycles should be linked to a majestic whole, and yet leave scope for other minds and hands, wielding paint and music and drama. Absurd.” With the benefit of hindsight, we know now that his idea was not ‘absurd’. Tolkien almost presciently describes the place his novels have taken in Western culture. Tolkien’s works, in the words of Tolkien scholar Tom Shippey, “ha[ve] become part of the mental furniture of the culture… [They are] a story that everybody kn[ows] about, even if they c[a]n’t remember ever reading or hearing any version of it.” This cultural awareness of a story is the direct result of the adaptations and additions Tolkien described. First with official illustrations, and later with an entire genre of Tolkien-inspired bands and musicians, and even a ballet, many other hands and minds have added to the majestic whole. In recent years, the Peter Jackson adaptations of The Lord of the Rings, a story…

More about The Fiction of Literature: Folk Tales, Fan Fiction, and Oral Tradition in the Internet Age

Open Document