This is one in a series of posts where the content is provided by a guest who has graciously answered five questions about their experience as a Tolkien reader. I am very humbled that anyone volunteers to spend time in this busy world to answer questions for my blog, and so I give my sincerest thanks to Andrew and the other participants for this.
To see the idea behind this project, check out this page
I want to thank Donato Giancola for allowing me to use his stunning portrait of J.R.R Tolkien as the featured image for this project. If you would like to purchase print of this painting, they are available on his website!
If you would like to contribute your own experience, you can do so by using the form on the contact page, or by emailing me directly.
Now, on to Andrew Higgins’s responses:
How were you introduced to Tolkien’s work?
My father Robert Higgins was a lover of Tolkien and member of the New York Tolkien Society. He read my brother Tom and I The Hobbit when I was about 7 and The Lord of the Rings when I was 8. This was usually after dinner and I can still hear my father doing all the voices – he was a great Gandalf!
What is your favorite part of Tolkien’s work?
No surprise it is Tolkien’s invention of languages and how they are intertwined with his myth-making. From the earliest time I can remember I was fascinated with the Appendix on languages and the writing systems.
What is your fondest experience of Tolkien’s work?
My dad reading the final “Grey Heavens” chapter [from The Lord of the Rings] and meeting him years later at the Medieval gate of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York when he presented my brother and I with our own copies of the newly published The Silmarillion (which I went home and tried to read in one night).
Has the way you approach Tolkien’s work changed over time?
Yes, I have become much more interested in the art of both myth-making and language invention that make up the world-building of Tolkien’s legendarium. I have also become more interested in how Tolkien’s love and passion for primary world myth and language – through philology – informed his creative building of his legendarium.
Would you ever recommend Tolkien’s work? Why/Why not?
OF COURSE!!!! Tolkien’s creativity has given us a world with a depth of reality we can enter into (from various points) and explore – through which Tolkien tells some really brilliant stories which reflect in the secondary world the hopes, fears, and dreams of our own world.
You can find more from Andrew at his Facebook page!