Josh Chaffin’s Experience–Tolkien Experience Project (94)

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 Josh 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 a 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 Josh Chaffin’s responses:


1. How were you introduced to Tolkien’s work?

My mother showed me the Rankin Bass adaptation of The Hobbit, which I believe she checked out from our local library on VHS. She then would also read to us from the book as a bedtime story. As I understand it, one of her dates with my father was to see the Bakshi Lord of the Rings animated film, and that’s how she was introduced to Middle-earth. She in turn introduced me and my sister.

2. What is your favorite part of Tolkien’s work?

The fact that evil is never vanquished once and for all, it’s a constant battle, but it is a battle that will be won eventually. We must learn to find the light in the dark places.

3. What is your fondest experience of Tolkien’s work?

That would be a tie between listening to my mother read Tolkien’s works to me, and listening to my father narrate his own recollections of the events of Lord of the Rings at the dinner table.

4. Has the way you approach Tolkien’s work changed over time?

Yes. I used to read them just for lighthearted fun, but as I age, I find immersing myself in the Legendarium for escape from everyday life has become more a necessary aspect of survival. Instead of reading for mere entertainment, I read for encouragement and rejuvenation.

5. Would you ever recommend Tolkien’s work? Why/Why not?

Absolutely would recommend him. His works as a whole have helped solidify the way I view the world around me, and I believe everyone has something to learn from it, to help them grow and function as a human being.


If you want to connect with Josh Chaffin, you can do so on Twitter!

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