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 Pauline 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 Pauline’s responses:
1. How were you introduced to Tolkien’s work?
I had to read The Hobbit in high school in the late 1980’s.
2. What is your favorite part of Tolkien’s work?
That he didn’t just tell a story, he built a world and apparently inspired/set the stage for people like George R.R. Martin to do the same.
3. What is your fondest experience of Tolkien’s work?
My late son and I watched Jackson’s LotR movies repeatedly and just before his death (at age 11) had begun discussing LotR on a level deeper than “just a cool story”. It was the Good vs. Evil struggle and Campbell’s idea of The Reluctant Hero and his Mentor like Skywalker/Kenobi. As well as Chaotic vs Lawful. (I had also introduced him to Dungeons and Dragons Online.)
4. Has the way you approach Tolkien’s work changed over time?
- Didn’t care for it in HS when I was forced to read it.
- It became s connection point w/ my son, and I have since gone back and re-read it numerous times.
- I now feel it is so monumental in our culture that I chose to read it aloud as part of my English/Language Arts curriculum while teaching Graduate Equivalency classes at a Medium Security Men’s Prison here in Georgia.
5. Would you ever recommend Tolkien’s work? Why/Why not?
Always. It is unlike so many other ‘High Fantasy’ works and like Jimi Hendrix or Nirvana, it was the first of its kind; the flag bearer; the harbinger of Fantasy for All…or at least a large percentage of ‘All’.