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The Making of Middle-earth: A New Look Inside the World of J.R.R. Tolkien by Christopher Snyder, and: The Essential Tolkien Trivia and Quiz Book: A Middle-earth Miscellany by William MacKay (review)

The Making of Middle-earth: A New Look Inside the World of J.R.R. Tolkien by Christopher Snyder,... Book Reviews if less ambitious, scarcely less eclectic in his mythologizing. For all the parallels between them, however, Hiley notes the contrast in their treat- ments of mythological material: “Whereas Joyce realises the Cyclops as a drunk, bullying Irishman, blinded by prejudice, ironising the myth, Lewis performs his myth-realisation [in Perelandra] by ennobling the Cyclops” (185). In some ways the distinction typifies what Hiley sees as the most fundamental difference between the Modernists’ and the Inklings’ instincts as writers and as people. While both were reacting to the failure of the traditional narratives of reason and faith and the divorce of subjective experience from the objective language avail- able to speak of it, in Hiley’s view they did so in opposite ways. Mod- ernists such as Joyce and Woolf chose to “plunge into subjectivity” (22), developing such techniques as stream-of-consciousness writing, while writers such as Tolkien and Lewis sought refuge from the pri- mary world’s incoherence in the construction of coherent secondary worlds. This is of course to characterize both groups too crudely, but it neatly sketches the rhetorical positions from which each has tradi- tionally chosen to criticize the other, with the Modernists accused of wallowing in obscurantist http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Tolkien Studies West Virginia University Press

The Making of Middle-earth: A New Look Inside the World of J.R.R. Tolkien by Christopher Snyder, and: The Essential Tolkien Trivia and Quiz Book: A Middle-earth Miscellany by William MacKay (review)

Tolkien Studies , Volume 11 – Nov 27, 2014

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Publisher
West Virginia University Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 West Virginia University Press.
ISSN
1547-3163

Abstract

Book Reviews if less ambitious, scarcely less eclectic in his mythologizing. For all the parallels between them, however, Hiley notes the contrast in their treat- ments of mythological material: “Whereas Joyce realises the Cyclops as a drunk, bullying Irishman, blinded by prejudice, ironising the myth, Lewis performs his myth-realisation [in Perelandra] by ennobling the Cyclops” (185). In some ways the distinction typifies what Hiley sees as the most fundamental difference between the Modernists’ and the Inklings’ instincts as writers and as people. While both were reacting to the failure of the traditional narratives of reason and faith and the divorce of subjective experience from the objective language avail- able to speak of it, in Hiley’s view they did so in opposite ways. Mod- ernists such as Joyce and Woolf chose to “plunge into subjectivity” (22), developing such techniques as stream-of-consciousness writing, while writers such as Tolkien and Lewis sought refuge from the pri- mary world’s incoherence in the construction of coherent secondary worlds. This is of course to characterize both groups too crudely, but it neatly sketches the rhetorical positions from which each has tradi- tionally chosen to criticize the other, with the Modernists accused of wallowing in obscurantist

Journal

Tolkien StudiesWest Virginia University Press

Published: Nov 27, 2014

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