MARTIN SIMONSON 1. The Shire and the Nineteenth-Century Blend of Novel and Fairy Tale n The Lord of the Rings, the narrative treatment of the Shire entails a series of problems related to the question of how to integrate it into the larger universe of Middle-earth. These difficulties are to a great extent derived from the creative labors of the author, who did not know how or where the story would end when he first wrote this part of the narrative.1 The tale starts off almost casually in the Shire, the land of the hobbits, where Tolkien had left Bilbo at the end of The Hobbit several years earlier, but the story soon becomes more complicated than its predecessor. The first chapters of The Lord of the Rings clearly show the problems that arose when Tolkien realized that he needed to take the hobbits and the reader from one narrative universe (that of The Hobbit) to another (Middle-earth as presented in the greater part of The Lord of the Rings). This first part of the journey, from Hobbiton to Crickhollow, becomes an exploration of the strategies that Tolkien had to develop in order to bring the two worlds
Tolkien Studies – West Virginia University Press
Published: May 9, 2006
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