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A Definitive Identification of Tolkien's "Borgil": An Astronomical and Literary Approach

A Definitive Identification of Tolkien's "Borgil": An Astronomical and Literary Approach KRISTINE LARSEN s the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of The Fellowship of the Ring passes, it is especially appropriate that academics and fans alike reflect on the singular richness of the mythology encompassed in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth. In his role of "sub-creator," Tolkien crafted a "Secondary World which your mind can enter." While immersed in this other place, the reader believes in the truth of it "while you are, as it were, inside. The moment disbelief arises, the spell is broken; the magic, or rather art, has failed" (MC 132). Tolkien's unsurpassed ability to invent such a self-contained universe was a reflection of his own widely varied interests. Science fiction writer L. Sprague de Camp noted that Tolkien was "one of those people who has literally read everything, and can converse intelligently on just about any subject" (Carter 25). Among the subjects which interested Tolkien, and thus helped shaped Middle-earth, was astronomy. His daughter, Priscilla, verified that her father "had a general interest in" astronomy (Quiñonez and Raggett 5). Several authors1 have summarized the remarkable breadth of astronomical allusions contained in Tolkien's work, but a sufficient taste may be found in Tolkien's published letters. For http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Tolkien Studies West Virginia University Press

A Definitive Identification of Tolkien's "Borgil": An Astronomical and Literary Approach

Tolkien Studies , Volume 2 (1) – May 16, 2005

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Publisher
West Virginia University Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 West Virginia University Press.
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1547-3163
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Abstract

KRISTINE LARSEN s the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of The Fellowship of the Ring passes, it is especially appropriate that academics and fans alike reflect on the singular richness of the mythology encompassed in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth. In his role of "sub-creator," Tolkien crafted a "Secondary World which your mind can enter." While immersed in this other place, the reader believes in the truth of it "while you are, as it were, inside. The moment disbelief arises, the spell is broken; the magic, or rather art, has failed" (MC 132). Tolkien's unsurpassed ability to invent such a self-contained universe was a reflection of his own widely varied interests. Science fiction writer L. Sprague de Camp noted that Tolkien was "one of those people who has literally read everything, and can converse intelligently on just about any subject" (Carter 25). Among the subjects which interested Tolkien, and thus helped shaped Middle-earth, was astronomy. His daughter, Priscilla, verified that her father "had a general interest in" astronomy (Quiñonez and Raggett 5). Several authors1 have summarized the remarkable breadth of astronomical allusions contained in Tolkien's work, but a sufficient taste may be found in Tolkien's published letters. For

Journal

Tolkien StudiesWest Virginia University Press

Published: May 16, 2005

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