Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien

Cover of The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
Tolkien’s letters are at times tedious and repetitive – just as life can be – but for the most part very compelling reading material.

For a fan of Tolkien’s works, it is interesting to read about the process of how they came to be written and published. Moreover, reading about his writing process itself is both inspiring and motivational to a writer, although Tolkien might be turning in his grave if he knew that people find his writing struggles either. Equally inspiring and thought-provoking are Tolkien’s world-views and philosophies, both general and academic, even if I disagree with some of them (which were a product of his time.)

The language, style, and tone of his letters range from intellectual and strictly formal to warm, familiar, and humorous in places, with an occasional special brand of ‘saltiness’ shining through which I greatly appreciated, and show him not only as an author but as a nuanced personality.  

Tolkien’s letters are probably best appreciated if read and digested little by little and not to be sped through, although I have done precisely that with the second half of the book because I got fed up with myself that it was taking me so long.

Overall, Tolkien’s letters are a fascinating read and therefore I definitely intend to return to them in the future.

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