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oldBPLstackdenizen
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Re: The Impact of The Hobbit and LOTR on Contemporary Fantasy

                                                          Greetings, One And All...
 
                                       Just as Bilbo Baggins said at his "Long Expected Party"...
".... I wish to make an ANNOUNCEMENT....."   
 
Mainly, that I promise ( positively ) to no longer delve into any more Personal Histories ( of my own )....
I have already dug too deep into these matters, and I sure ain't hittin' any "Pay-Dirt"... ( more like just cement )...From now on, I will endeavor to stay "On Topic" as much as I possibly can...                 
 
I am still curious, however, if anyone else has any more thoughts on the subject of:
"The Collective Unconcious" And "The Hobbit" And LOTR...
Seriously, I am just floating the idea that maybe we could use a new "Thread" along these lines...
I couldn't be "The Moderator", however, as I am in no way an authority on the subject...
( And, I don't know if we even have any such authorities in our midst )...
But, maybe, anybody who is interested could send their comments to the
[Spiolers] ( not "Spoilers" ) and [ General Comments About "The Hobbit"  ] Thread...
 
I Thank You All Very Kindly...
Ardo Whortleberry Of Hobottle
A Tolkien Reader
"Middle-earth Is A State Of Mind"
^^^^^^^ ^^^ ^^^^^^^^^

Ardo Whortleberry
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BarbaraN
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Re: The Impact of The Hobbit and LOTR on Contemporary Fantasy


oldBPLstackdenizen wrote:
Greetings, One And All...
Just as Bilbo Baggins said at his "Long Expected Party"...
".... I wish to make an ANNOUNCEMENT....."
Mainly, that I promise ( positively ) to no longer delve into any more Personal Histories ( of my own )....
I have already dug too deep into these matters, and I sure ain't hittin' any "Pay-Dirt"... ( more like just cement )...From now on, I will endeavor to stay "On Topic" as much as I possibly can...
I am still curious, however, if anyone else has any more thoughts on the subject of:
"The Collective Unconcious" And "The Hobbit" And LOTR...
Seriously, I am just floating the idea that maybe we could use a new "Thread" along these lines...
I couldn't be "The Moderator", however, as I am in no way an authority on the subject...
( And, I don't know if we even have any such authorities in our midst )...
But, maybe, anybody who is interested could send their comments to the
[Spiolers] ( not "Spoilers" ) and [ General Comments About "The Hobbit" ] Thread...
I Thank You All Very Kindly...
Ardo Whortleberry Of Hobottle
A Tolkien Reader





Now Ardo, I thought you knew that "spiolers" is a coined word for "spill-overs!" :smileywink:

I don't mind your long dissertations. I don't see any problem in starting any thread you want to. Sometimes these new threads go somewhere and sometimes they die quietly and painlessly and fall to the bottom. :smileysad: The only thing you can do is "run them up a flag pole and see if anyone salutes them."
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oldBPLstackdenizen
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Re: The Impact of The Hobbit and LOTR on Contemporary Fantasy

Good Afternoon To All...
If anyone is intersted in seeing a summary / overview of that book I have mentioned:
[ "Tolkien --- A Look Behind The Lord Of The Rings" by Lin Carter ]
I see that you can find that information under the bio of Mr. Carter at the "Wikipedia" site...
It may not have been the best, but it was one of the first books revolving around Tolkien and his works...
[ of course, there have been many books of this kind published since then ]
One of the only other books on the subject that I was aware of at the time was one called:
[ "Good News From Middle-earth" ]
Which appeared to be an essay on the Christian "under-pinnings" in LOTR...
 
Ardo
"Middle-earth Is A State Of Mind"
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Ardo Whortleberry
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paulgoatallen
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Re: The Impact of The Hobbit and LOTR on Contemporary Fantasy

This is another completely tangential post but I find it interesting how the term "orc" has become such a popular word in contemporary fantasy. To the best of my knowledge, Tolkien coined "orc," didn't he? I know references to goblin and hobgoblin go back to the 14th century but I can't find any reference to orc before JRR.

Just off the top of my head, the term orc has been used in R.A. Salvatore's Drizzt Do'Urden saga, in numerous Forgotten Realms novels, in Luis Royo's artistic works, and in literally hundreds of RPG-related novels.

Also, I find it fascinating how orcs are portrayed in these various works. In LOTR, I've always thought of orcs as not inherently evil, just tools of an evil manipulator. (In many ways, they're like humans...) And in Salvatore's saga, orcs are the personification of evil. Interesting...

Paul
"There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save..." – Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky
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lorien
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Re: The Impact of The Hobbit and LOTR on Contemporary Fantasy

I'm far from the expert here, but my understanding is that orcs were essentially an invention of Tolkien, including the name. They were such a terrific group of nasty baddies that later writers found them perfect for their stories and used them. Since I know very little about science fiction and fantasy, I cannot address the author, artist, or series you mentioned nor do I know what the term "RPG" means. Maybe others on the board can address that.

We have been been discussing them somewhat in The Inhabitants of Middle-earth thread but along another line of thought.



paulgoatallen wrote:
This is another completely tangential post but I find it interesting how the term "orc" has become such a popular word in contemporary fantasy. To the best of my knowledge, Tolkien coined "orc," didn't he? I know references to goblin and hobgoblin go back to the 14th century but I can't find any reference to orc before JRR.

Just off the top of my head, the term orc has been used in R.A. Salvatore's Drizzt Do'Urden saga, in numerous Forgotten Realms novels, in Luis Royo's artistic works, and in literally hundreds of RPG-related novels.

Also, I find it fascinating how orcs are portrayed in these various works. In LOTR, I've always thought of orcs as not inherently evil, just tools of an evil manipulator. (In many ways, they're like humans...) And in Salvatore's saga, orcs are the personification of evil. Interesting...

Paul

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TiggerBear
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Re: The Impact of The Hobbit and LOTR on Contemporary Fantasy

Tolkien didn't invent orcs neither the word nor the creature. Read enough old english language fairy tales you'll see it used as a word. And as creatures they are very celtic. But he did bring it into the modern mindset.

lorien
RPG role playing game
do you need further explanation?
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oldBPLstackdenizen
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Re: The Impact of The Hobbit and LOTR on Contemporary Fantasy

Good Afternoon, TiggerBear ( and Company ) ---
 
I know that I for one, have definitely not read enough "Old English Language Fairy Tales" - in fact, the only
O.E. Fairy Tale that I know of is "Beowulf"! ( But, I did try, once upon a time, to listen to a recital/recording of that Poem in its original spoken-language form - the way in which it was spoken, having been, of course, "reconstructed" ) :smileywink:---
 
I am in no way any kind of expert on these matters, but I have a hunch the term "Orc" may have appeared in among this Ancient Lore - but that if it did, it would have been a much more obscure term than "Goblin" - and that also, it would not have appeared in quite the same frame of reference that we have for now -
( especially "A.T." -"After Tolkien" ) --- I think this might be a similar case to that of the word "Hoblyta" - which apparently, was also a real word, that Tolkien took and used to his own purposes -
I think there is something about that in that "Perilous Realms" book - which I still haven't got my hands on, yet ...
 
I think there is a linguistic connection between "Orc" and "Orcas" - And that there might be a connection between Celtic Mythology and Sea Creatures ( or "Sea-Spirits" ) there, as well - ( in a similar fashion, perhaps, to the way Mermaids are thought to have originated with seals or dolphins or something like that )  And I seem to recall some mournful tale that had something to do with a "Changeling" and these same "Sea-Spirits"... And there is the "Orkney Islands" --- But, this all seems like a far cry from Tolkien's version of
"Orcs" - and the way people might picture an "Orc" in their minds nowadays (" A.T." )---
 
I think even with "Goblins",  JRRT created a new "frame of reference" for the term - I believe "Goblin" or "Hobgoblin" was a term much more familiar to everyone than the term "Orc" ( before [ H ] was written ) - but I think the idea of a Goblin or Hobgoblin might "bring up" more of an image of a mischevious, spritely, Fairy-like creature in most people's minds - or, perhaps, a creature that might only appear on Halloween - unless they
happened to be in league with Witches, or perhaps sent by The Devil himself, to torture some poor Soul? ---
  
The "Goblins" that appear in [ H ] seem more like a vast army of very dangerous, ruthless and evil-hearted
( and I'm not trying to get into the "souls or no souls?" argument here ) creatures lurking in their underground network of caverns and tunnels, and only emerging in order to harass Men, Elves and Dwarves - or else to go to war with same...
 
Once Again, I Have The Honor To Remain At Your Service,
Ardo Whortleberry
"Middle-earth Is A State Of Mind"
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lorien
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Re: The Impact of The Hobbit and LOTR on Contemporary Fantasy

So far I have only found a brief mention by Tolkien as to his origin of the word "orc". On page 117-178 of his Letters he says:

"Orcs (the word is as far as I am concerned actually derived from Old English orc 'demon', but only because of its phonetic suitability) are nowhere clearly stated to be of any particular origin."
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Fanuidhol
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Re: The Impact of The Hobbit and LOTR on Contemporary Fantasy

[ Edited ]


lorien wrote:
I'm far from the expert here, but my understanding is that orcs were essentially an invention of Tolkien, including the name. They were such a terrific group of nasty baddies that later writers found them perfect for their stories and used them. Since I know very little about science fiction and fantasy, I cannot address the author, artist, or series you mentioned nor do I know what the term "RPG" means. Maybe others on the board can address that.

We have been been discussing them somewhat in The Inhabitants of Middle-earth thread but along another line of thought.



I think this website might be helpful.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orc

Role playing game -- "cops and robbers" is a role playing game. :smileywink:  But, I think in the context meant in Paul's post, it means a collaborative story written (or acted) by a group of people who may take on fictional roles and write/act within character.  Dungeons & Dragons is an example with rules.  The story I wrote years ago with my friends (that I wrote about in another thread) is an example of one without rules --other than we couldn't kill anybody without permission.   It is great fun.  

Fan 

 



Message Edited by Fanuidhol on 04-16-2008 08:09 PM
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Re: The Impact of The Hobbit and LOTR on Contemporary Fantasy

Good Morning, lorien...
 
There is a good deal of information about this whole Orkiness business in the Wikipedia article about "Orc" -
I'm not going to attempt to put down anything verbatim - as it does all seem so very involved and complicated - but apparently there is more to that statement  by JRRT that you quoted - that goes:
 
[       "...This is not supposed to be connected with the modern English  orc, ork, a name applied to various
             sea beasts of the dolphin order..."       ]
 
 
 --- Attributed, in the article , to:  [ Nomenclature of The Lord Of The Rings ]
 
Well, I did say that all that stuff about "Sea-Spirits" and  the Orkney Islands, etcetera, was a "far cry" from
JRRT's own brand of "orcs" ---
JRRT also claims that he doesn't believe the Anglo-Saxon word "orc" was derived from the Latin "Orcus"
( meaning: "Hell" ) ...
Well, of course, he is the philologist, so he should know - I have a feeling the view that the word was derived from Latin was  the more accepted theory at the time he made that statement ...
 As an aside, I recall hearing about some new breakthroughs in Linguistics, going on in the late 1960's - where there was an effort going on to reconstruct the Indo-European "Proto-Language" - the earliest form of language that was circulating around Europe before the modern ( and even the ancient ) forms of language that we know of today were developed ...
 Greek, Latin, Germanic Languages, Celtic Languages, etcetera -
inotherwords,
there was an effort to "trace backwards" and find the "root words" for all these languages that developed later -
perhaps this could be a case where the Anglo-Saxon "orc" and the Latin "orc" shared a "common ancestor"?
( you see, I seem to be an amateur expert in almost any field of knowledge.
"Am-a-tooor" being the operative word, here ) --- 
That Wikipedia article also mentions a few occaisons
( culled from over the centuries ) where the word "Orc" ( or at least a similar sounding, or similarly spelt word ) pops up in "Fairy Tales" and like literature - and hints that perhaps Tolkien could have remembered that odd term ( at least, without realizing it - subconciously, or whatever ) and it could have influenced him in choosing that name "orc" ( with which to replace the term "Goblin" we encounter in [ H ] ) ---
 
An Exhausted Ardo, Signing Off  
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lorien
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Re: The Impact of The Hobbit and LOTR on Contemporary Fantasy

Ardo said:
As an aside, I recall hearing about some new breakthroughs in Linguistics, going on in the late 1960's - where there was an effort going on to reconstruct the Indo-European "Proto-Language" - the earliest form of language that was circulating around Europe before the modern ( and even the ancient ) forms of language that we know of today were developed ...
Greek, Latin, Germanic Languages, Celtic Languages, etcetera -
inotherwords,
there was an effort to "trace backwards" and find the "root words" for all these languages that developed later -
perhaps this could be a case where the Anglo-Saxon "orc" and the Latin "orc" shared a "common ancestor"?
( you see, I seem to be an amateur expert in almost any field of knowledge.
"Am-a-tooor" being the operative word, here ) ---
---------------------------------------

I am impressed by your body of knowledge, Ardo, and your ability to recall it! You are correct but the only reason I know this is that I recently listened to a lecture on the subject (now maybe I should listen to it again).

It is very likely your library has Teaching company Lectures:

http://www.teach12.com/ttcx/coursedesclong2.aspx?cid=1600&pc=Literature%20and%20English%20Language
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Re: The Impact of The Hobbit and LOTR on Contemporary Fantasy

Good Afternoon, lorien ( and Everybody ) ---
 
I'm still blushing - flattered by your comment about my "body of knowledge" - actually, it's more just like a "vast warehouse of dusty old memories" - but I do appreciate your compliment, anyway...
 
Actually, I might have gotten a little sidetracked, getting all tangled up in the linguistic aspects of the subject at hand. It pretty much goes without saying that JRRT didn't actually "invent" the word "orc" itself - but he did
"invent" the idea of "orc" - and created the image that comes to the mind of most  people nowadays when they picture an "orc". ---
 
There is not that much specific description of their physical characteristics in LOTR - there are mentions, in passing, of "long, hairy arms" -"hideous faces" - "fangs" - orcs ( and goblins ) spill "black blood" - goblins
have "flat feet" ( from [ H ] ) - and we recieve the impression that not all orcs are built exactly alike, or look exactly alike - there are orcs of various statures and strengths, even different levels of intelligence, perhaps -
a great deal gets left up to the imagination of the reader - but the whole image of "armies of orcs" ( or "goblins" ) - and of their general characterisics were  established by JRRT. ---
 
I notice that in many of these "Role Playing Games" the whole idea of "Orcness" ( or "Orcosity" ? )
gets extrapolated on, elaborated on, or "reinvented" ( from the original "Tolkien version" ) ---
Orcs have scaly, green skins, or Orcs are more of a "savage, but noble" race ( somewhat akin to the way
"Klingons" have turned out in the Star Trek panolopy, I imagine ) - there are even "matriarchal" Lady Orcs -
and, I assume, there are some similar variations on the Orc theme in some of these other Heroic Fantasy
books ( the ones I still have never read yet ) ... it seems like the "realm of Orc" has been evolving and expanding - but I think JRRT created the prototype.
 
Ardo Whortleberry
( Post Script - I only ever played a part in a game of "Dungeons and Dragons" once - and the game didn't progress very far - everything I know about the subject of those Role Playing Games I learned from that same Wikipedia article on "Orc" )  
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lorien
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Is There a New LOTR in Fantasyland?

[ Edited ]
Things are pretty quiet all over all the boards. Everyone, I guess, is taking the summer off. So I have been doing some board hopping just to see what is going on in the world.

That brought me to some discussions in Fantasy & Science Fiction. A book series that seems to come up frequently in reference to LOTR is George R. R. Martin, A Song of Ice and Fire series. Can this series be considered the successor to LOTR? Or are there others?

I am not referring to superficial imitations or books influence by LOTR. There are plenty of those. I was just wondering if there are other series that come close to achieving what Tolkien achieved.

If there is/are such series, maybe we could spice up and broaden our conversations here by taking up one of these series, reading it, discussing it and comparing it to LOTR. It would have to be closely related to "fit" in this group. It also might bring in some readers presently only interested in "current" books.

But first, I thought it might be interesting to knock around the idea of successor(s) to LOTR.

Message Edited by lorien on 06-30-2008 09:52 AM
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BarbaraN
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Re: Is There a New LOTR in Fantasyland?

George R. R. Martin Song of Ice and Fire

Is he the successor to Tolkien? I don't know since I'm not that familiar with his work but I did do a bit a research and found this interesting article in Time magazine which dubbed him the "American Tolkien."

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1129596,00.html
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TiggerBear
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Re: Is There a New LOTR in Fantasyland?

Robert Jordan Wheel of Time
Michael Moorcock Elric, ect...
Dennis L McKiernan
R. A. Salvatore Drizzt Series
Fritz Leiber Fafhrd and Grey Mouser
Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman Dragon Lance
Patrick Rothfuss


Although McKiernan has Tolkien to thank for his entire output' he carved his own knotch in that sword. And though there is currently only one out currently, Rothfuss' book is hands down the best high fantasy I've read in this decade. All the rest; have skillful, loved, well crafted worlds of their own design that are well deserving of exploration.
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Re: Is There a New LOTR in Fantasyland?

Concerning:  George R.R. Martin & "Song Of Fire And Ice" ---
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^   
 
Just reading the Time  Magazine article by itself  - it's sounds like Mr. Martin should be dubbed more of the
New American "Anti-Tolkien" rather than the "New Tolkien" ---
This is not referring to ( in any way ) the quality of the writing, which ( for all I know ) could be quite stupendous [ and the book itself could be well worth reading ] ...
But more to the way Mr. Martin's book sounds [ judging from this review ] like it has been constructed... 
 
Aside from also being a "fantasy" [ and set in this fictional Medieval England ] - it all sounds very much at odds with the tone, mood, "purposes", attitudes, etcetera, of any of Tolkien's works... 
The attitude of Mr. Martin's book makes it sound like an "antithesis" to Tolkien's "thesises"...
 
Perhaps this George R.R. Martin could be the new "Master of Fantasy" in general, but maybe the writer of this article was distracted by that "R.R." in the middle of Mr. Martin's name, in comparing him to
J.R.R. Tolkien...
 
A.W.
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Ardo Whortleberry
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paulgoatallen
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Re: Is There a New LOTR in Fantasyland?

Lorien:
That's a great question. In my reading experience, I can honestly say that I still haven't come across any fantasy cycle that even comes close to the thematic intricacy, allegorical depth and meticulous world building that Tolkien achieved in Middle earth. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire is a good series, as is Jordan's Wheel of Time, but both of these, I think, fall well short of LOTR in both world building and narrative "density."

I would personally rank R.A, Salvatore's Drizzt sequence and Michael Moorcock's Multiverse novels (Elric, Tanelorn, etc.) right up there with the best of the best – and as Tigger mentioned earlier, Patrick Rothfuss' The Name of the Wind – just the first book in his series – certainly has the potential to be a classic saga but we'll have to suspend judgment on that for a little while longer...
Paul




lorien wrote:
Things are pretty quiet all over all the boards. Everyone, I guess, is taking the summer off. So I have been doing some board hopping just to see what is going on in the world.

That brought me to some discussions in Fantasy & Science Fiction. A book series that seems to come up frequently in reference to LOTR is George R. R. Martin, A Song of Ice and Fire series. Can this series be considered the successor to LOTR? Or are there others?

I am not referring to superficial imitations or books influence by LOTR. There are plenty of those. I was just wondering if there are other series that come close to achieving what Tolkien achieved.

If there is/are such series, maybe we could spice up and broaden our conversations here by taking up one of these series, reading it, discussing it and comparing it to LOTR. It would have to be closely related to "fit" in this group. It also might bring in some readers presently only interested in "current" books.

But first, I thought it might be interesting to knock around the idea of successor(s) to LOTR.

Message Edited by lorien on 06-30-2008 09:52 AM


"There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save..." – Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky
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lorien
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Re: Is There a New LOTR in Fantasyland?

I found this interesting summary in Wikipedia on the influnce of LOTR and The Hobbit on the Harry Potter series:

 

The Lord of the Rings

Fans of author J. R. R. Tolkien have drawn attention to the similarities between his novel The Lord of the Rings and the Harry Potter series; specifically Tolkien's Wormtongue and Rowling's Wormtail, Tolkien's Shelob and Rowling's Aragog, Rowling's Dementors and Tolkien's Nazgûl, the Whomping Willow and Old Man Willow and similarities between both authors' antagonists, Tolkien's Dark Lord Sauron and Rowling's Lord Voldemort (both of whom are sometimes within their respective continuities unnamed due to intense fear surrounding their names; and both of whom are, during the time when the main action takes place, seeking to recover their lost power after having been considered dead or at least no longer a threat). Several reviews of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows noted that the locket used as a horcrux by Voldemort bore comparison to Tolkien's One Ring, as it negatively affects the personality of the wearer. Rowling maintains that she hadn't read The Hobbit until after she completed the first Harry Potter novel (though she had read The Lord of the Rings as a teenager) and that any similarities between her books and Tolkien's are "fairly superficial. Tolkien created a whole new mythology, which I would never claim to have done. On the other hand, I think I have better jokes." Tolkienian scholar Tom Shippey has maintained that no "modern writer of epic fantasy has managed to escape the mark of Tolkien, no matter how hard many of them have tried".

 

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