Reviews For A Sense of Place
Name: Elvewen (Signed) · Date: April 09, 2013 21:53 · For: Chapter 1
What a wonderful essay Narya! In all honesty, I never knew anything about the origin of place names. The part about the basis of Meduseld and the lament of the Rohirrim were fascinating.
"his ambition to create his “mythology for England" - I never knew this but honestly, I think he succeded. That is exactly what Tolkien's mythology is for me. Its almost as if, it really existed, particularly with the embellishments that fanfic has added to it. An immense, breathtaking, painful part of our history, in much the same way Greek mythology was written. I know as much about ME as I do about the Industrial Revolution, colonisation, the World wars, the Great Depression and other notables in world history. Its as if, we really live there, for a while, everyday, wheh we read, write or comment on fanfic or watch or read Tolkien's work or simply go somewhere and realise that some part of Arda would have looked like that.
Also, I would like to thank you for more reference material. You have no idea how many times I've gone and reread the Character bios in SWG, especially that of the Feanorians. And of course, Darth Fingon's Linguistic Foolery. It was a riot of laughs but I leart more reading those essays than I did swimming through Tolkien's foot notes and appendices. Thank you for sharing:)
Author's Response: Hi Elvewen! Thank you for such a kind, thoughtful review :) I'm really glad you enjoyed the essay, and that it's provided you with some more reference material. I can highly recommend Tom Shippey's books on Middle-earth; a lot of literary theory in there, but I think he had a very powerful understanding of what Tolkien was trying to achieve. And yes, I'm the same - in fact I probably know more about Arda than most periods in "real" history! My sister (history student) would not be pleased with me. Tolkien, for me at least, definitely achieved his goal; his stories of ME really do form a coherent mythology, and a peculiarly English one at that.
Name: ziggy (Signed) · Date: November 12, 2012 21:57 · For: Chapter 1
It is like a long drink when you are thirsty to read this intellectual and academic work. Fascinating reading. It will be saved in my favourites for future references - congratualtions on posting something worthy of a place in any library, Narya.
Author's Response: Oh, thank you, ziggy! The funny thing is, writing it didn't even feel like work ;) I'm glad people seem to have read and enjoyed it, I did feel a bit odd posting it here, but now I'm pleased that I did!
Name: Spiced Wine (Signed) · Date: November 12, 2012 15:58 · For: Chapter 1
but because a lot of it feels random and disparate. It seems wrong to use the word "logical" to describe a world of dragons and wizards, but Tolkien's world feels exactly that way, as though it couldn't have taken any other form. Strange, and fascinating.
Yes, it's exactly like this; no other fantasy novel has ever given me that feeling (although I certainly have others I thoroughly enjoy) but none feel as real and logical as Tolkien's, as if they were indeed history.
Author's Response: Later in life he referred to his ambition as "absurd" which I find sad - so many of us have found his work to be exactly what he intended it to be, a "secondary world," a "mythology for England." Then again, I suppose no writer ever feels that they've achieved exactly what they meant to when they started out!
Name: Spiced Wine (Signed) · Date: November 12, 2012 13:02 · For: Chapter 1
Narya, what a terrific essay, one one of great interest to me, since I do have a love of place names, and finding out where they originate.
The result was a greater “sense of the variety and verisimilitude of Middle-earth”
I completely agree with this, it is one of the aspects that grounds Lord of the Rings and makes me, for one, feel that it (or parts of it) are my ancestral world, rather than a different fantasy world. I also felt this very strongly with Rohan Tolkien's use of Old English place-names links the Rohirrim to another, older version of Englishness. that they were Saxon in origin, therefore familiar and known to me, far more than for instance Gondor, or before that N
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