Monday, January 03, 2011

On This Day...

In 1892 JRR Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa.  Tolkien spawned much of the fantasy genre as we know today, countless authors, film makers and game designers have Tolkien's high fantasy Middle Earth as their inspiration.

For myself, no written work has had such a profound effect on me as The Lord Of The Rings.  Reading it for the first time as a child was pure magic, I never wanted it to end, I actually cried upon turning the last page and realising that there was no more.  Everything about LOTR is perfect for me, Moria terrified me, the growth of trust and friendship between Gimli and Legolas was touching and inspirational, Sauron and Saruman are monsters, Gandalf, Aragorn and the Hobbits are wonderful heroes. 

It is the best fantasy novel ever written, and is is well written as well, there have been thousands of fantasy novels since, but none of the quite have Tolkien's deftness of touch with characters or his sweeping hand of history and warfare.  Tolkien was simply the best, and without him we may never have had Steven Erikson, China Mieville or David Gemmell, and the world would be a poorer place.

1 comment:

  1. Nice! I am a big Tolkien fan too. It's a shame there is such a small body of work left to us. I was given the LOTR to read by my high school mentor and French teacher, Kat Killingsworth, a woman who was always a huge inspiration to me. (She also introduced me to calligraphy and artichokes.) Only a few years after her death in 2005 did I actually learn much about her private life, through an obscure newspaper obituary I found via Google, and discovered that we were kindred spirits, a half a generation apart. So LOTR is always linked in my mind with teenage years and role models, and calligraphy. As a young adult I joined the Society for Creative Anachronism and discovered all this other fantasy fiction, and it's true, it does all hark back to Tolkien.