Defending Middle-Earth: Tolkien: Myth and Modernity

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HMH, 2004 M10 21 - 208 pages
A scholar explores the ideas within The Lord of the Rings and the world created by J. R. R. Tolkien: “A most valuable and timely book” (Ursula K. Le Guin, Los Angeles Times–bestselling author of Changing Planes).
 
What are millions of readers all over the world getting out of reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy? Defending Middle-earth argues, in part, that the appeal for fans goes far deeper than just quests and magic rings and hobbits. In fact, through this epic, Tolkien found a way to provide something close to spirit in a secular age.
 
This thoughtful book focuses on three main aspects of Tolkien’s fiction: the social and political structure of Middle-earth and how the varying cultures within it find common cause in the face of a shared threat; the nature and ecology of Middle-earth and how what we think of as the natural world joins the battle against mindless, mechanized destruction; and the spirituality and ethics of Middle-earth—for which the author provides a particularly insightful and resonant examination.
 
Includes a new afterword
 

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Contents

Radical Nostalgia
1
Culture Society and Politics
24
Nature and Ecology
48
Spirituality and Ethics
87
5 Fantasy Literature and the Mythopoeic Imagination
112
Hope without Guarantees
139
Afterword
151
Back Matter
161
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Patrick Curry, a Canadian-born writer and scholar, is a Tolkien expert featured on the extendedThe Lord of the Rings DVDs. He holds a PhD in the history and philosophy of science and is the author of Introducing Machiavelli as well as several books and essays of social history.

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