Defending Middle-earth: Tolkien: Myth and Modernity

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HarperCollins Publishers, 2012 M12 6 - 208 pages

A spirited defence of Tolkienís mythological creation and its increasing relevance for the real world.

Acclaimed by the largest readersí survey ever conducted as Ďthe greatest book of the centuryí, J.R.R.Tolkienís The Lord of the Rings has cast the spell of its storytelling for over 40 years and continues to enthral new generations of readers. Yet it has also been widely labelled as reactionary and escapist by hostile critics.

Patrick Curryís book shows just how mistaken they are. He reveals Tolkienís profound and subtle advocacy of community, ecology and spiritual values against the destructive forces of runaway modernity. Tolkienís remedy, and the project implicit in his literary mythology, is a re-enchantment of the world. In helping us to realize that living nature, including humanity, is sacred, his writings draw on ancient magical mythology, but at the same time resonate closely with the ideas of contemprary radical ecology.

Quoting extensively from Tolkienís works, Patrick Curry argues that Tolkien addresses hard global realities and widely justified fears. In this way, his story has transcended its English roots to achieve universal relevance, and his imaginary world gives people everywhere hope for the future of the real world.

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About the author (2012)

Canadian-born Patrick Curry lives in London and has a PhD in the history and philosophy of science. An independent writer who reviews for the Times Literary Supplement and the New Statesman, his previous books include Machiavelli for Beginners.

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