Tolkien (was Re: Who invented the modern fantasy genre?)

Margaret Ball margaret at
Tue Aug 24 21:16:20 EDT 2004

>The thing I find telling is that he says he doesn't think that England is
>suffering malice.  He may have thought that people were making mistakes and
>becoming bad planners when they had the power to put their plans into
>action, but it looks as if he didn't think they were doing it on purpose.
>What really makes me doubt the direct reference, though, is that Sharkey
>and co were not native to the Shire: they were foreigners who invaded and
>took over, and that isn't what had happened in England.

You're absolutely right in all of the above, and I never thought the 
"Scouring of the Shire" was intended as a direct reference to postwar 
England - but some of the phrases in that section, mostly lines about 
planning and permission IIRC, reminded me very strongly of complaints in 
contemporary postwar English novelists. Or am I making it all up? I'll 
dig Volume III out and see if what I think I remember is actually there <g<

Margaret Ball

To say what you want to say you must create another language and nourish it for years and years with what you have loved, with what you have lost, with what you will never find again.

-George Seferis

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