Stephen Colbert, God, and suffering

Stephen Colbert, who took over for David Letterman on The Late Show last week, is an iconoclastic comedian.  But he is also a devout Catholic.  When he was 10 years old, he lost his father and two brothers in a plane crash.  He talks about his faith and how he handled that tragedy–also J. R. R. Tolkien and how gratitude points to God– in an interview with GQ Magazine, excerpted after the jump. [Read more…]

Tolkien’s new story & the impact of Finland

One of J. R. R. Tolkien’s earliest writings has been published this week in England.  (It will be released in the U.S.A. in April.)  It’s called The Story of Kullervo, a retelling of a dark episode from the Finnish national epic the Kalevala.  Hannah Sander of the BBC tells about the influence of this epic and of the Finnish language and mythology on Tolkien’s imagination.  In addition to direct parallels, Tolkien’s descriptions of Middle Earth owe much to the Finnish landscape and the Finnish language seems to have been a model for Elvish. [Read more…]

Was Tolkien a libertarian?

An essay in the Intercollegiate Review explores J. R. R. Tolkien’s political views.  He said in a letter that his “political opinions lean more and more to Anarchy (philosophically understood, meaning abolition of control not whiskered men with bombs).” Also, “The most improper job of any man, even saints, is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.”  This becomes a theme, for example, in the Hobbits, who, as he says, have “hardly any government.” [Read more…]

The Hobbit movie as “tedious havoc”

I was greatly disappointed in the third part of Peter Jackson’s makeshift trilogy based on The Hobbit.  The Battle of the Five Armies was mostly, to use Milton’s words, tedious havoc.  It was two-and-a-half hours of killing orcs, with little story beyond that.

But here is what artists who aspire to the genre of fantasy need to realize:  a good fantasy evokes a sense of wonder, of the numinous.  Jackson’s version of The Lord of the Rings had that; his version of the Hobbit did not.  Tolkien’s novels have that on virtually every page. [Read more…]

So how is “The Hobbit”?

The final movie of the Hobbit trilogy has already made $350 million world-wide, though the reviews have been somewhat mixed.  I haven’t gotten around to seeing it yet, but it figures in our holiday plans.  So, to those of you who have seen it, how is The Hobbit:  Battle of the Five Armies?

The world’s eucatastrophe

Thanks to Rev. Sam Schuldheisz who posted passages from J. R. R. Tolkien on “eucatastrophe,” a word he coined for “the sudden happy turn in a story which pierces you with a joy that brings tears.”  Tolkien then developed the idea that the eucatastrophe of history is the Birth of Christ, and the eucatastrophe of the Incarnation is His resurrection. [Read more…]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X