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…]
J. R. R. Tolkien made a translation of Beowulf, which is going to be published May 22!
Tolkien, whose academic specialty at Oxford was Old English literature, wrote the best discussion of Beowulf–one that opened up the epic as a glorious work of literature and not just as a historical relic–with his essay “Beowulf: The Monster and the Critics” (available in this collection). So I cannot wait to read his translation. After the jump, a preview from The Guardian. [Read more…]
More belated Annunciation thoughts. From Isaac Augustine Morales, The Annunciation and the One Ring | Dominicana Blog:
In a seemingly insignificant detail in one of the appendices of his masterpiece, The Lord of the Rings, J. R. R. Tolkien notes that the destruction of the One Ring and the defeat of Sauron took place on March 25. What might have led Tolkien to date the destruction of the ring with such precision? Being a devout Catholic, Tolkien most likely was subtly weaving into his work an ancient Christian tradition regarding the Solemnity of the Annunciation, the feast the Church celebrates today. [Read more…]
In 1941, J. R. R. Tolkien did what most fathers tremble to do: talk to his son about sex. He did so in a letter filled with wisdom, insight, and a thoroughly Christian sensibility on what he called the devil’s “favorite subject.” Suggestion to trembling fathers: get The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien and show this particular letter to your sons. Al Mohler quotes from the letter and discusses what he had to say. [Read more…]
We’re on the road, and Friday we were caught in the ice storm in Oklahoma City, taking shelter in a hotel in Bricktown, OKC’s very cool entertainment district. It was 9:30 p.m. and I was just settling down for a long winter’s nap, when my wife said, “Let’s go see the Hobbit!” Showing that we nearly-senior citizens can be just as impulsive, reckless, and irresponsible as the callow young, we walked four blocks through the freezing rain, slip sliding away to the nearly-empty multiplex where we were just in time for the 9:45 p. m. showing. (It was nearly 1:00 a.m. when we made our way back, way, way past our accustomed bed times.)
As my wife commented, most critics have been saying that the first installment of the Hobbit was kind of slow, with all that atmosphere and exposition, and that the second installment, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is much better, with non-stop action from the very beginning. As often happens, the critics describe something true, but fail in their interpretation and in their assessment. There is way too much action in this second movie, which is not nearly as good as the first one. [Read more…]