Escape to the Middle Ages: The Resurgence of Tolkien

TUE, JAN 1, 2008 (56:50)

Kathryn Lynch suggests that a contemporary world torn apart by global strife and terrorism finds a timeless interest in the world of the quiet Oxford don. The fiction of J.R.R. Tolkien has always found a ready audience. Continuously in print from the time of its publication in 1954-56, Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy has, in its long publication run, sold an estimated 150,000,000 copies. At the same time, the astonishing success of the recent film versions of these novels, directed by Peter Jackson, has sparked a new rally of interest in Tolkien and helped to create a new throng of enthusiastic fans. Why this resurgence of admiration for Tolkien right now? Professor Lynch provides two answers to this question, one that suggests Tolkien's appeal to a contemporary world torn apart by global strife and terrorism and another that finds a timeless interest in the fantasy world of the quiet Oxford don.

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