|You are here, because you are a big fan of Tolkien's writings. Or you are their hater. It sounds rude, but the fact is no one can stay indifferent when it comes to a world-famous writer and author of such books as The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, both of which have been called the classic high fantasy works already.
Love him or hate him, but John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was able to create a new universe with its own citizens, language, culture, laws, habits and rules of life. Tolkien's fans know even the smallest details of Middle-earth and its inhabitants, but are they so knowledgeable when it comes to the rules of their Professor's life?
J. R. R. Tolkien's letters and diaries hide many interesting details about our beloved writer. When noticed and revealed, they help us understand his personality and character much better, and make the final conclusion about what kind of a person this genius writer and charismatic man was.
“I am a West-midlander by blood (and took early west-midland Middle English as a known tongue as soon as I set eyes on it), but perhaps a fact of my personal history may partly explain why the 'North-western air' appeals to me both as 'home' and as something discovered. I was actually born in Bloemfontein, and so those deeply implanted impressions, underlying memories that are still pictorually available for inspection, of first childhood are for me those of a hot parched country. My first Christmas memory is of blazing sun, drawn curtains and a drooping eucalyptus.”
“If I am to understand that you are enquiring whether I am of Jewish origin, I can only reply that I regret that I appear to have no ancestors of that gifted people.”
“My great-great-grandfather came to England in the eighteenth century from Germany: the main part of my descent is therefor purely English, and I am an English subject - which should be sufficient. I have been accustomed, nonetheless, to regard my German name with pride, and continued to do so throughout the period of the late regrettable war, in which I served in the English army.”
“Quite by accident, I have a very vivid child's view, which was the result of being taken away from one country and put in another hemisphere-the place where I belonged but which was totally novel and strange. After the barren, arid heat a Christmas tree. But no, it was not an unhappy childhood. It was full of tragedies but it didn't tot up to an unhappy childhood.”
“Somwhere about six years old I tried to write some verses on a dragon about which I now remember nothing except that it contained the expression a green great dragon and that I remained puzzled for a very long time at being told that this should be great green.”
“For myself, I find I become less cynical rather than more - remembering my own sins and follies; and realize that men's hearts are not often as bad as their acts, and very seldom as bad as their words.”
“For the present the beer shortage is over, and the inns are almost habitable again.”
“I smoke a pipe, and like good plain food (unrefrigerated), but detest French cooking.”
"I am fond of mushrooms (out of a field); have a very simple sense of humour (which even my appreciative critics find tiresome); I go to bed late and get up late (when possible)."
“I do not like allegory (properly so called: most readers appear to confuse it with significance or applicability).”
“The invention of languages is the foundation. The 'stones' were made rather to provide a world for the languages than the reverse. To me a name comes first and the story follows.”
'I am (obviously) much in love with plants and above all trees, and have always been; and I find human maltreatment of them as hard to bear as some find ill-treatment of animals.”
“I am getting nearly as unbendable as an Ent. My catarrh is always with me (and will be) - it goes back to a nose broken (and neglected) in schoolboy Rugby.”
“Of course, The Lord of the Rings does not belong to me. It has been brought forth and must now go its appointed way in the world, though naturally I take a deep interest in its fortunes, as a parent woudl of a child.”
“I am in fact a Hobbit in all but size.”
“I found not being able to use a pen or pencil as defeating as the loss of her beak would be to a hen.”
“I wisely started with a map, and made the story fit (generally with meticulous care for distances). The other way about lands one in confusions and impossibilities, and in any case it is weary work to compose a map from a story.”
“It is a wonderful thing to be told that I have succeeded, at least with those who have still the undarkened heart and mind.”
“Most of my philological colleagues are shocked (cert. behind my back, sometimes to my face) at the fall of a philological into 'Trivial literature'; a,d anyway the cry is: 'now we know how you have been wasting your time for 20 years'.”
Tolkien, being a philologist and university professor himself, he hardly needed any writing tips from other experts to follow, and his writing style is exactly what makes Tolkien's works so special. His thoughts quoted above give us valuable insight about the rules he used to live his live:
1. to be yourself
2. to do what you like, and to love what you do
3. not to worry if others like what you do
4. to be childish a bit
5. to know what your place in this life is
Tolkien did not fully understand the success of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. But maybe the secret of this success was his sincerity and natural writing? He did not plan to make his works world-famous and loved, and that's why the whole world loves them today.
Lesley J. Vos is a passionate writer and private educator who travels a lot and can't imagine her pastime without reading a good book. Lesley writes for Bid4Papers now, and she gets ready to publish her first e-book.
Spread the news about this J.R.R. Tolkien article: