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Remembering J. R. R. Tolkien:
January 3, 1892 to September 2, 1973

435 words

“I am in fact a Hobbit.”—J. R. R. Tolkien

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien is a favorite author of New Left “hippies” and New Right nationalists, and for pretty much the same reasons. Tolkien deeply distrusted modernization and industrialization, which replace organic reciprocity between man and nature with technological dominion of man over nature, a relationship that deforms and devalues both poles.

But philosophically and politically, Tolkien was much closer to the New Right than the New Left. Tolkien was a conservative and a race realist. His preferences ran toward non-constitutional monarchy in the capital and de facto anarchy in the provinces, but he recognized that state control can be minimized only in a society with a deep reverence for tradition and a high regard for individual honor and self-restraint.

Many of Tolkien’s most fervent New Right admirers are neo-pagans. But Tolkien himself was a devout Roman Catholic traditionalist, albeit one with a deep love of pre-Christian myth, epic, and tradition. And although The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, with their many themes from Norse and Celtic mythology, resonate especially with pagans, the ultimate mythological framework of Middle Earth, particularly as expressed in the posthumous work The Silmarillion, is biblical in inspiration, with a creator God (Eru Ilúvatar), a devil (Melkor), a fall, and even a hint of the necessity of a divine incarnation to save creation.

In honor of Tolkien’s birthday, I wish first to draw your attention to several works on this website:

For more background on Tolkien’s life and work, I recommend two introductory books, which are accessible even to teenagers: Leslie Ellen Jones’ Myth and Middle-Earth: Exploring the Medieval Legends Behind J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and Bradley Birzer’s J. R. R. Tolkien’s Sanctifying Myth: Understanding Middle-Earth. The most thorough and serious biography and overall interpretation of Tolkien is Joseph Pearce’s Tolkien: Man and Myth.

For those who need no introduction, there is no better commemoration than to spend a winter evening snug in one’s own Hobbit hole reading the works of the man himself (or watching Peter Jackson’s masterful and inspiring movies of The Lord of the Rings).

 

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8 Comments

  1. Just a random passin
    Posted January 9, 2014 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    Tolkien vocally opposed Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party prior to the Second World War, and was known to especially despise Nazi racist and anti-Semitic ideology. In 1938, the publishing house Rütten & Loening Verlag was preparing to release The Hobbit in Nazi Germany. To Tolkien’s outrage, he was asked beforehand whether he was of Aryan origin. In a letter to his British publisher Stanley Unwin, he condemned Nazi “race-doctrine” as “wholly pernicious and unscientific”. He added that he had many Jewish friends and was considering “letting a German translation go hang”.

    He provided two letters to Rütten & Loening and instructed Unwin to send whichever he preferred. The more tactful letter was sent and was lost during the later bombing of Germany. In the unsent letter, Tolkien makes the point that “Aryan” is a linguistic term, denoting speakers of Indo-Iranian languages. He continued,

    But 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 18th century from Germany: the main part of my descent is therefore 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. I cannot, however, forbear to comment that if impertinent and irrelevant inquiries of this sort are to become the rule in matters of literature, then the time is not far distant when a German name will no longer be a source of pride.

    In a 1941 letter to his son Michael, he expressed his resentment at the distortion of Germanic history in “Nordicism”:

    You have to understand the good in things, to detect the real evil. But no one ever calls on me to ‘broadcast’ or do a postscript. Yet I suppose I know better than most what is the truth about this ‘Nordic’ nonsense. Anyway, I have in this war a burning private grudge… against that ruddy little ignoramus Adolf Hitler … Ruining, perverting, misapplying, and making for ever accursed, that noble northern spirit, a supreme contribution to Europe, which I have ever loved, and tried to present in its true light. Nowhere, incidentally, was it nobler than in England, nor more early sanctified and Christianized

    In 1968, he objected to a description of Middle-earth as “Nordic”, a term he said he disliked because of its association with racialist theories

    All sources at Wikipedia in English

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted January 9, 2014 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

      Yes, Tolkien was a pious, pompous fool, the kind of patriot who paved the way for the submergence of England under a tide of Third World mud. But I still admire his art.

  2. Posted January 5, 2014 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    LOTRs is a pro-White epic. I must say however that I didn’t find the 1st Hobbit movie to be even close to the LOTRs movies. The Matrix was the anti-White epic.

  3. me
    Posted January 3, 2014 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

    I re-read Trevor Lynch’s movie reviews of the Lord of the Rings series. I recall that the 3rd movie won a record number of Academy Awards (actually tied with a couple of other movies – Ben Hur and Titanic). I remember watching Steven Speilberg handing the Best Picture award to Peter Jackson, remarking that the Return of the King has won all the Oscars it was nominated for. “A sweep”.

    I was curious to know the make up of the Academy Award membership – according to wiki, there’s over 5800+ members – their vote decides winners. Many of the members work in the film industry in various fields, and actors – over 1,300 of them – is about 22% of the voting bloc. Wiki reveals the demographics of the Academy Award membership – “Of the 5,100+ active voters confirmed, 94% were Caucasian, 77% were male, and 54% were found to be over the age of 60. 33% of voting members are former nominees (14%) and winners (19%).” Now, don’t you wonder how much of the “94% Caucasian” members are jews?

    I bring this up as supposedly the jews dominate the film industry and yet the Academy Award membership gave out 11 Oscars to The Return of the King – a very Gentile film!

    • Frederick Dixon
      Posted January 5, 2014 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

      When I saw “The Return of the King” in the cinema in 2003, Aragorn toasted his companions with the words “Hail to Victory”. We all know how those words translate into German. On the several occasions that I have watched the film since 2003, including the extended DVD version, the words were omitted.

  4. me
    Posted January 3, 2014 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    I read the Lord of the Rings (it’s a one thick book, not 3 separate books. This one big book includes some of the additional notes by the author and his son). Just over the holidays, I read about half of The Hobbit. I immediately saw how the movie version got corrupted & distorted by excessive padding and additional stuff not mentioned in the book, etc. (I haven’t seen the 2nd movie yet – probably will wait until it comes out in the DVD form so I can understand it via captions.)

    Comparing the two, I find The Lord of the Rings was easier to read and follow than The Hobbit.

  5. Posted January 3, 2014 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    They get where water can’t:

    The Hobbit – The Negrification of Middle Earth: http://www.westernspring.co.uk/the-hobbit-the-negrification-of-middle-earth/#comment-21584

  6. Carpenter
    Posted January 3, 2014 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    “J. R. R. Tolkien: Author of the Century” by Tom Shippey is one of my favorite books on his works.

    It undoubtedly inspired in me a greater appreciation of the uniqueness of European culture.

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