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Showing results for tags 'j.r.r. tolkein'.
I am a bit astonished to find no dedicated thread for The Lord of the Rings in the literature section. Hope I am wrong about that, but... Anyhow, *spoilers.* I've been listening to LOTR on tape during my long commutes, and I was struck as I always am by the beauty of Tolkein's prose. He is such an underrated stylist. I just finished the end of The Two Towers, and I had never noticed before that Sam, overhearing the Orcs say Frodo was alive says to himself words to the effect of "You knew in your heart he wasn't dead...why do you listen to your head, it's not the best part of you." I think I've mentioned this elsewhere, but I may be conflating things I've said in these forums with things I've said teaching, but I find it really rare in post-Romantic literature, particularly Christian (or sermons) to find characters or works that choose the heart in the head vs. heart conflict of ontology. If I had a dime for every sermon I've heard about how "the heart is deceitfully wicked..." well, I could probably buy a taco anyway. But I don't know that, outside of Ben Franklin (who does so humorously) I can think of a lot of venerated examples where people say, "You know, in fallen human beings, the intellect is also corrupted and can be deceitfully wicked..." If anyone represents head knowledge to the exclusion of heart knowledge, it would probably not be Boromir (or Saruman) or Denethor. Perhaps some of this is the post-WWII context (though I know Tolkein allegedly hated attempts to allegorize the book on those terms), where reason did seem to lead to despair.