Are we the only people in the habitable parts of the world who haven’t yet completed this masterpiece of intricate fantasy??
It’s not like we haven’t been reading other things. Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens, Madeleine L’Engle, E.M. Forster have all been late companions.
But now that we’ve fallen under the enchantment of Tolkien and his world, I am glad, so very glad, that we’ve saved these books till now. Right now all the pomp and splendor and majesty and fear of Frodo’s quest is ours for the first time. Right now we are almost giddy over Tolkien’s ‘fine words’; we are in love with Rivendell and the elves and their unearthly music. Right now, at the end of a long day we are swept up out of the heat and humidity of August in the South, out of traffic and tiresome things, into what C.S. Lewis calls ‘beauties to break your heart’, and we feel the first, fresh, stabbing poignancy of a story that will be a part of us for the rest of our lives.
My mother was teasing me about it yesterday:
“It’s gonna get to the point that people will start saying, ‘We don’t want to go to Philip and Lanier’s house anymore–they just talk about elves all the time’!” 😉
(I can hardly wait till tonight, though, to sit in on the Council of Elrond!)
I love to listen to the lectures of the great Christian philosopher, Peter Kreeft, while I’m ironing. (Who says housewives can’t delight their senses with ‘intellectual pleasures’! ;)) He has some excellent ones online, and I’d especially like to recommend The Language of Beauty,celebrating the values and virtues of Tolkien’s works. You may also want to check out Christianity and The Lord of the Rings.