Regarding the Platonic Soul and ‘Tolkien’s Dialectic’:

A recent discussion with Carl Lingard on the nature of Tolkien’s “secret grammar” led to the question of whether Plato’s teaching on the soul might be mapped onto what Lingard calls ‘Tolkien’s Dialectic’.1 In Plato’s understanding, the soul is made up of three “parts”; reason, will, and appetite. These correspond respectively to the head, the [...]

Tolkien and Hyperborea – The Four Ages of Middle-earth

It is somewhat surprising, given the popularity of Tolkien’s works, that relatively little attention has been paid to some of the supplementary artwork for The Lord of the Rings and the Silmarillion. Among the more intriguing pieces produced by the author are the heraldic designs for the various Elven houses. To my mind, no one [...]

The Lord of the Ring? Tolkien and Wagner

J.R.R. Tolkien once wrote, responding to comparisons between The Lord of the Rings and Richard Wagner’s Ring cycle, that: ‘Both rings were round, and there the resemblance ceased.’ Clearly the comparison irked him, the inventor of a truly unique work of creative genius, but his response seems overly dismissive and simplistic at best. This essay [...]