On Ways of Studying Tolkien: Notes Toward a Better (Epic) Fantasy Criticism
AuthorWise, Dennis Wilson
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CitationWise, Dennis Wilson (2020) "On Ways of Studying Tolkien: Notes Toward a Better (Epic) Fantasy Criticism," Journal of Tolkien Research: Vol. 9 : Iss. 1 , Article 2. Available at: https://scholar.valpo.edu/journaloftolkienresearch/vol9/iss1/2
JournalJournal of Tolkien Research
RightsCopyright © Dennis Wilson Wise. This is an open access article licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0).
Collection InformationThis item from the UA Faculty Publications collection is made available by the University of Arizona with support from the University of Arizona Libraries. If you have questions, please contact us at email@example.com.
AbstractThis article examines major academic approaches used in the study of J.R.R. Tolkien. It argues that certain themes from political philosopher Leo Strauss, by helping us to develop a new theoretical lens, can elucidate several politically salient aspects of Tolkien's work, including thymos and his dialectic between ancient and modern. Four previous (though flawed) Straussian interpretations of Tolkien are highlighted. Finally, by analyzing the tensions that arise when pairing critical theory and its attendant bias against nature with Tolkien and epic fantasy, this article argues for the timeliness of a Straussian lens for studying fantasy and Tolkien alike.
NoteOpen access journal
VersionFinal published version
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Copyright © Dennis Wilson Wise. This is an open access article licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0).