Tolkien i Wielka Wojna

Jakub Z. Lichański
Google Scholar Jakub Z. Lichański


Finally here comes a volume modestly entitled Tolkien and the First World War. On the threshold of Middle-earth. This is the result of many years of study by the author, John Garth, who writes in the introduction: This biographical study was born from one observation: how strange that J.R.R.  T o l k i e n  b e g a n  t o  c r e a t e  h i s  m o n u m e n t a l  m y t h o l o g y  i n  t h e  m i d s t  o f  t h e  F i r s t  W o r l d  W a r, [emphasis added — J.Z.L] that disappointing crisis that shaped the present day. This sentence may surprise the Polish reader, whose consciousness has shaped a completely different image of the First World War, as an event that may have been a crisis, but gave Poland the independence it had been dreaming of for over a hundred years. Meanwhile, for the generation to which Tolkien belongs, it was just that — a crisis. As Hermann Broch, who was slightly older than him, wrote about this war: “Goodbye Europe, beautiful tradition is over”.

Garth shows how Tolkien contrasted his work with this perception of the experience of the Great War, a work that is a great mythical story about destruction but also about hope. At the same time, it is a tribute to the memory of the generation that died in the trenches of Flanders.

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