The Book of Lost Tales: Part One
Is Tolkien a gateway author, and if so, a gateway to what?
The Book of Lost Tales: Part One, J. R. R. Tolkien
This post contains both affiliate links and spoilers.
Now it happened on a certain time that a traveller from far countries, a man of great curiosity, was by desire of strange lands and the ways and dwellings of unaccustomed folk brought in a ship as far west even as the Lonely Island, Tol Eressea in the fairy speech, but which the Gnomes' call Dor Faidwen, the Land of Release, and a great tale hangs thereto.
People have called this a first draft of “The Silmarillion”, an origin story for Middle Earth and its various peoples.
I’ve decided that I’m going to write separate posts for individual stories, or at least related sections. Those will have more concise plot summaries.
Why I Picked This Book
This is the first book in Tolkien’s 12-volume “History of Middle Earth” series. My goal is to read one per month and finish them all by the end of the year. I am not off to a great start.
Where I'm At
As I was getting ready to write this post, I saw an article about Tolkien as a gateway author. The focus was on science fiction and fantasy, but there was a passing reference to how it got the article’s writer to also read mythology and Medieval literature. I made a comment on social media about how Tolkien was one of the authors that got me reading literature in general, as well as history and from there, politics. Of course, since it’s the internet, someone had to chime in and tell me that they didn’t consider Tolkien to be literature while extolling the virtues of lurid genre paperback novels. Not to shame people that like that stuff, love what you love, but the irony of trying to get in a dig about the literary merits of Tolkien, which was really a strawman dig at me for considering Tolkien to be literature, while pushing work that they don’t consider to be literature, is some peak social media stuff.
My Feelings So Far
Anyway, as stated in every other post in the past week, things went off the rails for me in the first couple of weeks of this year, so I’m behind on my reading. As long as things are truly sorted and everything works even close to the way it’s supposed to, I will be able to get caught up in short order. I appreciate you putting up with the rocky start that this publication is off to, but I promise it will get better.
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