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Пред. 06.01.12, 14:29   #22
Дм. Винoxoдов
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The presocratic and platonic philosophical influences on J. R. R. Tolkien's epic, "The Lord of the Rings"
by Yulo, Jose Maria J., Ed.D., University of San Francisco, 2005, 133 pages

Abstract (Summary)

This study sought to discover the ties binding ancient Greek philosophy, to the literature of Professor J. R. R. Tolkien. These ties resided in the province of ethical philosophy, initially apprehended from the Greeks, which was compared to Tolkien's epic work, The Lord of the Rings . The underlying thrust of the research involved the ethical, philosophical progression of presocratic Greek thought. This progression coursed from Heraclitean logos, to Parmenidean truth, and finally to Platonic justice.

This underlying ethical base serves as a marbled foundation on which to build a body of literature which truly benefits educational fields such as philosophy, literature, and politics. Therefore, reading from great works like Tolkien's, an author descended from the venerable Canon began by Homer, extends to the student a true liberal education: an education that sets one free from sophistry.

The research was conducted by means of a close reading of Tolkien's epic and three Greek philosophical texts: Heraclitus's and Parmenides's Fragments , as well as Plato's Republic . In the reading, Greek philosophical themes were extracted and juxtaposed to threads found in The Lord of the Rings .

The results of the research manifested a convergence between the progression of Greek ethical philosophy and Tolkien's own moral foundation throughout the three installments of the letter's epic. The Heraclitean concept of strife permeated The Fellowship of the Ring . Likewise, Parmenidean themes such as truth, as it differed from mortal guile, illumined the tale of The Two Towers . Lastly, Platonic justice, and its kindred virtues, cemented the resolution found in The Return of the King .

In conclusion, whereas these convergences point to Tolkien and the Greeks as drawing from a shared spring, the Professor's Catholicism allowed for yet another moral beacon: charity. The actions carried out by Tolkien's character Samwise Gamgee reached beyond the parameters set forth in Greek ethical philosophy. In choosing to forego victory and glory, the latter instead sought to rescue his friend Frodo; a true fellowship of the ring.

J. R. R. Tolkien's lecture "On Fairy-Stories": The qualities of Tolkienian fantasy
by Northrup, Clyde Bryan, Ph.D., University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 2004, 297 pages

Abstract (Summary)

Tolkien's 1939 lecture, "On Fairy-stories," is viewed by fantasy critics as a statement of Tolkien's aesthetics, rather than a critical framework for interpreting Tolkienian fantasy. This work will attempt to show that this lecture by Tolkien actually creates a framework for interpretation, the four qualities of Tolkienian fantasy, that will be applied later on to four contemporary fantasies by David Eddings, Roger Zelazny, Stephen R. Donaldson, and J. K. Rowling, along with Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings .

After surveying fantasy criticism from George MacDonald's late 19th Century essay to the present, we look at Sir Philip Sidney's Defence of Poesy and his place in fantasy criticism. Following the lead of Italian humanist Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, Sidney responds to critics of his day, arguing that the poet should not be subject to the restraints reality, but rather, should be free to go as far as his or her imagination will carry him or her. He also borrows from neo-Platonist ideas as also Aristotle, creating a space for the poet to operate outside of the limits of our world. Joseph Addison's Spectator essays on the pleasures of the imagination, expands upon Sidney, noticing the power of words to create images of things not present, requiring a reader of equal imagination. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, in his Biographia Literaria , posits that this ability to create on the part of the author is a reflection of the creative act of the divine creator who made man. Oscar Wilde's essay, "The Decay of Lying," defends imaginative literature against the realists of his day, arguing for a return to the "art of lying," which is the creation, through art, of "beautiful, untrue things." Tolkien seems to respond to Wilde's challenge, picking of the threads of Sidney and Coleridge to explain his idea of "sub-creation" on the part of the author, who creates through writing secondary worlds that contain fragments of the "truth," which is, for Tolkien, the truth of his Catholic beliefs in God and his creation of man. If the author does his work well then he creates in the reader "secondary belief" in the secondary world of the narrative, taking up Addison's ideas and taking exception to Coleridge's "willing suspension of disbelief." The reader believes the created world is "real," in the sense that it exists while the reader is "inside" the narrative world.

These ideas lead Tolkien to give the four qualities of a "fairy-story," as he names them, fantasy, recovery, escape, and consolation. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)

Tolkien's synthetic myth: Fantasy at the dawn of the global age, and, Comic book cosmopolis: Globalization and the superhero
by Tedder, Charles F., III, M.A., The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 2005, 82 pages

Abstract (Summary)

I. Written at the inception of the global age and despite privileging Western traditions, Tolkien's work displays an emergent global consciousness, one which emphasizes the role of local identity in global affairs and posits allegiance and cultural bridge building as a solution and safeguard against worldwide conflict or subjugation under a totalitarian regime. Also, it is suggested that the work bears some generic resemblance to Menippean satire.

II. Superhero comics, generically predispositioned to manifest cultural dynamics, show special aptitude for engaging contemporary issues relating to postmodernity and globalization. Thus, supervillains have been rewritten as terrorists or depersonified systemic failures while, correspondingly, superheroes have been inscribed with a new cosmopolitan ideal of heroic intervention that foregrounds cooperative networking, emphasizes the importance of local/personal motivation to global action, and privileges negotiation over violent conflict.

Gollum: The fulcrum of desire in J. R. R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings"
by Bernard, Carol A., Ph.D., University of Houston, 2005, 173 pages

Abstract (Summary)

Critics of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings often examine the novel in terms of biography, mythology, and linguistics. When they investigate the novel in terms of characters, including studies of gender and sexuality, the two characters who receive the most attention are Sam and Frodo. These two characters are clearly central to the storyline, and some critics have already begun investigating their relationship in terms of queer theory, looking at the male homosocial bond between Sam and Frodo and even arguing that Sam and Frodo have a distinctly homoerotic bond. However, this dissertation argues that their bond is predicated on the presence of Gollum/Smeagol. Using the work of Rene Girard and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, I argue that Tolkien creates an erotic triangle between these three central characters, with Gollum acting as both a hindrance and a help to the development of Frodo and Sam's romantic relationship.

Using Tolkien's own concept of "applicability," which he outlines in the Foreword to the Second Edition of The Lord of the Rings , I initially examine his life as a guide to understanding and applying the importance of male homosocial desire in his work. In the second chapter, I examine first his friendships from his school days' at St. Edwards, focusing on the three friends who became the Tea Club, Barrovian Society (TCBS), and then on how those friendships were materially altered by World War I. In the next chapter, I discuss the friend who had the most profound effect on his life, that of C. S. (Jack) Lewis. In both of these chapters, I make the argument that Tolkien's life has profound implications for his characterization of the hobbits, particularly the relationship between Sam and Frodo. The fourth chapter examines in depth the homosocial bond between Sam and Frodo, making the argument that their relationship is both idealized and homoerotic. The fifth chapter makes the central argument of this dissertation, that Gollum/Smeagol, because of his dualities and complicated nature, acts as both a chaperone of Frodo and Sam, preventing them from engaging in physically overt homosexual acts, as well as a goad that pushes Frodo and Sam together. Moroever, Tolkien creates situations where Gollum has a romantic relationship with both Frodo and Sam individually, thus forming a classic erotic triangle. I conclude by comparing the death of Gollum with the departure of Frodo to the Grey Havens. Without Gollum's presence, Sam and Frodo can no longer enjoy their idealized relationship, and thus Frodo leaves--Middle-earth and Sam.
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