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Дм. Винoxoдов
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Myth and ideology in J. R. R. Tolkien's "The Silmarillion"
by Padgett, Walter Jan, M.A., Indiana State University, 2007, 83 pages

Abstract (Summary)

There is no thoughtful preparation for an adequate comprehensive understanding of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion. Addressing a social or cultural gap or need, this thesis provides a prolegomenon to The Silmarillion. Not being a literary analysis, this prolegomenon addresses the need for a mature complex introduction to The Silmarillion in relation to the concepts of myth and ideology, and it provides a discussion of how they may manifest themselves in any creative work.

My thesis is that Tolkien's writings perpetuate mythological themes that impose order on the communication of moral or ethical values to their reader, and also on explanations of the complex natural and psychological phenomena made sensible by those mythological themes. Tolkien's myth-making shapes the ideological mindset of his readers in a collective way, resulting in the existence of a common understanding and worldview among participants in the cultural phenomenon connected to Tolkien's works.

Certain truths expressed in Middle-earth are translated in the mind of the reader to the real world, and if he believes in them, and can relate to a community of "like-minded beings" familiar with the same language and images (to my way of thinking), and as his understanding of "the purposes of God" and appropriate moral conduct take shape under these ideological matrices, his personal experience will be favorably altered, and perhaps that of society as well.

Awakening a world with words: How J. R. R. Tolkien uses linguistic narrative techniques to take his readers to Faery in his short story, "Smith of Wootton Major"
by Pueppke, Michael, M.A., University of North Texas, 2007, 124 pages

Abstract (Summary)

J.R.R. Tolkien uses specific linguistic narrative techniques in Smith of Wootton Major to make the world of Wootton Major and the nearby land of Faery come to life for his readers. In this thesis, I examine how Tolkien accomplishes this feat by presenting a linguistic analysis of some parts of the story. My analysis is also informed by Tolkien's own ideas of fairy-stories, and as such, it uniquely shows the symbiotic relationship between Tolkien's theories and his narrative art.

The sacramental vision: Mythopoeic imagination and ecology in Coleridge, MacDonald, Lewis, and Tolkien
by Brawley, Christopher S., Ph.D., The Florida State University, 2003, 149 pages

Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of the present project is to isolate and define a prominent characteristic of mythopoeic fantasy, the attempt to reawaken the numinous consciousness, which in the hands of Coleridge, MacDonald, Lewis, and Tolkien serves to provide a revisioning of the human relationship with the natural world. The project will counter two kinds of argument, one by literary critics who view this type of literature as "escapist," bearing no relationship to the world, and one by environmental critics who believe Christianity causes hostility towards "right" relations with the earth. By analyzing specific texts by these authors, who are heavily influenced by Christianity, the project will show that mythopoeic fantasy, if successful, offers the reader a unique religious response to the environment.

The element of the numinous consciousness within the works of the four authors will be discussed specifically in relation to the influential book by Rudolf Otto, The Idea of the Holy . However, in analyzing the common denominator of the numinous consciousness in these mythopoeic works, the present study will further note differences among the authors in their presentation of this religious mode of experience. Chapters two and three will focus on the "inner" quest for the numinous, which involves a transcendence or annihilation of the self in order for a revisioning of the world. Coleridge's "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" and George MacDonald's Phantastes will be analyzed in terms of this transcendence of the self which helps to facilitate the experience of the numinous. Chapters four and five will deal with the numinous as it exists on a more epic scale, as that which is "outer." In Lewis's The Last Battle and Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings , the emphasis will be placed on the transcendence not of the individual self but of the entire world. Although a distinction will be made between the "inner" and "outer" manifestations of the numinous, all four authors employ fantasy as a subversive form of art which allows readers to revise their perceptions of the natural world.

by PETTY, ANNE COTTON, Ph.D., The Florida State University, 1972, 151 pages

Dark ages: J. R. R. Tolkien's communication of evil in three legendarium stories
by Keuthan, Mark A., Ph.D., Regent University, 2010, 283 pages

Abstract (Summary)

Understanding J.R.R. Tolkien's early fiction holds the key to understanding his later major works: The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. The legendarium, published as The Silmarillion , is a rich treasure of the history of men and elves, of the legends of mighty and tragic heroes and heroines, and of the centuries of struggle against the ceaseless onslaught of evil in Middle-earth. An examination of evil as it develops and manifests over the first three Ages of Tolkien's world is the focus of this project. Tolkien wrote the first three stories of his legendarium immediately after his experiences fighting in World War I and returned to work on them through the rest of his life. These three stories represent three different, increasingly complex depictions of evil, which are placed in juxtaposed historical context with the three biographical periods in Tolkien's life where new ideas about the nature of evil are likely to have developed. The three stories are critically analyzed to reveal what they communicate about Tolkien's understanding of the nature of evil, in conjunction with an examination of certain elements which may have influenced his understanding of evil, namely World War I, Beowulf, and the Book of Job. Utilizing critical tools, including Fisher's Narrative Paradigm, McFague's Parabolic Theology Model, and the Augustinian doctrine of evil, yields the conclusions that Tolkien's early stories indirectly communicate intricate, complex, and deeply spiritual ideas about evil. His ideas of evil then find their full fruition in his magnum opus- The Lords of the Rings .

Apocalypse and memory in "Pearl"
by Long, Rebekah, Ph.D., Duke University, 2005, 308 pages

Abstract (Summary)

The work of elegy, of remembering the dead, is rooted in the linguistic figuring of loss. This dissertation looks at major shifts in the treatment of elegiac language in late medieval literature, changes characterized by an insistent rejection of inherited discourses of loss and a vigorous search for what these poems perceive as an appropriate, adequate language of commemoration, by beginning with Chaucer's early dream-vision The Book of the Duchess and treating at length the dream-vision Pearl .

Pearl , a poem concerned with a parent's grief over the death of a child, has been viewed variously as a biographical expression of real-life tragedy, a generic consolatio extending a long literary tradition, a traditional allegory concerning the soul's learning of spiritual truths, and, recently, as a political allegory celebrating Ricardian iconography. I contend that Pearl radically revises commemorative language by using a controversial medium, vernacular scriptural paraphrase, to embrace the dead.

By treating The Book of the Duchess and Pearl as case studies, my dissertation also explores what happens to medieval elegies when the theoretical paradigms prominent in current medieval literary scholarship, especially types of historicism roughly patterned after new historicism and psychoanalysis, are applied to the late medieval poetics of loss. In the case of these elegies, as I suggest, the interpretive methodologies of such engagements erase the word-based work of the poems through an imposition of a political and aesthetic narrative that refuses to acknowledge both generic difference and the poems, rejection of inherited forms. They similarly fail to recognize that disparate media (manuscript image, dramatic procession, scriptural paraphrase, vernacular poetry) articulate meanings in different registers, and that these late fourteenth-century elegies initiate an intermedial conversation between these forms to revise and fundamentally revision memorial language.

In the dissertation's closing section I explore the themes of recollection at work in the reception of medieval texts--processes both intrinsic and external to these texts. I center on the exemplary case of J. R. R. Tolkien and his important, life-long relationship to Pearl . In 1927 Tolkien published a poem titled "The Nameless Land." The sixty-line poem is a curious exercise--an experiment in form, intended as an approximation of the exceptionally difficult interwoven and alliterative structure of Pearl in modern verse. The poem is a condensation of Tolkien's theories about the methodologies of medievalism; I discuss how Tolkien uses the poem's frame to give voice to a medievalism that consciously resists the influential Victorian poetic-nostalgic model promoted by Tennyson. As I show, Tolkien's medievalism is an inspired habit of remembrance rooted in formal linguistic analysis. Its tone was deeply influenced by Tolkien's relationship to Pearl , a poem that urges us to reflect on our commemorative pathways, the resources we draw on to recall the dead.
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