Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Tolkien Rides Again

J.R.R. Tolkien's unfinished work "The Children of Hurin" that he began to write but abandoned in 1918 will be edited by his son Christopher Tolkien and published by Houghton Mifflin in the United States and HarperCollins in England.

As a child, Christopher would read his father’s stories and approve of them. "The Hobbit" was originally written as a story for J.R.R. Tolkien's children but when friend and associate C.S. Lewis insisted that Tolkien send the book to a publisher it became a best seller. This inspired the publisher to ask Tolkien for a sequel, which became "The Lord of The Rings" trilogy.

Christopher Tolkien has a long history of commenting on and editing his father’s work, starting from when he was very young. In the Seventies, he edited "The Silmarillion," a composite of his father’s works and published posthumously. "The Silmarillion" is a five-part book that was written as separate works but compiled by Christopher Tolkien. Missing parts were filled in by Tolkien's research into his father's notes and some parts were written from scratch.

Tolkien's prolific notes, half-finished works, maps and timelines are a testament to his attention to language and history in his writing. Fantasy writers are unanimous on the fact that J.R.R. Tolkien invented the fantasy genre and almost everything else is honorably derivative. The quest, the creatures, the dark wizard and the king! All of it started with Tolkien.


No comments: