So, I am going to be talking to you about reading. And I am biased, obviously and enormously: I write for children and for adults.
It was written long before the publication and much-deserved success of Philip Pullman's 'His Dark Materials' trilogy which, in my view, merits all the optimism I have expressed here.
The essay did not attempt to deal with all fantasy, such as Alice in Wonderland or other children's fantasy, but only epic fantasy from its origins in romance poetry to the present day. Certain highlighted phrases indicate additional comments from the author: Epic Pooh Why is the Rings being widely read today?
At a time when perhaps the world was never more in need of authentic experience, this story seems to provide a pattern of it. A businessman in Oxford told me that when tired or out of sorts he went to the Rings for restoration.
Lewis and various other critics believe that no book is more relevant to the human situation. Auden says that it "holds up the mirror to the only nature we know, our own.
For a few short hours the trivia which normally absorbs us was suspended and people experienced in common the meaning of leadership, greatness, valor, time redolent of timelessness, and common traits. Men became temporarily human and felt the life within them and about.
Their corporate life lived for a little and made possible the sign of renewal alter a realisation such as occurs only once or twice in a lifetime. For a century at least the world has been increasingly demythologized.
But such a condition is apparently alien to the real nature of men.
Now comes a writer such as John Ronald Reuel Tolkien and, as remythologizer, strangely warms our souls. Reading Dunsany, for instance, it often occurs to me that his early stories were all written during train journeys: Up from the platform and onto the train Got Welleran, Rollory and young Iraine.
Forgetful of sex and income tax Were Sooranard, Mammolek, Akanax: And in their dreams Dunsany's lord Mislaid the communication cord. The sort of prose most often identified with "high" fantasy is the prose of the nursery-room.
It is a lullaby; it is meant to soothe and console. It is frequently enjoyed not for its tensions but for its lack of tensions. It coddles; it makes friends with you; it tells you comforting lies.
One day when the sun had come back over the forest, bringing with it the scent of May, and all the streams of the Forest were tinkling happily to find themselves their own pretty shape again, and the little pools lay dreaming of the life they had seen and the big things they had done, and in the warmth and quiet of the Forest the cuckoo was trying over his voice carefully and listening to see if he liked it, and wood-pigeons were complaining gently to themselves in their lazy comfortable way that it was the other fellow's fault, but it didn't matter very much; on such a day as this Christopher Robin whistled in a special way he had, and Owl came flying out of the Hundred Acre Wood to see what was wanted.
Winnie-the-Pooh, It is the predominant tone of The Lord of the Rings and Watership Down and it is the main reason why these books, like many similar ones in the past, are successful.
It is the tone of many forgotten British and American bestsellers, well-remembered children's books, like The Wind in the Willows, you often hear it in regional fiction addressed to a local audience, or, in a more sophisticated form, James Barrie Dear Brutus, Mary Rose and, of course, Peter Pan.
Unlike the tone of E. Nesbit Five Children and It etc. Rowling, it is sentimental, slightly distanced, often wistful, a trifle retrospective; it contains little wit and much whimsy.
The humour is often unconscious because, as with Tolkienthe authors take words seriously but without pleasure: One summer's evening an astonishing piece of news reached the Ivy Bush and Green Dragon. Giants and other portents on the borders of the Shire were forgotten for more important matters; Mr.
Frodo was selling Bag End, indeed he had already sold it-to the Sackville-Bagginses! Frodo was selling his beautiful hole was even more debatable than the price The Fellowship of the Ring, I have been told it is not fair to quote from the earlier parts of The Lord of the Rings, that I should look elsewhere to find much better stuff so, opening it entirely at random, I find some improvement in substance and writing, but that tone is still there: Pippin became drowsy again and paid little attention to Gandalf telling him of the customs of Gondor, and how the Lord of the City had beacons built on the tops of outlying hills along both borders of the great range, and maintained posts at these points where fresh horses were always in readiness to bear his errand-riders to Rohan in the North, or to Belfalas in the South.Tolkien’s illustration of Bilbo’s home, Bag End.
Photograph: HarperCollins Another way to destroy a child’s love of reading, of course, is to make sure there are no books of any kind around. The language of the originators defines reality, every word warping the world to fit its meaning. Its study transforms the mind and body, and is closely guarded by stodgy, paranoid academics.
Select Your Own Seats. Unavailable: Your Seats. Jeremy Corbyn, London, June 9, There were three problems. Firstly, May demanded her enormous majority so that she could ride out into the Brexit battle without having to worry about mutterings in the ranks behind her.
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Find your next fantasy. Tolkien’s illustration of Bilbo’s home, Bag End. Photograph: HarperCollins Another way to destroy a child’s love of reading, of course, is to make sure there are no books of any kind around.
|WIP - Short Stories||Characteristics[ edit ] High fantasy is defined as fantasy set in an alternative, fictional "secondary" world, rather than "the real", or "primary" world.|