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Green Suns and Faerie

Essays on J. R. R. Tolkien

Literature & Literary Criticism, Science Fiction and Fantasy

DescriptionA major contribution to the growing body of Tolkien scholarship

With the release of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy and forthcoming film version of The Hobbit, J. R. R. Tolkien’s popularity has never been higher. In Green Suns and Faërie, author Verlyn Flieger, one of world’s foremost Tolkien scholars, presents a selection of her best articles—some never before published—on a range of Tolkien topics.

The essays are divided into three distinct sections. The first explores Tolkien’s ideas of sub-creation–the making of a Secondary World and its relation to the real world, the second looks at Tolkien’s reconfiguration of the medieval story tradition, and the third places his work firmly within the context of the twentieth century and “modernist” literature. With discussions ranging from Tolkien’s concepts of the hero to the much-misunderstood nature of Bilbo’s last riddle in The Hobbit, Flieger reveals Tolkien as a man of both medieval learning and modern sensibility—one who is deeply engaged with the past and future, the regrets and hopes, the triumphs and tragedies, and above all the profound difficulties and dilemmas of his troubled century.

Taken in their entirety, these essays track a major scholar’s deepening understanding of the work of the master of fantasy. Green Suns and Faërie is sure to become a cornerstone of Tolkien scholarship.

AuthorVerlyn Flieger is professor emerita of English at the University of Maryland where she teaches courses on Tolkien, medieval and modern literature, and comparative mythology. She has written three books on Tolkien: Splintered Light, A Question of Time, and Interrupted Music (all published by The Kent State University Press). She has also edited a critical edition of Tolkien’s novella Smith of Wootton Major, and an expanded edition with notes and commentary of Tolkien’s most influential theoretical essay, “On Fairy-Stories.”

French TranslationA French language translation of the chapter “The Mind, the Tongue, and the Tale” is available online here.

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