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martedì, agosto 28, 2012

An unexpected guest: Influence of William Morris on J.R.R. Tolkien's Work



«J.R.R. Tolkien, always a very private man, was frequently irritated to receive letters suggesting "sources" or "inspirations" for The Lord of the Rings in the work of other writers. However, he was proud to aknowledge one influence, that of William Morris. Replying to a correspondent who had asked about the effects of his First World War experience on his work, Tolkien had this to say about the landscape of Middle-Earth, the setting for both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings: "The Dead Marshes and the approaches to the Morannon owe something to Northern France after the Battle of the Somme. They owe more to William Morris and his Huns and Romans, as in The House of the Wolfings or The Roots of the Mountains" (letters, 303). All Tolkien's biographers make a passing reference to the influence of Morris, as does Fiona McCarthy in her biography of Morris. With one notable exception (Burns), most writers have concentrated on studying the echoes of Morris's poems, sagas and romances to be found in Tolkien's work. However, two of Morris's other works, an account of a trip to Iceland and a utopian fantasy, may also have influenced Tolkien.»

An unexpected guest:
Influence of William Morris on J.R.R. Tolkien's Work
di Anne Amison


Pubblicato su Mythlore autunno-inverno del 2006 (vol. 25) ed acquistabile sull'Apple store per 2,99 € come molti altri articoli estratti da numeri della rivista compresi tra il 2004 e il 2011. All'interno della selezione offerta, è decisamente tra i migliori.
Per chi fosse interessato all'argomento, consiglio anche Echoes of William Morris' Icelandic Journals in J.R.R. Tolkien, di Marjorie Burns, pubblicato sul numero 3 di Studies in Medievalism.
Per chi invece fosse interessato ad andare alle origini (o quasi) consiglio Questions of Travel: William Morris in Iceland di Lavinia Greenlaw (acquistabile on-line per 10€ sul sito della Notting Hill Editions), un articolo di Fiona McCarthy su The Guardian e naturalmente i testi originali di William Morris The House of the Wolfings e gli Icelandic Journals.

Anne Amison risiede a Venezia e insegna inglese alla Trinity House School of Languages. Tra le sue altre pubblicazioni, Victorian Wolverhampton, A Town Through Its Buildings (con Michael Albutt leggibile integralmente qui), Morris & Byron: Two Radical Poets (sulla William Morris Society Newsletter della primavera 2008) e un interessante articolo biografico sulla visita di Ruskin nello Shropshire, leggibile qui.

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