The authors of Middle Earth: Tolkien and the mystery of literary creation

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Who wrote The Lord of the Rings? And The Hobbit? And The Silmarillion? And in general, who is the author of the large corpus of texts, published or unpublished, which give life to Middle Earth’s imaginarium? To answer ‘J.R.R. Tolkien’ would not only mean to miss a crucial feature of the literary fabric of these books, which associates them with a long-standing literary tradition, from James’ The Turn of the Screw to Manzoni’s The Betrothed. More importantly, such an answer would mean to overlook an important dimension of Tolkien’s poetics, grounded in his literary convictions, and ultimately rooted in his deep Christian faith. The aim of this article is to try to give a more precise answer to the above questions, and thereby discuss some of the literary sophistication of Tolkien’s works, unjustly obscured by their commercial success, as well as delve into the depths of his Christian poetics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-64
Number of pages34
JournalJournal of Inklings Studies
Issue number1
Early online date12 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018


  • Tolkien, J. R. R.
  • The Lord of the Rings
  • The Hobbit
  • Authorship
  • Pseudepigrapha
  • Narrative frame


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