The lords of the West: cloaking, freedom and the divine narrative in Tolkien's poetics

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Abstract

The article aims (1) to investigate the hidden divine narrative in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, that is the agency of divine characters in and on the story, whose presence appears to other, non-divine characters only in ‘cloaked’ or ‘glimpsed’ form; (2) to discuss the reasons for the concealing of this narrative (and of divine presence in general), which is revealed as a key feature of Tolkien’s literary technique and poetics. The article analyses both literary and non-literary sources, arguing that the Creator’s love for the freedom of His creatures is the main reason accounting for this ‘cloaking’ and this ‘glimpsing’, both within Tolkien’s sub-created, ‘secondary’ world and the ‘primary’ reality to which he belongs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-153
JournalJournal of Inklings Studies
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019

Keywords

  • J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Lord of the Rings
  • ‘On Fairy Stories’
  • Fantasy
  • Literature and theology
  • Literature and freedom
  • Allegory

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