Week 1 - John Ronald Reuel Tolkien
As the first of the 52 human beings we will explore in 2019, we chose J.R.R. Tolkien as a relatively easy one. Tolkien is most famous for being the father of modern fantasy literature and creating the world of Middle-Earth, filled with Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves and Dark Lords. The books of the Hobbit, The Lord of the…
What a great way to start the new year! Tolkien has been such a big influence on my life. I used to read the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings every single year, and often read it aloud to my younger siblings, too. The sweep and scope of the world he created gave my imagination such a broad place to play. I don't do a lot of toy photography directly connected to Tolkien's work, but the passion for storytelling that was formed in me during my youth still comes out in everything I do.
Far more than the world of Middle Earth itself, it's also his storytelling and how it influences other that influenced me most. As a teenager, I used to be a big fan of roleplaying games (either on computers or on paper), and Tolkien had considerable influence on games like Dungeons and Dragons which kept me busy for so many hours. Without a doubt, my old fascination for roleplaying is not unrelated to my current fascination for storytelling with toys :-)
Actually I can't even count numbers of J. R. R. Tolkien influences, direct and more subtle on me, my literature, musical and other tastes and in general. Starting with Hobbit, then struggling with Silmarillion [it was bit too much for 10-years old boy] and finally The Lord Of The Rings, these stories and aesthetics shaped my sensitivity to a large extent. So it won't be easy to capture this legacy :)
Silly me. I have to admit that I never came across Tolkien before the LOTR movies came out. I read a lot from early on-site just not Tolkien. Up until today I'm probably not aware of his influence on fiction and fantasy and life in general. Curious what images will result from this....
I read Hobbit, which is easy, then I read Silmarillion, which was okay, I think I was 15 or so at the time, then I tried to read LotR and that was so awful :D So hard to read :D I'm not sure which books I read, but I remember that I stopped in the middle of the book and there was a giant spider or something :D And I just couldn't continue, it was so bad :D And it was when there was the first movie already. So I just waited for the other movies to come out :D Tolkien influenced me for sure, I even learned a bit of elvish at the time, but I can't read his books :D
It's interesting you found the Silmarillion easier than LotR. When I tell people I tried to read the Silmarillion first, they usually tell me I should have started with the LotR instead. But I'm with you, although I often think I should read the LotR, it's far from being at the top of my priority list. I'm heavily influenced by Tolkien because of the influence he had on others rather than directly on me :-)