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Title: Creative uses of scholarly knowledge in the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien
Author: Fimi, Dimitra
ISNI:       0000 0004 2747 4476
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2005
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This thesis is an interdisciplinary study of Tolkien's writing, seeking to place his work within the framework of the historical period within which it was created. The thesis concentrates on four areas of Tolkien's expertise and experience and explores how their historical development informed the creation of Tolkien's legendarium. The Introductory Chapter presents an overview of Tolkien criticism and defines the scope and range of the thesis. Chapter 2 concentrates on the question of the centrality of the Elves in the Middle- earth mythos and explores how the evolution of their image corresponds to the development of the science of folklore. Chapter 3 examines the influence of contemporary anthropology on Tolkien's ideas and how the decline of racial anthropology left its mark in the conception of the different creatures that inhabit Middle-earth. Chapter 4 is a new, detailed analysis of Tolkien's 'invented languages' as an integral part of his fiction. The chapter looks at the principles of Tolkien's language invention, contextualises the creation of his imaginary languages within a long philosophical and literary tradition (that of the search for the perfect language) and explores the role of philology and the - then emerging - science of modern linguistics in the construction of the languages of Middle-earth. This chapter is complemented by an Addendum on the Writing Systems of Middle-earth. Chapter 5 takes the previously almost entirely neglected topic of Tolkien's awareness of contemporary archaeology and its role in his work. The chapter focuses on the depiction of material culture in Middle- earth, mainly through examining the human 'cultures' of Tolkien's invented world, but also treating such issues as the anachronistic material culture of the hobbits, and the creation of Middle-earth landscapes. The Epilogue recapitulates the main conclusions of the thesis and further examines the interplay of biography and literature in Tolkien's case, by using the concept of 'biographical legend'.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available