Had Enough of Tolkien?
With the recent release of the new Hobbit movie, we’ve reached the conclusion of Peter Jackson’s cinematic saga based on the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. But have we had enough of Tolkein? Author Michael Moorcock has had enough of Tolkein, as explained by a recent New Yorker article :
Not even Tolkien’s vast philological scholarship, his deep knowledge of mythology, and his world-building skills could impress what Moorcock and company saw as a troublesome infantilism inherent in Tolkien’s work. In a 1971 essay in New Worlds, the writer M. John Harrison acknowledges Tolkien’s position as the first and last word in fantastic fiction, but begs readers to look more closely, where they will see not the “beautiful chaos of reality,” but “stability and comfort and safe catharsis.” In 1978, Moorcock did a more thorough takedown in an essay called “ Epic Pooh ,” in which he compares Tolkien and his hobbits to A. A. Milne and his bear.
There’s some lively discussion of the article on Reddit and The Passive Voice .