John Ronald Reuel Tolkien citations

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John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

Date de naissance: 3. janvier 1892
Date de décès: 2. septembre 1973
Autres noms:J. R. R. Tolkien,John Tolkien,J.R.R. Tolkien

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John Ronald Reuel Tolkien , plus connu sous la forme J. R. R. Tolkien, est un écrivain, poète, philologue et professeur d’université anglais, né le 3 janvier 1892 à Bloemfontein et mort le 2 septembre 1973 à Bournemouth. Il est principalement connu pour ses romans Le Hobbit et Le Seigneur des anneaux.

Après des études à Birmingham et à Oxford et l’expérience traumatisante de la Première Guerre mondiale, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien devient professeur assistant de langue anglaise à l’université de Leeds en 1920, puis professeur de vieil anglais à l’université d’Oxford en 1925 et professeur de langue et de littérature anglaises en 1945, toujours à Oxford. Il prend sa retraite en 1959. Durant sa carrière universitaire, il défend l’apprentissage des langues, surtout germaniques, et bouleverse l’étude du poème anglo-saxon Beowulf avec sa conférence Beowulf : Les Monstres et les Critiques . Son essai Du conte de fées est également considéré comme un texte crucial dans l’étude de ce genre littéraire.

Tolkien commence à écrire pour son plaisir dans les années 1910, élaborant toute une mythologie autour de langues qu’il invente. L’univers ainsi créé, la Terre du Milieu, prend forme au fil des réécritures et compositions. Son ami C. S. Lewis l’encourage dans cette voie, de même que les autres membres de leur cercle littéraire informel, les Inklings. En 1937, la publication du Hobbit fait de Tolkien un auteur pour enfants estimé. Sa suite longtemps attendue, Le Seigneur des anneaux, est d’une tonalité plus sombre. Elle paraît en 1954-1955 et devient un véritable phénomène de société dans les années 1960, notamment sur les campus américains. Tolkien travaille sur sa mythologie jusqu’à sa mort, mais ne parvient pas à donner une forme achevée au Silmarillion. Ce recueil de légendes des premiers âges de la Terre du Milieu est finalement mis en forme et publié à titre posthume en 1977 par son fils et exécuteur littéraire Christopher, en collaboration avec Guy Gavriel Kay. Depuis, Christopher Tolkien publie régulièrement des textes inédits de son père.

De nombreux auteurs ont publié des romans de fantasy avant Tolkien, mais le succès majeur remporté par Le Seigneur des anneaux au moment de sa publication en poche aux États-Unis est, pour une large part, à l’origine d’une renaissance populaire du genre. Tolkien est ainsi considéré, pour certains, comme le « père » ou l'un des « pères » de la fantasy moderne. Son œuvre a eu une influence majeure sur les auteurs ultérieurs de ce genre, en particulier par la rigueur avec laquelle il a construit son monde secondaire.

Citations John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

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„The news today about "Atomic bombs" is so horrifying one is stunned.“

— John Ronald Reuel Tolkien
Context: The news today about "Atomic bombs" is so horrifying one is stunned. The utter folly of these lunatic physicists to consent to do such work for war-purposes: calmly plotting the destruction of the world! Such explosives in men's hands, while their moral and intellectual status is declining, is about as useful as giving out firearms to all inmates of a gaol and then saying that you hope "this will ensure peace". But one good thing may arise out of it, I suppose, if the write-ups are not overheated: Japan ought to cave in. Well we're in God's hands. But He does not look kindly on Babel-builders. No. 102: From a letter to his son Christopher Tolkien (9 August, 1945)

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„For myth is alive at once and in all its parts, and dies before it can be dissected.“

— John Ronald Reuel Tolkien
Context: The significance of a myth is not easily to be pinned on paper by analytical reasoning. It is at its best when it is presented by a poet who feels rather than makes explicit what his theme portends; who presents it incarnate in the world of history and geography, as our poet has done. Its defender is thus at a disadvantage: unless he is careful, and speaks in parables, he will kill what he is studying by vivisection, and he will be left with a formal or mechanical allegory, and what is more, probably with one that will not work. For myth is alive at once and in all its parts, and dies before it can be dissected. "Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics" (1936), p. 14

„Why should a man be scorned if, finding himself in prison, he tries to get out and go home? Or if he cannot do so, he thinks and talks about other topics than jailers and prison-walls?“

— John Ronald Reuel Tolkien
Context: I have claimed that Escape is one of the main functions of fairy-stories, and since I do not disapprove of them, it is plain that I do not accept the tone of scorn or pity with which 'Escape' is now so often used. Why should a man be scorned if, finding himself in prison, he tries to get out and go home? Or if he cannot do so, he thinks and talks about other topics than jailers and prison-walls? The world outside has not become less real because the prisoner cannot see it.

„The significance of a myth is not easily to be pinned on paper by analytical reasoning.“

— John Ronald Reuel Tolkien
Context: The significance of a myth is not easily to be pinned on paper by analytical reasoning. It is at its best when it is presented by a poet who feels rather than makes explicit what his theme portends; who presents it incarnate in the world of history and geography, as our poet has done. Its defender is thus at a disadvantage: unless he is careful, and speaks in parables, he will kill what he is studying by vivisection, and he will be left with a formal or mechanical allegory, and what is more, probably with one that will not work. For myth is alive at once and in all its parts, and dies before it can be dissected. "Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics" (1936), p. 14

„I always in writing start with a name. Give me a name and it produces a story, not the other way about normally.“

— John Ronald Reuel Tolkien
Context: It gives me great pleasure, a good name. I always in writing start with a name. Give me a name and it produces a story, not the other way about normally. [http://www.lordotrings.com/interview.asp Interview] with Dennis Gerrolt, first broadcast on the BBC Radio 4 programme "Now Read On" (January 1971)

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„That story was the only thing I have ever done which cost me absolutely no pains at all.“

— John Ronald Reuel Tolkien
Context: That story was the only thing I have ever done which cost me absolutely no pains at all. Usually I compose only with great difficulty and endless rewriting. I woke up one day (more than 2 years ago) with that odd thing virtually complete in my head. It took only a few hours to get down, and then copy out. About "Leaf by Niggle", in a letter to Stanley Unwin (18 March 1945)

„The Evangelium has not abrogated legends; it has hallowed them, especially the "happy ending."“

— John Ronald Reuel Tolkien
Context: The Evangelium has not abrogated legends; it has hallowed them, especially the "happy ending." The Christian has still to work, with mind as well as body, to suffer, hope, and die; but he may now perceive that all his bents and faculties have a purpose, which can be redeemed. So great is the bounty with which he has been treated that he may now, perhaps, fairly dare to guess that in Fantasy he may actually assist in the effoliation and multiple enrichment of creation. All tales may come true; and yet, at the last, redeemed, they may be as like and unlike the forms that we give them as Man, finally redeemed, will be like and unlike the fallen that we know.

„I have in this War a burning private grudge — which would probably make me a better soldier at 49 than I was at 22: against that ruddy little ignoramus Adolf Hitler“

— John Ronald Reuel Tolkien
Context: I have in this War a burning private grudge — which would probably make me a better soldier at 49 than I was at 22: against that ruddy little ignoramus Adolf Hitler (for the odd thing about demonic inspiration and impetus is that it in no way enhances the purely intellectual stature: it chiefly affects the mere will). Ruining, perverting, misapplying, and making for ever accursed, that noble northern spirit, a supreme contribution to Europe, which I have ever loved, and tried to present in its true light. No. 45: To his son Michael Tolkien (09 June, 1941)

„I should say that, in addition to my tree-love (it was originally called The Tree), it arose from my own pre-occupation with the Lord of the Rings, the knowledge that it would be finished in great detail or not at all, and the fear (near certainty) that it would be 'not at all'.“

— John Ronald Reuel Tolkien
Context: I should say that, in addition to my tree-love (it was originally called The Tree), it arose from my own pre-occupation with the Lord of the Rings, the knowledge that it would be finished in great detail or not at all, and the fear (near certainty) that it would be 'not at all'. The war had arisen to darken all horizons. But no such analyses are a complete explanation even of a short story... About "Leaf by Niggle", in a letter to Caroline Everett (24 June 1957)

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