Tolkien News

Christopher Tolkien Interviewed by Le Monde

It’s no secret that Christopher Tolkien has made every effort to stay away from the spotlight generated by his father’s works. For years, the octogenarian has been quietly laboring as the head of the Tolkien Estate to preserve and promote J.R.R. Tolkien’s works, especially those like The Silmarillion and The Children of Hurin that had yet to see the light of day before the professor passed away in 1973. Recently, and to everyone’s surprise, Le Monde was granted an interview with Christopher and his wife Baille at their home in southern France. In the interview, the Le Monde talks about much of the history of Christopher’s decades of work, and Christopher himself shares his sadness about the commercialism surrounding The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit:

The chasm between the beauty and seriousness of the work, and what it has become, has gone too far for me. Such commercialisation has reduced the esthetic and philosophical impact of this creation to nothing. There is only one solution for me: turning my head away.

The full text of the original interview has been translated into English on Sedulia’s Translations.

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  1. Sarah Subcreator says:

    That is precisely how I feel as well. Which is why neither I nor my husband would touch The Hobbit movies with a 39 1/2 foot pole.

  2. ………………………………

    I need to rethink my life now. Just a little bit. ^^

  3. Not surprising given that Tolkien was known to have a distaste for the recognition and fame from his work. Dare I say he’d be ashamed to see things as they are today?

    We love to make much of mere men. It’s idolatry to say the least. And I think Tolkien recognized that. His son certainly has. Which is reason enough to praise Tolkien for raising his son that well.

  4. While the movies don’t have the same feel as the books as they are two completely different medias it did spark interest into Tolkien’s works. It got a new generation of people to read the books. I don’t see why that is a problem. Although I do agree that sometimes changing the original source material can be bleh.

    I do hope he publishes more of his father’s works. I wonder what else might be in those all of those boxes of paper.

  5. I think there are two appropriate reactions:

    1. Don’t idolize Peter Jackson or Tolkien or anything for that matter
    2. Don’t disrespect Tolkien which we do both when we make too much of him, or add or change his work in a way that dramatically alters the characters and story he created.

    Jonathan Edwards rightly taught in “The Nature of True Virtue” that one of the great evils of idolatry is that if we idolize we must also demonize. Words to live by.

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