The Ecological Augury in the Works of JRR Tolkien
Cormarë Series No. 21
A new death for the old world, winds of industrial change that gust across green hills and dales, machines and callous hearts that dig deep into the ecosystems of Earth as trees crash upon the shrinking forest floors and ecological devastation is visited upon the land. This is the darkest hour of Middle-earth as presented in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings – how curiously all of this resembles our reality, and the environmental crisis that threatens the modern world...
This new study, in a clear and engaging tone, explores and unfolds the environmental dimension of Tolkien's work and worldview, not only in terms of the themes observable in his masterwork The Lord of the Rings, but also across his wider fiction, essays and private papers.
With discerning recourse to the work of leading ecologists and ecothinkers, this book argues that Tolkien – in his unfolding narratives of machine against nature, where regimes of power ruthlessly move against the land – holds up a mirror to the ecological crisis of the primary world and offers a vivid depiction of (and thus a warning against) where the reckless abandonment of concern for the green face of the planet may lead. Tolkien, Campbell argues, by virtue of his consistent adherence to such striking and compelling environmental themes, was a visionary defender of nature who, before the emergence of any organised Green Movement, may have anticipated the scale of the environmental emergency that was yet to dawn. In the exploration of Tolkien's green themes and the critical analysis of his tales of Middle-earth and wider fiction, Campbell re-evaluates Tolkien as a contemporary writer, and offers new insights into Tolkien's work and new perspectives on the literature of the fantastic.
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