The grounds of Tolkien, unmappable, unbookable

Kendall, J ORCID: 2018, 'The grounds of Tolkien, unmappable, unbookable' , Writing in Practice, 4 .

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As Tolkien himself asserted, his creative writing processes were fundamentally linguistic. They were driven by his private invented languages, by the names in those languages, and by linguistic aesthetics. To a great extent, the purpose of his creative writing was to provide a framework within which his languages could develop. One corollary of this approach to creative practice is its apparent confirmation of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis – that thought is led by language.

This article, setting Tolkien in the context of other creative writers of his time and of the present day, draws on his documentation of his creative practices to investigate the importance in his work and in creative practice of visual and non-worded elements in and beyond text; of the diffuse borders between creative practice and translation; of the role of such works in times of literary, social and political upheaval; and of the ways in which Tolkien’s passionate adherence to linguistic aesthetics eventually and perhaps inevitably renders his work forever unfinished, swept into and beyond the thresholds of articulation. The arguments are conducted with the aid of ideas from William James, Wittgenstein, Derrida, translation theory, thing theory, ethnography and the work of Nick Humphrey on the ‘thick moment’.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Humanities, Languages & Social Sciences > Centre for English Literature and Language
Journal or Publication Title: Writing in Practice
Publisher: National Association of Writers in Education (NAWE)
ISSN: 2058-5535
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Dr J Kendall
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2017 13:56
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 22:43

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