A Swedish linguist, Professor Arne Zettersten, worked and published within the same project as Tolkien to edit the various manuscripts of theAncrene Wissefor the Early English Text Society, Oxford. The situation is unique in that Zettersten acquired first hand knowledge of how Tolkien related to languages, university studies and both scholarly and fictional writing. The book is a new comprehensive reading and analysis of Tolkien’s strongly visualizing fantasy fiction, here examined in relation to his scholarly research in its totality and his unusual life experience. Into this new reading Zettersten weaves his memories of the linguistic equilibrist who spoke, wrote and reconstructed living, dead and invented languages. Zettersten approaches Tolkien’s creative process through a review of his life within his near-simultaneous, different worlds. These were characterized by changes between his primary, real world, and his secondary, fictional world, between research and fantasy, between evil and humanity, in fiction as in real life.
A close colleague of J.R.R. Tolkein for many years, Arne Zettersten offers here a personally informed analysis of Tolkien’s strongly visual fantasy fiction. In light of Tolkein’s unusual life experience and enthusiasm for the study of languages, Zettersten finds in Tolkein’s fiction the same animating passions that drove that great author as a youth, a soldier, a linguist, and an Oxford Don.
A close colleague of J.R.R. Tolkien for many years during their editorial work on the various manuscripts of the Ancrene Wisse at Oxford University, Arne Zettersten offers here a personally-informed analysis of Tolkien’s strongly visual fantasy fiction. In light of Tolkien’s unusual life experience and enthusiasm for the study of languages, Zettersten locates the same animating passions in both the well-known fiction that drove that great author as a youth, a soldier, a linguist, and an Oxford don.