John Ronald Reuel Tolkien quotes

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien photo
65   19

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

Birthdate: 3. January 1892
Date of death: 2. September 1973
Other names: J. R. R. Tolkien, John Tolkien, J.R.R. Tolkien

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was an English writer, poet, philologist, and academic, who authored the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.

He served as the Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon and Fellow of Pembroke College, Oxford, from 1925 to 1945 and Merton Professor of English Language and Literature and Fellow of Merton College, Oxford, from 1945 to 1959. He was at one time a close friend of C. S. Lewis—they were both members of the informal literary discussion group known as the Inklings. Tolkien was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II on 28 March 1972.

After Tolkien's death, his son Christopher published a series of works based on his father's extensive notes and unpublished manuscripts, including The Silmarillion. These, together with The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, form a connected body of tales, poems, fictional histories, invented languages, and literary essays about a fantasy world called Arda and Middle-earth within it. Between 1951 and 1955, Tolkien applied the term legendarium to the larger part of these writings.While many other authors had published works of fantasy before Tolkien, the great success of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings led directly to a popular resurgence of the genre. This has caused Tolkien to be popularly identified as the "father" of modern fantasy literature—or, more precisely, of high fantasy. In 2008, The Times ranked him sixth on a list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945". Forbes ranked him the fifth top-earning "dead celebrity" in 2009. Wikipedia

Photo: Unknown author / Public domain

Works

On Fairy-Stories
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien
Leaf by Niggle
Leaf by Niggle
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien
The Monsters and the Critics
The Monsters and the Critics
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien
The Hobbit
The Hobbit
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien
A Secret Vice
A Secret Vice
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

„When we can take green from grass, blue from heaven, and red from blood, we have already an enchanter's power.“

—  John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, book On Fairy-Stories

On Fairy-Stories (1939)
Context: The mind that thought of light, heavy, grey, yellow, still, swift also conceived of magic that would make heavy things light and able to fly, turn grey lead into yellow gold, and the still rock into a swift water. If it could do the one, it could do the other; it inevitably did both. When we can take green from grass, blue from heaven, and red from blood, we have already an enchanter's power.

„I do not regard the (probable) absence of all Jewish blood as necessarily honourable; and I have many Jewish friends, and should regret giving any colour to the notion that I subscribed to the wholly pernicious and unscientific race-doctrine.“

—  John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

No. 30: Letter to Stanley Unwin (25 July, 1938); Tolkien's German publishers had written to ask him whether he was of "Aryan" origin.
Context: I must say the enclosed letter from Rütten and Loening is a bit stiff. Do I suffer this impertinence because of the possession of a German name, or do their lunatic laws require a certificate of 'arisch' origin from all persons of all countries? … I do not regard the (probable) absence of all Jewish blood as necessarily honourable; and I have many Jewish friends, and should regret giving any colour to the notion that I subscribed to the wholly pernicious and unscientific race-doctrine.

„My political opinions lean more and more to Anarchy“

—  John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

Letter to his son Christopher Tolkien (29 November, 1943) <!-- No. 64? -->
Context: My political opinions lean more and more to Anarchy (philosophically understood, meaning abolition of control not whiskered men with bombs) … the most improper job of any man, even saints (who at any rate were at least unwilling to take it on), is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.

„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

Interview http://www.lordotrings.com/interview.asp with Dennis Gerrolt, first broadcast on the BBC Radio 4 programme "Now Read On" (January 1971)
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.

Help us translate English quotes

Discover interesting quotes and translate them.

Start translating

„The moment disbelief arises, the spell is broken; the magic, or rather art, has failed.“

—  John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, book On Fairy-Stories

On Fairy-Stories (1939)
Context: The story-maker proves a successful 'sub-creator'. He makes a Secondary World which your mind can enter. Inside it, what he relates is 'true': it accords with the laws of that world. You therefore believe it, while you are, as it were, inside. The moment disbelief arises, the spell is broken; the magic, or rather art, has failed.

„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, book Leaf by Niggle

About "Leaf by Niggle", in a letter to Caroline Everett (24 June 1957)
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...

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

—  John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, book The Monsters and the Critics

"Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics" (1936), p. 14
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.

„But the real soul-mate is the one you are actually married to.“

—  John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

Letter to Michael Tolkien (March 1941)
Context: Nearly all marriages, even happy ones, are mistakes: in the sense that almost certainly (in a more perfect world, or even with a little more care in this very imperfect one) both partners might be found more suitable mates. But the real soul-mate is the one you are actually married to.

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

—  John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

No. 102: From a letter to his son Christopher Tolkien (9 August, 1945)
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.

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

—  John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, book Leaf by Niggle

About "Leaf by Niggle", in a letter to Stanley Unwin (18 March 1945)
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.

„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, book On Fairy-Stories

On Fairy-Stories (1939)
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.

„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.“

—  John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, book On Fairy-Stories

On Fairy-Stories (1939)
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

No. 45: To his son Michael Tolkien (09 June, 1941)
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.

„Nearly all marriages, even happy ones, are mistakes“

—  John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

Letter to Michael Tolkien (March 1941)
Context: Nearly all marriages, even happy ones, are mistakes: in the sense that almost certainly (in a more perfect world, or even with a little more care in this very imperfect one) both partners might be found more suitable mates. But the real soul-mate is the one you are actually married to.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

Similar authors

A.A. Milne photo
A.A. Milne169
British author
Michael Ende photo
Michael Ende26
German author
Terry Pratchett photo
Terry Pratchett793
English author
Arthur Conan Doyle photo
Arthur Conan Doyle166
Scottish physician and author
Robert T. Kiyosaki photo
Robert T. Kiyosaki149
American finance author , investor
Stephen Hawking photo
Stephen Hawking122
British theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author
Richard Dawkins photo
Richard Dawkins315
English ethologist, evolutionary biologist and author
Stephen King photo
Stephen King730
American author
Ronald H. Coase photo
Ronald H. Coase19
British economist and author
Haruki Murakami photo
Haruki Murakami654
Japanese author, novelist
Today anniversaries
Emil M. Cioran photo
Emil M. Cioran529
Romanian philosopher and essayist 1911 - 1995
Anna Laetitia Barbauld photo
Anna Laetitia Barbauld16
English author 1743 - 1825
Bernard Baruch photo
Bernard Baruch17
American businessman 1870 - 1965
Nicole Kidman photo
Nicole Kidman10
Australian-American actress and film producer 1967
Another 61 today anniversaries
Similar authors
A.A. Milne photo
A.A. Milne169
British author
Michael Ende photo
Michael Ende26
German author
Terry Pratchett photo
Terry Pratchett793
English author
Arthur Conan Doyle photo
Arthur Conan Doyle166
Scottish physician and author
Robert T. Kiyosaki photo
Robert T. Kiyosaki149
American finance author , investor