Book Cover ~ The Hobbit

December 1, 2012 § Leave a comment

The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien, George Allen & Unwin Ltd, 1975

The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien, George Allen & Unwin Ltd, 1975

Technically, this should fall in the ‘Just Read‘ category but The Hobbit‘s book cover in this edition is so famous that it felt more appropriate to discuss the book here. It seems particularly appropriate when we remember that Tolkien made the illustrations himself.  I think the fact that the maps, drawings and runes alphabet are all his only makes it easier to dive into this imaginary world. It certainly testifies to the depth of this man’s imagination. What I liked about it was how unassuming this imagination was. It sounded like he was letting us into this world he’d created for himself as a child and had escaped into ever since – it was like sharing his playground. I say child’s world because the songs and occasional nursery-rhyme rhythms help create this impression – and he did read the stories to his children after all.

As someone who hasn’t read the Lord of the Rings trilogy and watched the films only very recently, I do not believe I have the knowledge to say much about what has become an institution. I can only say I have lot of respect for the author who based a lot of the fantasy of this novel – or rather this world – on real ancient myths and languages: Tolkien was a professor of English language and literature and a specialist of linguistics, especially Anglo-Saxon. I appreciate his enthusiasm whilst writing something that was clearly a way to use his field of study in a playful way. The story itself takes on a Gandalf-like aspect or tone, full of sparkle and fireworks, yet revealing only a fraction of what it knows. I am not much of a fantasy kind of reader but I think this book goes beyond that category anyway. It stems from something very ancient, mystical; a heritage that we have almost forgotten about, echoing times passed.

the hobbit back

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