The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays PDF ¸

The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays PDF ¸

The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays ❰PDF❯ ✓ The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays Author J.R.R. Tolkien – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk The seven essays by JRR Tolkien assembled in this new paperback edition were with one exception delivered as general lectures on particular occasions and while they mostly arose out of Tolkien s work The seven essays by JRR Tolkien assembled and the eBook ☆ in this new paperback edition were with The Monsters eBook ☆ one exception delivered as general lectures on particular occasions and while they mostly arose out Monsters and the PDF/EPUB Á of Tolkien s work in medieval literature, they are accessible to all Two of them are concerned with Beowulf, including the well known lecture whose title is taken for this book, and one with Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, given in the University of Glasgow in Also included in this volume is the lecture English and Welsh the Valedictory Address to the University of Oxford inand a paper on Invented Languages delivered in , with exemplification from poems in the Elvish tongues Most famous of all is On Fairy Stories, a discussion of the nature of fairy tales and fantasy, which gives insight into Tolkien s approach to the whole genreThe pieces in this collection cover a period of nearly thirty years, beginning six years before the publication of The Hobbit, with a unique academic lecture on his invention calling it A Secret Vice and concluding with his farewell to professorship, five years after the publication of The Lord of the Rings.


10 thoughts on “The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays

  1. Nicky Nicky says:

    Tolkien was a pretty devastatingly smart guy, who didn t only create a world and languages of his own, but was a serious and intelligent scholar who knew many languages, modern and archaic, and had a wide interest in different literatures and mythologies This volume contains seven of his academic essays for a modern academic, the volume of his work however influential and inspiring would be insufficient, with the pressure to publish all the time Good thing he isn t a contemporary academ Tolkien was a pretty devastatingly smart guy, who didn t only create a world and languages of his own, but was a serious and intelligent scholar who knew many languages, modern and archaic, and had a wide interest in different literatures and mythologies This volume contains seven of his academic essays for a modern academic, the volume of his work however influential and inspiring would be insufficient, with the pressure to publish all the time Good thing he isn t a contemporary academic his careful editing and long thought is what made his lectures and essays so accessible.This volume includes two essays on Beowulf his very famous one, from which the title of this volume derives, and the one he wrote as an introduction to Clark Hall s translation The first one is, of course, one of the first points of call for anyone studying Beowulf, and rightfully so The volume also contains an essay on Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, his famous essay On Fairy Stories , an essay on English and Welsh , an essay about the invention of languages, and his valedictory address, given when he left Oxford All of them are well worth reading They re not dry at all, but warm and passionate as Tolkien was warm and passionate, and of course, intelligent I wish I could have heard him lecture although, some people who went to his lectures could say that too, given his reputation of being a mumbler


  2. Dana Dana says:

    I wish had Professor Tolkien around to pick his brain, but this book is an adequate substitute, and, I think, indispensable for anyone who teaches Beowulf Tolkien s titular essay is largely responsible for changing the attitude toward Beowulf in literary circles The epic was considered important for what it could teach us of the Anglo Saxons, but it was Tolkien who convinced the literati that it had literary merit, too Highly recommended to fans of Beowulf.


  3. Neil Neil says:

    Prior to the delivery and publication of these lectures in 1936 the poem of Beowulf was mined by scholars looking to find information on Germanic antiquities, some for nationalistic reasons and others out of a genuine interest in the past, but few explored the poem for its own literary merits Major publications on the poem included works by Axel Olrik and R.W Chambers, while both books made vast explorations into the origin of the legends and comparisons between Scandinavian material, neither Prior to the delivery and publication of these lectures in 1936 the poem of Beowulf was mined by scholars looking to find information on Germanic antiquities, some for nationalistic reasons and others out of a genuine interest in the past, but few explored the poem for its own literary merits Major publications on the poem included works by Axel Olrik and R.W Chambers, while both books made vast explorations into the origin of the legends and comparisons between Scandinavian material, neither attempted any analysis of the poems poetic value In defence of probably the greatest Beowulf scholar ever, Frederich Klaeber in his major edition of the poem did include three sections in the introduction to the text that focused on the literary aspects of the poem In this groundbreaking lecture, Tolkien criticised scholars who ignored the fantastical episodes like the dragon fight, the encounters between Grendal and his mother and also skipped over the poetic value of the poem, in favour of looking for sources on the Germanic past Instead Tolkien called for scholars to explore the poem for its own literary value The whole essay seems to foretell the direction that Germanic studies would take in the aftermath of World War Two The challenge laid down by Tolkien was immediately taken up by Arthur Gilchrist Brodeur in his Art of Beowulf This was followed by numerous publications that analysed the literary merits of beowulf, most notably three volumes by Edward Irving The whole trend reached a stunning high point in Fred C Robinson s Beowulf and the Appositive Style in the 1980s.With the birth of the Neo Traditionalist school in recent years, the search for parallel material, combined with Tolkien s call for literary analysis, seems to have made a comeback With publications from Theodore M Anderson, Helen Damico, Andy Orchard, Richard North and Christine Ruaer, Beowulf studies seem to be heading in interesting directions once .While I m not a huge reader of modern fantasy literature and have only had one quick read of Tolkien s fantasy novels, mainly out of a strange curiosity and people constantly asking me irritating questions involving medieval studies and Tolkien s novels This leads me to wonder if we should be reading Beowulf and other medieval literary works in the same way that someone would read a modern fantasy work like Lord of The Rings or a Harry Potter novel Did the audience that listened to the poem in say the Tenth century hear this poem in the same way that we read the Hobbit or watch Star Wars


  4. Bryn Hammond Bryn Hammond says:

    The title essay still going for best title of a critical essay together with On Translating Beowulf capture that poem, at least if you are a romantic like me Gloriously written and elegiac in mood, these may rob your heart, and perhaps you can cheat, read them instead of Beowulf and yet understand.


  5. Molly Molly says:

    5 Stars because I m biased on anything Tolkien I skipped the Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight essays because I haven t read the stories yet and I want to read them before I read Tolkien analyze them.On Fairy Stories is an excellent essay that I enjoyed thoroughly The Valedictory Address was a bit tricky to follow but maybe when I readabout what Tolkien did when he was working at University it will makesense 5 Stars because it s Tolkien and he writes very well.


  6. Ron Ron says:

    An extraordinary collection of Tolkien essays from the 1930s to 1950s Make no mistake, these addresses were serious presentations to serious, and qualified audiences which the casual reader is not.His essays on Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight changed my perception of those works His essay on translating Beowulf adds to my appreciation of the challenges of both translators and readers of translated texts His On Fairy tales I have lauded elsewhere, was it appears also in The Tolkie An extraordinary collection of Tolkien essays from the 1930s to 1950s Make no mistake, these addresses were serious presentations to serious, and qualified audiences which the casual reader is not.His essays on Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight changed my perception of those works His essay on translating Beowulf adds to my appreciation of the challenges of both translators and readers of translated texts His On Fairy tales I have lauded elsewhere, was it appears also in The Tolkien Reader The essays on English and Welsh and A Secret Vice were enjoyable and informative, though the latter and the closing Valedictory Address strike me as filler.A very good, if difficult read


  7. Erin Erin says:

    The first time I read it, I swooned Then I revisited it in grad school, and I swooned again There is only one author I ve ever read who would not only understand but also think to write the following And in the poem I think we may observe not confusion, a half hearted or a muddled business, but a fusion that has occurred at a given point of contact between old and new, a product of thought and deep emotion One of the most potent elements in that fusion is the Northern courage the theory of The first time I read it, I swooned Then I revisited it in grad school, and I swooned again There is only one author I ve ever read who would not only understand but also think to write the following And in the poem I think we may observe not confusion, a half hearted or a muddled business, but a fusion that has occurred at a given point of contact between old and new, a product of thought and deep emotion One of the most potent elements in that fusion is the Northern courage the theory of courage, which is the great contribution of early Northern literature This is not a military judgement I am not asserting that, if the Trojans could have employed a Northern king and his companions, they would have driven Agamemnon and Achilles into the sea,decisively than the Greek hexameter routs the alliterative line though it is not improbable No, really, who else would compare the Trojan War to Greek hexameter s effect on alliteration It is one of my life goals to educate myself into understanding what this really means.Re the fusion between old and new, this all ties back to my friend, whom our writing community recently lost, Jason Wenger His first day of workshop, when we were all asked to go around the table and state our writing philosophies in a nutshell, Jason said he wanted to say something old in a new way Our professor heckled him for this, said something like, are you serious I m getting a bit scared, as if Jason were saying he planned to be unoriginal But no, I knew what he meant and I think most people in the class did He was talking about myth and the heart of storytelling, the stories that haven t essentially changed anythan people have in the last several thousand years Well, this same professor, God bless him, got my goat later that semester by referring to fantasy sci fi as all that crap in the corner of the bookstore or something like that And so I went out in a tizzy and copied Tolkien s essay and some other materials for everybody and tried to start a discussion about what genre fiction is and what it isn t, and why it might still want to be called genre rather than transcendant of its genre if it is well or masterfully written Anyway, I spent a lot on the copies and then Jason said about all the reading I d given out, That s so messed up, to which I laughed and said, You don t have to read it, you know My presentation ended up getting rushed and kind of sucking this workshop was not fertile ground for it anyway but when I got to the quote above from Tolkien, I remember saying, And Jason Wenger, this one s for you, and going on to read that line vindicating his writing philosophy about the fusion of the old and the new I hope that he got something out of the whole experience I would like so much to be able to ask him about it now


  8. Snowfalcon Snowfalcon says:

    The title essay is approaching 90 years old and remains both readable and important In a few pages Tolkien elucidates a few principles which are still incompletely grasped.First, that the art and acts of our ancestors were not crude, quaint and haphazard Second, that a thing be it poetry or a tree should be taken for what it is, and respected by exploring what it is without preconceptions Let a thing stand on it s own a bit before rushing to prop it up.Third, upon those themes he guides The title essay is approaching 90 years old and remains both readable and important In a few pages Tolkien elucidates a few principles which are still incompletely grasped.First, that the art and acts of our ancestors were not crude, quaint and haphazard Second, that a thing be it poetry or a tree should be taken for what it is, and respected by exploring what it is without preconceptions Let a thing stand on it s own a bit before rushing to prop it up.Third, upon those themes he guides the reader through an exercise in literary criticism What I found interesting when I first read the title essay some 25 years ago, is it s connection to another book on my list Mark As Story The critical perspective and techniques that Rhoads and Michie bring to Mark are very similar to what Tolkien was espousing almost 50 years previously If all you know about Tolkien is that he wrote some quaint books that they made movies out of I would strongly recommend exploring these essays His thought and his philosophy ranged much, muchwidely than the fantasy of the Lord of the Rings and his academic love of philology A final thought Tolkien disliked allegory It was too easy, too insulting to the intelligence of the reader in his mind Writing being an intimate task, and that being the case Given the scope of these essays and what they expose it s worth considering how biographically metaphorical the Lord of the Rings may be It may have taken a work of that magnitude to express the scope of that quiet man s spirit and thought


  9. ika ika says:

    This book is the best insight into Tolkien s professorial capacity Not only was he a great author, but also a very influential scholar His most famous essay, The Monsters and the Critics changed completely the way of approaching Beowulf as a work of art, and not only an archeological finding that may shed some light on the historical mysteries All in all, it was a great read I recommend it to anyone who is at least a tiny bit interested in early medieval literature or fantasy.


  10. Tommy Grooms Tommy Grooms says:

    The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays by J.R.R Tolkien is an incredible collection of essays lectures, including his most seminal and famous Worth the price of admission alone is Beowulf The Monsters and the Critics , in which Tolkien defends Beowulf as literature rather than a mere historical curiosity and On Fairy Stories , where Tolkien lays out his theories on the fantasy genre This collection is an absolute staple to appreciating the creator of Middle earth.


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10 thoughts on “The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays

  1. Nicky Nicky says:

    Tolkien was a pretty devastatingly smart guy, who didn t only create a world and languages of his own, but was a serious and intelligent scholar who knew many languages, modern and archaic, and had a wide interest in different literatures and mythologies This volume contains seven of his academic essays for a modern academic, the volume of his work however influential and inspiring would be insufficient, with the pressure to publish all the time Good thing he isn t a contemporary academ Tolkien was a pretty devastatingly smart guy, who didn t only create a world and languages of his own, but was a serious and intelligent scholar who knew many languages, modern and archaic, and had a wide interest in different literatures and mythologies This volume contains seven of his academic essays for a modern academic, the volume of his work however influential and inspiring would be insufficient, with the pressure to publish all the time Good thing he isn t a contemporary academic his careful editing and long thought is what made his lectures and essays so accessible.This volume includes two essays on Beowulf his very famous one, from which the title of this volume derives, and the one he wrote as an introduction to Clark Hall s translation The first one is, of course, one of the first points of call for anyone studying Beowulf, and rightfully so The volume also contains an essay on Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, his famous essay On Fairy Stories , an essay on English and Welsh , an essay about the invention of languages, and his valedictory address, given when he left Oxford All of them are well worth reading They re not dry at all, but warm and passionate as Tolkien was warm and passionate, and of course, intelligent I wish I could have heard him lecture although, some people who went to his lectures could say that too, given his reputation of being a mumbler

  2. Dana Dana says:

    I wish had Professor Tolkien around to pick his brain, but this book is an adequate substitute, and, I think, indispensable for anyone who teaches Beowulf Tolkien s titular essay is largely responsible for changing the attitude toward Beowulf in literary circles The epic was considered important for what it could teach us of the Anglo Saxons, but it was Tolkien who convinced the literati that it had literary merit, too Highly recommended to fans of Beowulf.

  3. Neil Neil says:

    Prior to the delivery and publication of these lectures in 1936 the poem of Beowulf was mined by scholars looking to find information on Germanic antiquities, some for nationalistic reasons and others out of a genuine interest in the past, but few explored the poem for its own literary merits Major publications on the poem included works by Axel Olrik and R.W Chambers, while both books made vast explorations into the origin of the legends and comparisons between Scandinavian material, neither Prior to the delivery and publication of these lectures in 1936 the poem of Beowulf was mined by scholars looking to find information on Germanic antiquities, some for nationalistic reasons and others out of a genuine interest in the past, but few explored the poem for its own literary merits Major publications on the poem included works by Axel Olrik and R.W Chambers, while both books made vast explorations into the origin of the legends and comparisons between Scandinavian material, neither attempted any analysis of the poems poetic value In defence of probably the greatest Beowulf scholar ever, Frederich Klaeber in his major edition of the poem did include three sections in the introduction to the text that focused on the literary aspects of the poem In this groundbreaking lecture, Tolkien criticised scholars who ignored the fantastical episodes like the dragon fight, the encounters between Grendal and his mother and also skipped over the poetic value of the poem, in favour of looking for sources on the Germanic past Instead Tolkien called for scholars to explore the poem for its own literary value The whole essay seems to foretell the direction that Germanic studies would take in the aftermath of World War Two The challenge laid down by Tolkien was immediately taken up by Arthur Gilchrist Brodeur in his Art of Beowulf This was followed by numerous publications that analysed the literary merits of beowulf, most notably three volumes by Edward Irving The whole trend reached a stunning high point in Fred C Robinson s Beowulf and the Appositive Style in the 1980s.With the birth of the Neo Traditionalist school in recent years, the search for parallel material, combined with Tolkien s call for literary analysis, seems to have made a comeback With publications from Theodore M Anderson, Helen Damico, Andy Orchard, Richard North and Christine Ruaer, Beowulf studies seem to be heading in interesting directions once .While I m not a huge reader of modern fantasy literature and have only had one quick read of Tolkien s fantasy novels, mainly out of a strange curiosity and people constantly asking me irritating questions involving medieval studies and Tolkien s novels This leads me to wonder if we should be reading Beowulf and other medieval literary works in the same way that someone would read a modern fantasy work like Lord of The Rings or a Harry Potter novel Did the audience that listened to the poem in say the Tenth century hear this poem in the same way that we read the Hobbit or watch Star Wars

  4. Bryn Hammond Bryn Hammond says:

    The title essay still going for best title of a critical essay together with On Translating Beowulf capture that poem, at least if you are a romantic like me Gloriously written and elegiac in mood, these may rob your heart, and perhaps you can cheat, read them instead of Beowulf and yet understand.

  5. Molly Molly says:

    5 Stars because I m biased on anything Tolkien I skipped the Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight essays because I haven t read the stories yet and I want to read them before I read Tolkien analyze them.On Fairy Stories is an excellent essay that I enjoyed thoroughly The Valedictory Address was a bit tricky to follow but maybe when I readabout what Tolkien did when he was working at University it will makesense 5 Stars because it s Tolkien and he writes very well.

  6. Ron Ron says:

    An extraordinary collection of Tolkien essays from the 1930s to 1950s Make no mistake, these addresses were serious presentations to serious, and qualified audiences which the casual reader is not.His essays on Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight changed my perception of those works His essay on translating Beowulf adds to my appreciation of the challenges of both translators and readers of translated texts His On Fairy tales I have lauded elsewhere, was it appears also in The Tolkie An extraordinary collection of Tolkien essays from the 1930s to 1950s Make no mistake, these addresses were serious presentations to serious, and qualified audiences which the casual reader is not.His essays on Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight changed my perception of those works His essay on translating Beowulf adds to my appreciation of the challenges of both translators and readers of translated texts His On Fairy tales I have lauded elsewhere, was it appears also in The Tolkien Reader The essays on English and Welsh and A Secret Vice were enjoyable and informative, though the latter and the closing Valedictory Address strike me as filler.A very good, if difficult read

  7. Erin Erin says:

    The first time I read it, I swooned Then I revisited it in grad school, and I swooned again There is only one author I ve ever read who would not only understand but also think to write the following And in the poem I think we may observe not confusion, a half hearted or a muddled business, but a fusion that has occurred at a given point of contact between old and new, a product of thought and deep emotion One of the most potent elements in that fusion is the Northern courage the theory of The first time I read it, I swooned Then I revisited it in grad school, and I swooned again There is only one author I ve ever read who would not only understand but also think to write the following And in the poem I think we may observe not confusion, a half hearted or a muddled business, but a fusion that has occurred at a given point of contact between old and new, a product of thought and deep emotion One of the most potent elements in that fusion is the Northern courage the theory of courage, which is the great contribution of early Northern literature This is not a military judgement I am not asserting that, if the Trojans could have employed a Northern king and his companions, they would have driven Agamemnon and Achilles into the sea,decisively than the Greek hexameter routs the alliterative line though it is not improbable No, really, who else would compare the Trojan War to Greek hexameter s effect on alliteration It is one of my life goals to educate myself into understanding what this really means.Re the fusion between old and new, this all ties back to my friend, whom our writing community recently lost, Jason Wenger His first day of workshop, when we were all asked to go around the table and state our writing philosophies in a nutshell, Jason said he wanted to say something old in a new way Our professor heckled him for this, said something like, are you serious I m getting a bit scared, as if Jason were saying he planned to be unoriginal But no, I knew what he meant and I think most people in the class did He was talking about myth and the heart of storytelling, the stories that haven t essentially changed anythan people have in the last several thousand years Well, this same professor, God bless him, got my goat later that semester by referring to fantasy sci fi as all that crap in the corner of the bookstore or something like that And so I went out in a tizzy and copied Tolkien s essay and some other materials for everybody and tried to start a discussion about what genre fiction is and what it isn t, and why it might still want to be called genre rather than transcendant of its genre if it is well or masterfully written Anyway, I spent a lot on the copies and then Jason said about all the reading I d given out, That s so messed up, to which I laughed and said, You don t have to read it, you know My presentation ended up getting rushed and kind of sucking this workshop was not fertile ground for it anyway but when I got to the quote above from Tolkien, I remember saying, And Jason Wenger, this one s for you, and going on to read that line vindicating his writing philosophy about the fusion of the old and the new I hope that he got something out of the whole experience I would like so much to be able to ask him about it now

  8. Snowfalcon Snowfalcon says:

    The title essay is approaching 90 years old and remains both readable and important In a few pages Tolkien elucidates a few principles which are still incompletely grasped.First, that the art and acts of our ancestors were not crude, quaint and haphazard Second, that a thing be it poetry or a tree should be taken for what it is, and respected by exploring what it is without preconceptions Let a thing stand on it s own a bit before rushing to prop it up.Third, upon those themes he guides The title essay is approaching 90 years old and remains both readable and important In a few pages Tolkien elucidates a few principles which are still incompletely grasped.First, that the art and acts of our ancestors were not crude, quaint and haphazard Second, that a thing be it poetry or a tree should be taken for what it is, and respected by exploring what it is without preconceptions Let a thing stand on it s own a bit before rushing to prop it up.Third, upon those themes he guides the reader through an exercise in literary criticism What I found interesting when I first read the title essay some 25 years ago, is it s connection to another book on my list Mark As Story The critical perspective and techniques that Rhoads and Michie bring to Mark are very similar to what Tolkien was espousing almost 50 years previously If all you know about Tolkien is that he wrote some quaint books that they made movies out of I would strongly recommend exploring these essays His thought and his philosophy ranged much, muchwidely than the fantasy of the Lord of the Rings and his academic love of philology A final thought Tolkien disliked allegory It was too easy, too insulting to the intelligence of the reader in his mind Writing being an intimate task, and that being the case Given the scope of these essays and what they expose it s worth considering how biographically metaphorical the Lord of the Rings may be It may have taken a work of that magnitude to express the scope of that quiet man s spirit and thought

  9. ika ika says:

    This book is the best insight into Tolkien s professorial capacity Not only was he a great author, but also a very influential scholar His most famous essay, The Monsters and the Critics changed completely the way of approaching Beowulf as a work of art, and not only an archeological finding that may shed some light on the historical mysteries All in all, it was a great read I recommend it to anyone who is at least a tiny bit interested in early medieval literature or fantasy.

  10. Tommy Grooms Tommy Grooms says:

    The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays by J.R.R Tolkien is an incredible collection of essays lectures, including his most seminal and famous Worth the price of admission alone is Beowulf The Monsters and the Critics , in which Tolkien defends Beowulf as literature rather than a mere historical curiosity and On Fairy Stories , where Tolkien lays out his theories on the fantasy genre This collection is an absolute staple to appreciating the creator of Middle earth.

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