Monday, April 22, 2013

Favorite Tolkien Short Story

Now that we've gotten through so many of Tolkien's short stories, which one is your favorite and why? I'm mostly thinking of the stories in Tales of the Perilous Realm, but any others can count, too.  I really liked the "Smith of Wootton Major" we just read since it talked about Faery and I like seeing that connection to his other work. I'm also going to say I really liked "Roverandom," but that's mostly because I did my research paper on it and I feel attached. Anyway, feel free to gush about Tolkien's stories here. Is there something about them that connects to his other works that you like? What is it about his short stories that are appealing? Share your thoughts.

6 comments:

Austin M. said...

Like Dr. Donovan, Leaf By Niggle is my favorite Tolkien short story. I find it deeply spiritual. It is both comforting and strangely disquieting at the same time. I have read it three times now and each time, I glean yet another insight or realization from the text. The story is beautifully saddening but also hopeful, I think that is why I enjoy it so much.

Julie Lautenschleger said...

I REALLY enjoyed the "Smith of Wootton Major" story... While it was a quite simple story with a few interesting twists, I think it really illustrated Tolkien's love of Faerie and child-like imagination. There were some moral lessons, but for the most part the story was uplifting and light. I'm really looking forward to finishing Leaf By Niggle as well.

Ashley Cauley said...

Hands down my favorite is "Smith of Wootton Major." It was published just 6 years before he died, so I think (along with "Leaf By Niggle") it's a very personal story. He was dealing with growing old and knowing he must soon leave this world and pass something on to the next generation. This story makes me really teary. Tolkien has a way of making you sad for the ending of the main character while simultaneously feeling excited for the continuation of the story with the next character.

Troy Wells said...

I really enjoyed "Leaf By Niggle" as well. Austin really stole the words out of my mouth when he said it is "both comforting and strangely disquieting at the same time." To add on to that I feel like I can relate in that I have an urge to do so much in this world, but will likely never be able to do it all before I die. I find the thought of being able to do (and create) all that I want to in the afterlife as very exciting.
Another reason I really like this story is because I am a fairly religious guy and would like to go to heaven, but I have never really had a real vision of what heaven actually looks like. Tolkien's vision (which fits perfectly with his views on sub-creation as discussed in Mythopoeia and "On Fairy-Stories") actually makes sense and inspires me to work harder towards that end because having an idea of what something looks like makes it seem more within reach and attainable.

Anna Adams said...

Since I have now read "Leaf by Niggle," I'm going to have to change my favorite story to it. I basically agree with what Troy and Austin said about it--I found it both comforting and disquieting. As I read it, I noticed right away that it read like a dream, so I wasn't surprised to learn Tolkien wrote it down after having a dream. I think that's part of the reason I like it. The dream-like quality of the story is very interesting. We mentioned in class that he didn't change it very much from his first draft, and I think that is really obvious since it probably wouldn't be very much like a dream if it was edited a lot. It really feels like a very genuine, intimate story.

Lorin said...

I love "Smith of Wootton Major" so much! Like Michael (and Austin, sort of, haha) said in class on the day we read it, it has a Narnian feel to it, so I think that's partly why I like it so much. To me, its simplicity lends to its deepness rather than to its being called a children's story, if that makes sense. This story, along with The Hobbit, are definitely going to be the first works of Tolkien I read to my children some day :)