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J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

Thursdays, September 10 - 24, and October 8-22 (no meeting October 1)
from 7:00–9:00 p.m. (six sessions)
online via Zoom

Composed in the era of the Second World War, J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings has become, through various incarnations, one of the best known stories in the world and also part of a larger system of myth and lore–thee so-called “Tolkien universe”–that also includes the Hobbit, The Silmarillion, and countless additional tales in prose and verse. The three volumes of The Lord of the Rings, however, are a distinct and remarkable literary accomplishment in their own right, the summoning up of an entire narrative world (with its own contexts, traditions, languages, civilizations, personae, and challenges), at once related to and distinct from the modern world of industry and war. Tolkien’s personal experience, his deep immersion in modern philology, his spiritual and historical affinities, the tendencies of society in his time, the cultural challenges of the modern era, and the beauty of language and the capacity for wonder–all contributed to and are visible in the pages of Tolkien’s masterwork of Middle Earth. For these reasons, too, The Lord of the Rings deserves to be considered as part of a larger modernist project of counter-memory, of presenting alternative ways of perceiving and understanding the present.

Our purpose in this seminar is to read carefully and thoroughly the three volumes of The Lord of the Rings, and to give our attention to the literary qualities of these books, their value as works of literature, and their place in modern literature and culture. Even with their limitations (which are considerable), these are unique and beautifully written books which reward close and dedicated attention.

Delve Access Program
We want Delve seminars to be accessible to everyone, regardless of income and background. We understand that our tuition structure can present obstacles for some people. We are happy to offer an Access Program which provides reduced tuition to qualifying participants. Our Access Program offers Delve seminar registrations at a sliding scale amount of $45-$100 per registration.Contact Susan Moore at susan@literary-arts.org if you would like to take a Delve at the Access Rate.

Christopher Zinn

Christopher Zinn grew up in Pine City, New York, and was educated at Georgetown and at New York University, where he received his Ph.D. in English and American Literature. Christopher currently teaches humanities at the Portland Waldorf High School.
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