Monday, 1 March 2010

Tolkien on Storytelling

Picture hosted by Strange Horizons

Having reread The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings recently I have gained a great deal of respect for the craftsmanship of the great storyteller Tolkien. The following quote from The Hobbit puts some light on the paradox of a good story, and sums up why his writing is legendary.

Now it is a strange thing, but things that are good to have and days that are good to spend are soon told about, and not much to listen to; while things that are uncomfortable, palpitating, and even gruesome, may make a good tale, and take a deal of telling anyway.
The Hobbit, J. J. R. Tolkien

Take Bilbo's first visit to Rivendell. In less than three and a half pages Tolkien gives us a sense of a long and wonderous stay in the Last Homely House, then the adventure continues. The House of Elrond is left in our memories as a place of peace and wonder.

Artist: J. R. R. Tolkien
Picture hosted by the Last Homely House 

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