Splintered Light: Logos and Language in Tolkien's World

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Kent State University Press, 2002 - Literary Criticism - 196 pages
4 Reviews
J. R. R. Tolkien is perhaps best known for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, but it is in The Silmarillion that the true depth of Tolkien's Middle-earth can be understood. The Silmarillion was written before, during, and after Tolkien wrote The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. A collection of stories, it provides information alluded to in Tolkien's better known works and, in doing so, turns The Lord of the Rings into much more than a sequel to The Hobbit, making it instead a continuation of the mythology of Middle-earth. Verlyn Flieger's expanded and updated edition of Splintered Light, a classic study of Tolkien's fiction first published in 1983, examines The Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings in light of Owen Barfield's linguistic theory of the fragmentation of meaning. Flieger demonstrates Tolkien's use of Barfield's concept throughout the fiction, showing how his central image of primary light splintered and refracted acts as a metaphor for the languages, peoples, and history of Middle-earth.
 

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Review: Splintered Light: Logos and Language in Tolkien's World

User Review  - Tommy Grooms - Goodreads

An excellent look at theme of fragmentation of both light and language in Tolkien's mythology. Fleiger's assertion that the conflict between good and evil is dualistic is odd and I think easily ... Read full review

Contents

A Man of Antitheses
1
Dyscatastrophe
11
Eucatastrophe
21
Poetic Diction and Splintered Light
33
Fantasy and Phenomena
45
Splintered Light and Splintered Being
49
Theme and Variations
57
A Disease of Mythology
67
Light Out of Darkness
119
Beyond the Music
127
Light for Light
131
Beren and Thingol
139
The Smallest Fragment
147
Filled with Clear Light
155
One Good Custom
167
Afterword
175

Perception Name Identity
73
Ourselves as Others See Us
81
amazing wine and cellar doors
87
Light and Heat
97
Making versus Hoarding
107

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About the author (2002)

Verlyn Flieger is professor emerita of English at the University of Maryland where she teaches courses on Tolkien, medieval and modern literature, and comparative mythology. She has written three books on Tolkien: Splintered Light, A Question of Time, and Interrupted Music (all published by The Kent State University Press). She has also edited a critical edition of Tolkien's novella Smith of Wootton Major, and an expanded edition with notes and commentary of Tolkien's most influential theoretical essay, "On Fairy-Stories.

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