ENGL 483 A1: Tolkien's Legendarium: The Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings.

T. Wharton

J.R.R. Tolkien's enormously influential fantasy epic The Lord of the Rings was at first only a diversion from what he thought of as his true life's work, the corpus of writings about his imaginary world, Arda, that were later compiled by his son Christopher as The Silmarillion. As Tolkien worked on The Lord of the Rings the story grew in scope and thematic weight and at last became fully integrated into the larger history and mythology of Arda. In this course we will study The Silmarillion for what it can bring to a fuller understanding of the depth and popularity of The Lord of the Rings, both as a reading experience and as a worldwide cultural phenomenon.

Required texts:

--A recent one-volume edition of The Lord of the Rings, with the same pagination as the 2004 HarperCollins 50th Anniversary edition.

--The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien. Paperback edition. HarperCollins 2013.