September 20, 2016
Tolkien Tuesday: Tolkien....Today?
For this week's entry, I'm going to take a break from books for a bit (I will undoubtedly return to that at some point...but not 'books by Tolkien', though...)
This week's post is a collection of random thoughts, but they all bear a similar theme or idea.
I just turned 32 years old this year. Which means, that Tolkien was not alive in my lifetime. Reading about him, I've learned to appreciate the many parts of Tolkien: as an author, as a 'Professor' (his love and contributions to the scholarly and academic world, as well as his love of old, ancient epic poems) and other things.
One thing that has repeatedly crossed my mind, and I'm going to share that thought with you this week, is "what if Tolkien ere around now??"
I am of course not speaking of living very long, but if instead of living 1892 - 1973 he lived in another space of time.
What has prompted this question, was reading about his likes and dislikes, what technology he loved, and which he despised. Also, technology and the world have come a long way, and changed quite a bit since his lifetime. Because he lived outside of 'my time', let's imagine if he did....what follows are series of bullet-point statements or questions. There are so many more that can be asked....
- Would he have self published?
Without a doubt, I can see his works as 'Tolkien the Professor' (The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun, The Fall of Arthur, Beowulf, The Story of Kullervo, etc) being printed by the Oxford University Press. But what about his own tales?
Reading about the publication history of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and even The Silmarillion, I admit to being curious if Tolkien would want to self-publish or go 'print on demand' with his own, original, unique, material.
The publishing world, as well the world itself has changed quite a bit. Would the publishers of today granted Tolkien's requests? Tolkien had a very clear idea of ho he wanted his books to look, what he wanted in them (aside from the text) as well how he wanted them designed. With the self-publishing route, Tolkien would have liked to control everything and anything about his books; and have final say. Please note, that I am not saying "Tolkien's works wouldn't have been published" but more of how would they have been published. It is extremely likely, for example, that The Lord of the Rings would have been published as a single volume.
- What technology would he liked/disliked?
This one is a little bit trickier to examine. Tolkien owned and used a typewriter, a tape recorder (this one I'm unsure of) as well as car and telephone. How well he received this inventions, and used them etc...I cannot say at this time.
I believe Tolkien would have loved the internet. Although, he would have hated how it, as well technology, 'degrades' the English language: lol, g2g, where r u, etc... the social media trend, I believe would have received harsh criticism from him. Similar t smartphones. I'm not going to go into if Tolkien would have preferred Android or Apple/iOS, bu the ability to have a wealth of information on a device about the size of a calculator would have greatly appealed to him.
If Tolkien owned and used a typewriter, I see no reason why he would also own a computer (desktop or laptop, though most likely laptop).
I don't know if Tolkien would have been a computer/video gamer, but I believe he would have tremendous respect for games such as The Elder Scrolls or The Witcher series.Also, I'm curious what Tolkien would have thought of ebooks and ereaders....
- Would his diet have changed?
This one is a bit 'off the wall', but do you think Tolkien would have taken part in the 'special diet needs' that have come bout recently? Organic, gluten free, etc....
Those are some thoughts I had, I wanted to share, or think aloud via my blog this week. I suppose it would have been more accurate to name it, or focus on, things about today that Tolkien would have liked or disliked.