Friday, September 21, 2012

75th Anniversary of the Publication of "The Hobbit"

The Hobbit, by J. R. R. Tolkien, was published on this day in 1937, seventy-five years ago. It was only about forty years old when I first took it off the middle school library shelves and read it, to my own enchantment. It is hard sometimes to realize that there was a time before this timeless tale was written; it is difficult to calculate the cultural significance of the action (without The Hobbit, no The Lord of the Rings, without LOTR no defining and popularizing catalyst for fantasy fiction); it is impossible for me to imagine my life without it. There are few books written in the 1930's that are still the living, breathing, breeding presence that The Hobbit is; with the upcoming trilogy of movies based on the book we can expect an upsurge of interest and marketing surrounding their release. But whatever the hoopla that comes of it, the defining magic of Tolkien's work will always be in the reading, of stepping into the far-off land of Mr. Baggins and being swept off your feet into adventure. The Hobbit is where the journey begins.

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