Fantasy as a genre

Fantasy is a still developing literary genre and having a better understanding of its structure and how it generates meaning may help literary scholars to better understand why the genre seems to have such growing popular appeal. Fantasy has sometimes been criticized for over-reliance of tropes and narrative formulas. Even among those who are sympathetic…

Dragon Tales

Few, if any, of the many figures of myth and literature seem to match dragons as the most prolific and mighty beasts of imagination. A brief look into various cultures can show the never-ending fascination that these creatures impress upon the human mind. Variations of dragons can be observed in myths from both East and…

Leaves by Tolkien

The first work by Tolkien set in Middle-Earth, The Hobbit, was first published as children’s literature (which it largely is, if compared with his other much darker tales) gaining wide acclaim and awards in that category. The lore of Middle-Earth was then still not fully formed in Tolkien’s mind. Upon writing The Lord of the…

At the beginning…

There was Eru, the One, who in Arda is called Il├║vatar; and he made first the Ainur, the Holy Ones, that were the offspring of his thought, and they were with him before aught else was made. And he spoke to them, propounding to them themes of music; and they sang before him, and he…

Goodbye to All That

The Great War, or World War I as it has come to be called, is a moment in history of many literal and symbolic endings and beginnings. It set the stage for the next conflict through the taxing Treatment of Versailles, brought about the existence of Soviet Russia, and with it planted the seeds of…

The life and strange adventures of Daniel Defoe

The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, first published in 1719, is almost a universal title. Its reach extends so far and wide that even those who are not English native speakers and have not read the novel have some knowledge of the titular character and his desolate island ordeal….