Christopher Tolkien is Not Impressed

WorldCrunch ran an interview with the son of Lord of the Rings writer, J.R.R. christopher tolkienTolkien. The piece, (conducted prior to the release of The Hobbit film), explores Christopher Tolkien’s efforts to forward his father’s literary legacy (and beauty) behind a series that has been hidden beneath the Hollywood glamor.

Christopher Tolkien gave his first ever press interview with WorldCrunch, shedding light on his father’s vision and sharing his own deep dismay with Hobbit director Peter Jackson.

It’s a rare, if not exceptional, case. In an era where most people would sell their souls to be talked about, Christopher Tolkien has not expressed himself in the media for 40 years. No interviews, no announcements, no meetings — nothing.

It was a decision he made at the death of his father, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1892-1973), British author of the hugely famous Lord of the Rings (three volumes published in 1954 and 1955), and one of the world’s most-read writers, with some 150 million books sold and translations into 60 languages.

Despite the enormous popularity of Peter Jackson’s franchise films (of which, billions of dollars have not, and likely will not, go to the Tolkien trust), Christopher Tolkien was not impressed.

They eviscerated the book by making it an action movie for young people aged 15 to 25,” Christopher says regretfully. “And it seems that The Hobbit will be the same kind of film.”

This divorce has been systematically driven by the logic of Hollywood. ‘Tolkien has become a monster, devoured by his own popularity and absorbed into the absurdity of our time,’ Christopher Tolkien observes sadly. ‘The chasm between the beauty and seriousness of the work, and what it has become, has overwhelmed me. The commercialization has reduced the aesthetic and philosophical impact of the creation to nothing. There is only one solution for me: to turn my head away.’

It is hard to say who has won this silent battle between popularity and respect for the text. Nor who, finally, has the Ring. One thing is certain: from father to son, a great part of the work of J.R.R. Tolkien has now emerged from its boxes, thanks to the infinite perseverance of his son.

Read the full interview here.

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