Tuesday, October 8, 2013
I really enjoyed re-reading The Hobbit for the second time around (having been about 8 or so years since I last read it), because I noticed so many more subtleties and really appreciated the description of the world so much more than when I read it as a child. The first time that I read it I never was able to really soak in and appreciate the wholeness of the different backstories and narratives that give so much more meaning to The Hobbit. Re-reading this time, I was really able to pick up on these small facts, like Bilbo's adventurous spirit and his ancestry from the line of 'Tooks'. I also felt like I more deeply appreciated how each of the characters truly felt unique and specific and always acted true to their character. Bilbo is young and still learning his way as an underappreciated hobbit in a rag-tag team of stubborn dwarves. Gandalf is always wise and appears almost always at exactly the time he is needed the most, such as when he helps Bilbo and the dwarves escape from being eaten by the trolls, or when he calls upon the eagles to help save the group from the Wargs. There is definitely something special about the Hobbit and the complete Lord of The Rings that is different from most other works of fantasy. It's just so easy to get lost in the "realness" of the world that Tolkien creates, and it really feels like he understands his own world better than we may ever understand as the reader. There are just so many layers and languages and underpinnings to the story that it feels almost impossible to comprehend the scale of the world, and this is why I think that Tolkien's world is so effective... because it cannot be completely covered in one novel, much less the prequel, three novels, and various companion books (like the Simarillion) that have been published. I feel as if it would be hard for any contemporary fantasy author to walk in the shoes of Tolkien... they would almost have to be so engrossed in their own fantasy that they could not find their way out.