Running Widdershins Round Middle Earth: Why Teaching Tolkien Matters
ANALYTIC TEACHING AND PHILOSOPHICAL PRAXIS, Vol. 29 No.1 , (2005)
In his mythology, Tolkien tells us that the elves crossed the sea in rebellion, and even those who linger yet in Middle Earth do not forget and yearn for a return to their land of origin. For elves, the sea is a mixed blessing. In rebellion, many of them crossed it to their sorrow, and those who still linger in Middle Earth live with the divided allegiance of their love of forest and the call of the sea, urging them to return to the land of their creation. Tolkien lives with a similarly divided symbolic imagination. Trees and the sea are keys to his imagination and through both he offers us an opportunity to envision a world different from the one we live in and responds to the demands of the material (or practical) with a vision that is instead, mythic.