Check Out This Fascinating Interview With J.R.R. Tolkien from 1964

Check Out This Fascinating Interview With J.R.R. Tolkien from 1964

Check Out This Fascinating Interview With J.R.R. Tolkien from 1964

Ask any author about their works and the outcome is going to be varied since each author won’t be quite as loquacious as the one before them or the next, and many will exhibit differing social skills that allow them to be outspoken or a little more introverted. But an interview back in 1964 with J.R.R. Tolkien revealed quite a bit of how he felt about his own stories and what kind of motivation he took leading into said stories, which was more than a little interesting. Many hardcore fans of the author might have already known some of the facts and ideas that were revealed in this interview, but it feels safe to say that a lot of people might have had no idea. It’s a lot of fun, as an author, to see how people take the work they’re given to read and interpret it in their own way. Tolkien made it clear that things weren’t always the way that people thought they were, and that much of what he wrote was far more simplistic than people were thinking, even if they were on the right track and hadn’t firmly nailed down what he was trying to do at that point. As authors, we get to keep our secrets sometimes, since allowing the reader to think what they will is a bit of fun sometimes since one person will see things entirely different than another might.

A person has to wonder if Tolkien had any inkling that his work was going to inspire and entertain so many. The fact that he was already writing LOTR after The Hobbit was published is kind of interesting, and that he chose the one ring to write about was even more so since there were numerous storylines that could have been developed at that point, and many that have been looked at and run through by dozens of people since then. Even now, a lot of people feel that they’ve got a good handle on what Tolkien was trying to do and what he meant with every line. Some might, in fact, there might be those that are fully aware of what Tolkien was doing with his stories, but there are plenty that make a lot of assumptions and think that they’re smarter than others because they can see what no one else does. To an author, this is kind of funny since it essentially tells us that someone thinks that they know the inside of our head better than we do. In some cases, it might be that the individual can divine the author’s intent simply because the author isn’t as complex as they think they are. In other instances though, it’s an arrogance that can allow a reader to think that they know that much about an author and what motivated them to write one piece or another.

Tolkien was in the business of world-building in the same way that a lot of fantasy writers have been for a long time now, and he did so in a way that made a lot of sense and created a very rich and imaginative land that many people have visited in the tales, the movies, and the games over the years. To think that everything he put in there was meant to resemble a place he’d been to in his lifetime wasn’t hard since we write what we see, what we experience, and take that into account when we’re creating certain places, creatures, and characters that the readers are meant to care about. The more realistic it becomes, the more likely it is that people will fall headlong into the stories we create, and the more likely it is that they’ll keep coming back for more. Tolkien knew this, and if he didn’t then he found it out since he kept writing and he continued to build on his world as he was writing out The Lord of the Rings, coming up with new ideas and characters that people would find entertaining. But he was definitely a lover of prose and someone that benefited from the style that was popular back in his day. To be fair a lot of people still love that style, but a lot of people these days have seen the movies and find that their time reading the book and watching the movies meshes in some ways but not at all times.

Listening to Tolkien talk and answer questions was actually quite cathartic and it should help to reinforce a lot of writers when it comes to whether or not they’re doing something right or if they need to bump up their skill set in some crucial way. The one thing that anyone should know about writing is that it’s not difficult to put words on the page, but it can be very difficult to get people to care about those words and come back to see what other words you’ll put down at a later date.

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