I thought I’d try something different this morning. Rather than inflict more of my mental machinations on you, here’s the Master himself, J. R. R. Tolkien. These two clips were filmed by the BBC in 1968. I find them fascinating as a glimpse into so creative a mind, and a clue as to how he could take the most ordinary, mundane circumstances, filter them through his prodigous imagination, and transform them into something magically mysterious that’s kept the world entertained for more than half a century.
I suppose that Tolkien was the single most important formative influence on me as a young reader, far more so than classic science fiction authors like Asimov, Clarke and Heinlein (whom I didn’t discover until my late teens). I remain an unabashed fan, and still regard his ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy as the benchmarks against which I measure anything calling itself fantasy.