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Old 10-04-2002, 06:18 AM   #37
Stormdancer of Doom
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Part of me is trying to grasp the Englishness of the Shire and Tom Bombadil. Since that's what the proffessor said, then there it is.

But having never been to England, nor Scotland (more Faery, it seems to me, but nevermind)-- I've got to say this. I grew up in a sleepy bedroom-suburban town in New England, where Woods cover everything, and farms are rare.

Outdoors wrenched at me, even just a fresh breeze, or the smell of melting snow in March. There was Something out there waiting to be found; there were tunes waiting to be played and songs waiting to be sung, and dances waiting to be danced, if only I knew what they were. And I used to stand outside in the spring air desperately wishing I could find them.

Once I had read the Hobbit, every bare and grassy knoll drew a gasp of wonder from me, and a stare of longing that persisted until the hill faded from view-- **because it reminded me of the Shire, of Middle-Earth.**

And so, pictures of England and Scotland look like the Shire to me, and as much as they do, I love them. No offense intended to anybody; but I do not love England for its own sake. I love it when (and if) it reminds me of hobbits, or Eriador, or Weathertop, or The Tower Hills.

So although I understand what you are driving at scholastically when you speak of England and Bombadil and the Shire, on a heart level, all this baffles me.

Somebody said that Tolkien didn't invent Middle-Earth, he discovered it and gave us a way to get there. I've always agreed with that. Even now that I'm reading HoME, I percieve it in levels of discovery.

I wonder what Tolkien would think of this perspective. Am I the only one who feels this way?

...down to the water to see the elves dance and sing upon the midsummer's eve.
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