Happy Birthday, Professor Tolkien


Thanks to James at A Tolkienist’s Perspective for alerting me to the fact that  J.R.R. Tolkien was born on this day in 1892.

This is one of my favorite Tolkien quotes, from his essay “On Fairy-Stories” in Tree and Leaf:

Faerie itself may perhaps most nearly be translated by Magic — but it is magic of a peculiar mood and power, at the furthest pole from the vulgar devices of the laborious, scientific, magician. There is one proviso: if there is any satire present in the tale, one thing must not be made fun of, the magic itself. That must in the story be taken seriously, neither laughed at nor explained away.

Dangerous Minds has an awesome video today of a BBC documentary on Tolkien from 1968.

Image: Dangerous Minds