Happy 120th, J.R.R. Tolkien!

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Heute wäre John Ronald Reuel Tolkien 120 Jahre alt geworden, ich hab' mit ihm eine Vorliebe für's Bogenschießen, Drachen und Wälder gemeinsam und sein Ring-Epos habe ich erst vor zwei Jahren viel zu spät gelesen. Oben der 1978er animierte Film zu „Lord of the Rings“, ein Kuriosum, da er nur die ersten beiden Drittel der Geschichte erzählt (The Fellowship of the Ring und The Two Towers und trotz ordentlichem Einspielergebnis kein Sequel gedreht wurde.) [update] Da hab' ich mal wieder Halb-Unsinn erzählt: Hier die Fortsetzung Return of the King aus dem Jahr 1980, ein inoffizielles Sequel zu LotR. Und hier The Hobbit aus dem Jahr 1977. (Danke Henne!)

Jedenfalls: Herzlichen Glückwunsch, Hobbit! Von der Website der Tolkien Society:

On the 3rd January 1892 JRR Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa. To celebrate this event, on this day each year Tolkien fans around the world were invited to raise a glass and toast the birthday of this much loved author 21:00 (9 pm) your local time. The toast is "The Professor".

For those unfamiliar with British toast-drinking ceremonies:
To make the Birthday Toast, you stand, raise a glass of your choice of drink (not necessarily alcoholic), and say the words 'The Professor' before taking a sip (or swig, if that's more appropriate for your drink). Sit and enjoy the rest of your drink.

Open Culture hat noch dazu die 1968er BBC-Doku „Tolkien in Oxford“: J.R.R. Tolkien in His Own Words

In a letter to W.H. Auden in 1955 he wrote: „I first tried to write a story when I was about seven. It was about a dragon. I remember nothing about it except a philological fact. My mother said nothing about the dragon, but pointed out that one could not say “A green great dragon,” but had to say “a great green dragon.” I wondered why, and still do. The fact that I remember this is possibly significant, as I do not think I ever tried to write a story again for many years, and was taken up with language.“

Tolkien became a philologist. He studied English Language and Literature at Exeter College, Oxford and–after a harrowing experience in the trenches of World War I–embarked on an academic career. He became an expert on Anglo Saxon and Norse mythology.

But the misty forests of Tolkien’s childhood imagination never left him. One day in the early 1930s, he was at home grading a large stack of student papers when his mind began to wander. On a blank sheet in one of the papers, the professor found himself writing, “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” He didn’t know what a hobbit was, but soon found himself spinning a tale, which he told to his young children. In 1937 it was published as The Hobbit.