Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
In Search of a National Epic: The use of Old Norse myths in Tolkien's vision of Middle-earth
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
2014 (English)In: Approaching Religion, ISSN 1799-3121, Vol. 4, no 1, 25-36 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Turku, 2014. Vol. 4, no 1, 25-36 p.
Keyword [en]
Tolkien, Norse, Nationalism, Epic Studies, Folklore
National Category
General Literature Studies History of Religions
Research subject
History of Religion; Literature
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-103388OAI: diva2:716963
The role of Theory in Folkloristics and Comparative Religion" arranged in Turku/Åbo, Finland in August, 2013 to commemorate Lauri Honko.

In this article some aspects of Tolkien’s work with regard to his relationship to folklore and nationalism are presented. It is also argued, contrary to Lauri Honko’s view of literary epics, that pre-literary sources constitute a problem for the creators of literary epics and that their elements can direct the choice of plot and form. Tolkien felt that there was a British – but no English – mythology comparable to the Greek, Finnish or Norse ones. He tried to reconstruct the ‘lost mythology’ with building blocks from existing mythologies, and dedicated his work to the English people. In this, he saw himself as a compiler of old source material. This article considers his use of Old Norse sources. With Honko’s notion of the second life of folklore it is argued that Tolkien managed to popularise folklore material while his efforts to make his work exclusively English failed; for a contemporary audience it is rather cross-cultural.

Available from: 2014-05-13 Created: 2014-05-13 Last updated: 2015-02-24Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(886 kB)230 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 886 kBChecksum SHA-512
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

By organisation
History of Religions
In the same journal
Approaching Religion
General Literature StudiesHistory of Religions

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 230 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Total: 198 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link