Introduces and provides expert insights into "The Hobbit" and Tolkien studies
Engages with interdisciplinary modes of criticism drawing from philosophy, geography, and history
Points to new critical lenses for Tolkien studies including race, space and place, narrative theory, and Marxist theory
Part of the book series: Palgrave Science Fiction and Fantasy: A New Canon (PSFFNC)
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Table of contents (6 chapters)
About this book
This book is a critical introduction to J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, but it also advances an argument about the novel in the context of Tolkien’s larger literary and philosophical project. Notwithstanding its canonical place in the fantasy genre, The Hobbit is ultimately a historical novel. It does not refer directly to any “real” historical events, but it both enacts and conceptualizes history in a way that makes it real. Drawing on Marxist literary criticism and narrative theory, this book examines the form and content of Tolkien’s work, demonstrating how the heroic romance is simultaneously employed and subverted by Tolkien in his tale of an unlikely hero, “quite a little fellow in a wide world,” who nonetheless makes history. First-time readers of Tolkien, as well as established scholars and fans, will enjoy this engaging and accessible study of The Hobbit.
- Fantasy Fiction
- Science Fiction
- Literature and Space
- Marxist Sociology
- The Lord of the Rings trilogy
- The Silmarillion
- middle earth
“Robert T. Tally Jr.’s book deals with a very well-known novel – J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit – that is simultaneously a foundational text within Tolkien’s work and an anomalous outlier, just as hobbits themselves have always felt slightly out of place in the wider world of Middle-earth despite playing a central role in its fate. Tally addresses this ambiguous status from several angles, in a work that is both highly readable and securely founded in Tolkien scholarship.” (Dr Catherine Butler, Reader in English Literature, Cardiff University, UK)
“Tally’s study of the The Hobbit is a whirlwind tour of Middle-earth from below, charted by Marx, Benjamin, Jameson, and Brecht, uncovering what the history, ideology, and politics of that strange place might teach us about our own much stranger one.” (Gerry Canavan, Marquette University, USA, and President of the Science Fiction Research Association)
“Tally shows how Tolkien’s first published novel was both anomalous with the rest of his vast legendarium, yet remains foundational within it. An outlying text, then, may benefit from an outlying critical lens, and here Tally deploys his expertise in Marxist and dialectical criticism to read The Hobbit in valuable new ways — both with and against the grain, as he says — offering insights into style, narrative form, race, class, historicity, and more.” (Jason Fisher, Author of Tolkien and the Study of His Sources: Critical Essays (2011))
Authors and Affiliations
Texas State University, San Marcos, USA
Robert T. Tally Jr.
About the author
Robert T. Tally Jr. is a Professor of English at Texas State University, USA. His books include For a Ruthless Critique of All That Exists: Literature in an Age of Capitalist Realism (2022), Topophrenia: Place, Narrative, and the Spatial Imagination (2019), and Fredric Jameson: The Project of Dialectical Criticism (2014).
Book Title: J. R. R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit"
Book Subtitle: Realizing History Through Fantasy: A Critical Companion
Authors: Robert T. Tally Jr.
Series Title: Palgrave Science Fiction and Fantasy: A New Canon
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Cham
eBook Packages: Literature, Cultural and Media Studies, Literature, Cultural and Media Studies (R0)
Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2022
Softcover ISBN: 978-3-031-11265-2Published: 19 September 2022
eBook ISBN: 978-3-031-11266-9Published: 19 September 2022
Series ISSN: 2662-8562
Series E-ISSN: 2662-8570
Edition Number: 1
Number of Pages: XX, 101
Number of Illustrations: 1 b/w illustrations
Topics: Literary Criticism, Children's Literature, Popular Culture, Space and Place in Culture, History of the Book, Philosophy of Literature