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The Hobbit

Titelinformationen

J.R.R. Tolkien: The Hobbit.

London: Harper Collins.

Deutscher Titel

Der kleine Hobbit

Eigentlich sind Hobbits eher heimelige Wesen, die die Unruhe verabscheuen. Was allerdings Bilbo Baggins im Hobbit widerfährt, stellt alles in den Schatten, was man sich als Hobbit ausmalen kann. Er begibt sich mit einigen Zwergen auf die Reise, um einem wilden Drachen namens Smaug einen Schatz abzujagen und findet unterwegs einen mysteriösen Ring, der seinen Träger unsichtbar macht.

Damit ist der Grundstein gelegt für die großartige Trilogie des „Lord of the Rings“, die sich inhaltlich an „The Hobbit“ anschließt. Der deutsche Titel „Der kleine Hobbit“ legt die Vermutung nahe, dass dieses Buch für Kinder geschrieben wurde. In der englischen Originalfassung liest es sich allerdings wie eine hervorragende und phantastische Erzählung, von der man auch als Erwachsener fasziniert sein kann.

Die Sprache Tolkiens ist relativ gut zu verstehen und schafft durch den Reichtum an alt anmutenden englischen Ausdrücken eine archaische und mystische Atmosphäre, die den Leser voll und ganz in ihren Bann zieht. Nach „The Hobbit“ kann man es kaum erwarten, mit dem „Lord of the Rings“ zu beginnen, um von den großen Ereignissen zu erfahren, die sich schon erahnen lassen.

Umschlagtext über das Buch

The Hobbit is a tale of high adventure, undertaken by acompany of dwarves, in search of dragon-guarded gold. A reluctant partner in this perilous quest is Bilbo Baggins, a comfort-loving, unambitious hobbit, who surprises even himself by his resourcefulness and skill as a burglar. Encounters with trolls, goblins, dwarves, elves and giant spiders, conversations with the dragon, Smaug the Magnificent, and a rather unwilling presence at the „Battle of the Five Armies“ are some of the adventures that befall Bilbo. But there are lighter moments as well: good fellowship, welcome meals. laughter and song.

Informationen über den Autor

The English writer and scholar John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, born in Bloemfontein, South Africa, Jan. 3, 1892, died on Sept. 2, 1973, reestablished fantasy as a serious form in modern English literature. As professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford University, he presented (1936) the influential lecture „Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics,“ an aesthetic justification of the presence of the mythological creatures — Grendel and the dragon — in the medieval poem; he then went on to publish his own fantasy, The Hobbit (1937). There followed his critical theory of fantasy, „On Fairy-Stories“ (1939), and his masterpieces, the mythological romances The Lord of the Rings (1954-55) and The Silmarillion (1977).

Brought to England as a child upon the death of his father in 1896, Tolkien was educated at King Edward’s School in Birmingham and at Oxford. He enlisted in 1915 in the Lancashire Fusiliers; before leaving for France, he married his longtime sweetheart, Edith Bratt. Tolkien saw action in the Battle of the Somme, but trench fever kept him frequently hospitalized during 1917. He held academic posts in philology and in English language and literature from 1920 until his retirement in 1959.

Tolkien began writing The Hobbit in 1936. For a number of years previously he had been inventing languages for the mythical place„Middle Earth„that is the setting for the The Hobbit and had been writing stories about Middle Earth as well (which were published posthumously as The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales [1980]). The Hobbit was soon quite popular, and Tolkien was asked for a sequel by his publisher.

In 1937 he began work on what would eventually be published as The Lord of the Rings. The work consists of The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King. This remarkable work by the mid-1960s had become, especially in its appeal to young people, a sociocultural phenomenon. Both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are set in a mythical past; the latter work chronicles the struggle between various good and evil kingdoms for possession of a magical ring that can shift the balance of power in the world.

The trilogy is remarkable for both its subtly delineated fantasy types (elves, dwarves, and hobbits) and its sustained imaginative storytelling. It is noteworthy as a rare, successful modern version of the heroic epic. An animated film version of the first two books of the trilogy appeared in 1978.

Inclination and profession moved Tolkien to study the heroic literature of northern Europe—Beowulf, the Edda, the Kalevala. The spirit of these poems and their languages underlies his humorous and whimsical writings, such as Farmer Giles of Ham (1949) and The Adventures of Tom Bombadil (1962), as well as his more substantial works

Quelle

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