Among the interesting things to happen this past week: I received a request from Children’s Literature Review to reprint an article that I published last year in the academic journal Mythlore. CLR is an annual “Best of Criticism” collection, so it’s a pretty nifty honor. Even better, it pays. I mean, hardly anything in academia pays!
That said, I confess to being slightly confused about the request. The article in question, “‘A Far Green Country’: Tolkien, Paradise, and the End of All Things in Medieval Literature,” is hardly the sort of thing I envision as criticism of children’s literature. Yes, Tolkien has derisively been called a children’s writer, but little of his work actually fits that mold. Hobbit, maybe. But Lord of the Rings? Hardly. Silmarillion? Goodness, no.
Yet the subject of this essay, which I co-wrote with A. Keith Kelly of Georgia Gwinnett College, is not just Valinor — a Silmarillion subject — but how it relates to Catholic theology and medieval literature.
Oh well. I’m happy for the honor (and the money) anyway. If you’re interested, you can read the article in an advertisement-crowded form here, at a conglomeration site for such things.