Yesterday, the first edition ever published of The Hobbit completed 75 years. It is one of the most famous books of all time. It has surely marked many and many lives. In the words of C S Lewis, writer of The Chronicles of Narnia:
“The truth is that in this book a number of good things, never before united, have come together: a fund of humour, an understanding of children, and a happy fusion of the scholar’s with the poet’s grasp of mythology… The professor has the air of inventing nothing. He has studied trolls and dragons at first hand and describes them with that fidelity that is worth oceans of glib “originality.”
Also, in the words of the Professor himself (The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien page 27, letter #19 of 12/19/1937):
“I think it is plain that quite apart from it, a sequel or successor to The Hobbit is called for. I promise to give this thought and attention. But I am sure you (Mr.Unwin) will sympathize when I say that the construction of elaborate and consistent mythology (and two language) rather occupies the mind, and the Silmarils are in my heart.”
Yes, that is Tolkien himself saying “WE NEED THE SILMARILLION, WE NEED THE LORD OF THE RINGS!!!”
You would guess every fan of Tolkien would already have read it, right? NO! I have not read it yet!
“What? Are you damn serious? How dare you call yourself a Tolkien fan?” I know, I know, it’s a shame. I have been reading Tolkien since I was 7~8 years old, when I first read The Lord of the Rings, in Portuguese, a damn 1200 pages one volume edition. I was so small my hands couldn’t hold the book!
But hey, all is not lost! I have read The Hobbit comic book! The first time I read it I was 10 years old, I think. But still, it’s not the real book.
In the meantime, I have read The Silmarilion a couple of times, Unfinished Tales, The Children of Húrin (my all time favorite book), The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, The Lord of the Rings a few more times, and even The Book of Lost Tales I and II. I also started studying Quenya, with the help of Erunno, but not The Hobbit!
But this week, this was a miraculous week! I finally bought The Hobbit book! I finally will read it! (well, I first must finish The Dragon Reborn, book 3 of the huge Wheel of Time series, that I recommend for all Tolkien fans out there). And right in time for the movie!
After I read that, I will be able to say I’m a nearly-complete Tolkien fan!
This week also has another very special dates on fantastic literature: Today, “””September, 22nd“””, is the day given on The Lord of the Rings for Bilbo and Frodo’s birthday. On Thursday, September, 20th, was George R. R. Martin birthday, completing 64 years and, sadly Robert Jordan’s 5 year death anniversary, on September 16th. If you don’t know him, he was the writer of the Wheel of Time series I mentioned before. Also, on a more personal note, on Monday was my friend Valië‘s 1/4 century birthday. I’m mentioning her because she is a huge Tolkien fan, always bugs the hell out of me to read The Hobbit, a soon (hopefully… you got talent! I want more of Gwen’s story!) to be writer and my companion in most book series I’ve read recently.