Published during: May 2012

You know how terrific a really big thunderstorm can be down in the land and in a river-valley; especially at times when two great thunderstorms meet and clash. More terrible still are thunder and lightning in the mountains at night, when storms come up from East and West and make war. The lightning splinters on the peaks, and rocks shiver, and great crashes split the air and go rolling and tumbling into every cave and hollow; and the darkness is filled with overwhelming noise and sudden light.

—J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

The Return of the Shadow

Tolkien was, unquestionably, a master of his art. There has never been anyone quite like him – not before him, and not since. I have written about this at some length before, and I suspect I will again.

In reading Christopher Tolkien’s The Return of the Shadow: The History of The Lord of the Rings, Part I, one salient point about artistic endeavors came into sharp focus: Tolkien’s remarkable self-discipline and work ethic. He just kept at it. Read on, intrepid explorer →