A secret vice : Tolkien on invented languages
—Tolkien, J. R. R. (John Ronald Reuel), 1892-1973, author.
Book
2016
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This is an annotated edition of Tolkien's seminal 1930s essay "A Secret Vice" in which he first revealed his vice of inventing languages in his fantasy fiction. In 1931 he gave a talk to a philological society entitled A Hobby for the Home. In this talk, later published as "A Secret Vice," Tolkien unveiled for the first time to a listening public the art which he had both himself encountered and been involved with since his earliest childhood. This new critical edition will go some way towards re-opening the debate on the importance of linguistic invention in Tolkien's mythology and the role of imaginary languages in fantasy literature. In addition to all previously unpublished notes and essays by Tolkien connected with the essay, the book discusses the subject of Tolkien's languages in the wider context of modern fantasy, including the Peter Jackson Hobbit and Lord of the Rings films and Game of Thrones. Furthermore, this is the first ever critical study of Tolkien's little-known essay, which reveals how language invention shaped the creation of Middle-earth and beyond, including George R. R. Martin's 'Game of Thrones'. In addition to all the previously unpublished notes and essays by Tolkien connected with this essay, the book discusses the subject of Tolkien's languages in the wider context of modern fantasy.

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