Beyond the circles of the world

— Amy Amendt-Raduege, Instructor, Western Washington University

Paper given 6 July 2022 at IMC 2022 Session 1033

From its beginning, Tolkien’s legendarium concerns itself with crossing borders. Even the border between life and death is permeable, as characters pass from life to death and back again. Moreover, the earliest stories contain full descriptions of the Land of the Dead for both Elves and Men. But after the earliest drafts, Tolkien moves the afterlife of Men beyond the Circles of the World, and despite medieval precedent and his own imaginative capabilities, he never crosses that border again. This paper explores some of the underlying possibilities for that choice.

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date recorded 📅2022-01-24
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