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Tolkien’s grave as a site of memory

— Mina Lukić; and Dejan Vukelić, Research assistant, Српска академија наука и уметности

Paper given 13 February 2021 at Tolkien Society 2021 Winter Seminar

The paper examines Tolkien’s grave as a multi-layered site of memory. Firstly, its regular function of a funerary monument is discussed, followed by its contextualisation within cultural memory studies. Inscriptions on writers’ tombstones are analysed, especially the cases where implicit connections between authors and their work are established. In this light, Tolkien’s epitaph is considered as his personal statement and the testimony of his intention to once again affirm the connection between his marriage and the story of Beren and Lúthien. Furthermore, a special attention is given to current memory practices related to Tolkien’s final resting place, stressing its role of a distinctive pilgrimage site. The results of a survey conducted among Tolkien fans are presented to ascertain what visiting the grave means for them, as well as illustrate their attitudes towards the monument and their understanding of the messages it conveys. In addition to individual, private acts of remembrance, the ceremony of Enyalië, the final stage of Oxonmoot, is examined as an organised commemorative act adding new layers of meaning to the overall reception of this site of memory.

Authoritative information may be found here.

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source URL 🌐Mina Lukić & Dejan Vukelić - ‘Tolkien’s Grave as a Site of Memory’ - YouTube
date recorded 📅2022-01-24
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