Author(s): Anna Vaninskaya
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan, Year: 2020
This book reveals the unique contribution made by the three founding fathers of British fantasy—Lord Dunsany, E. R. Eddison and J. R. R. Tolkien—to our culture’s perennial reassessment of the meanings of time, death and eternity. It traces the poetic, philosophical and theological roots of the striking preoccupation with mortality and temporality that defines the imagined worlds of early fantasy fiction, and gives both the form of such fiction and its ideas the attention they deserve. Dunsany, Eddison and Tolkien raise some of the oldest questions in existence: about the limits of nature, human and divine; cosmic creation and destruction; the immortality conferred by art and memory; and the paradoxes and uncertainties generated by the universal experience of transience, the fear of annihilation and the desire for transcendence. But they respond to those questions by means of thought experiments that have no precedent in modern literary history.