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Book Title: As Aventuras de Tom Bombadil e Outras Histórias|
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The author of the book: J.R.R. Tolkien
Edition: Publicações Europa-América
Date of issue: October 1997
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Tom Bombadil is such an enigma. I mean who exactly is he? Some Tolkien fans would argue that he is Eru, the creator of all life within Tolkien’s Middle Earth, though I think somewhat differently. He breaks any sense of definition with his odd existence: he simply is. We can’t say for a certainty either way, but we do know that Tolkien wanted him to remain somewhat mysterious and beyond the realms of categorisation. I don’t think Tolkien quite knew what he wanted him to be. So that’s how I treat him.
He appears briefly in The Lord of the Rings, saving Frodo from the barrow wight, and spends most of the time singing in odd verses about himself. In this book the Hobbit poet captures his image:
Old Tom Bombadil was a merry fellow;
Bright blue his jacket was and his boots were yellow
Green were his girdle and his breeches all of leather,
He wore in his hat a swan-wing feather.
He lived up under Hill, where the Withyywindle
Ran from a grassy well down into the dingle.
Bombadil leads an odd, somewhat quaint, existence. His behaviour is equated with the natural world; he wonders in fields and exists among the trees. Perhaps his character, at least on the surface, is a simple version of man: a man who remains untroubled by the problems of the world and is just happy to spend his days singing, frolicking and remaining a complete mystery.
However, I don’t feel like the title of this is overly appropriate. If anything, it is very misleading. Only two of the poems actually focus on Bombadil, the rest talk about all manner of random things Middle Earth related. So we have two Bombadil adventures, followed by twelve other poems that address things from Cats to Oliphaunts. Then there’s one that’s rumoured to have been written by Frodo himself, describing a vague dream he had about his experience with the ring.
I find it truly hilarious that Tolkien effectively has a counter for any criticisms of weak poems within this book. In the preface, he says that this book was written by Hobbits. Their rhyming structures and metre are a watered down version of Elvish poetry; thus, any remarks about the weakness of such writing can be aimed at the limitations of Hobbit verse. He side-steps the negative reactions with such a statement, and it’s incredibly ironic and self-preserving. It made me laugh. So this book is a construct of Hobbit writing, and, once again, Tolkien gives his world more foundation.
It's a fun collection of verses, but by no means anything remarkable in Tolkien’s world. The scholarship that has gone into my edition is of a very good standard, it tells the history of this book’s publication. And if you are interested in reading this book, I do recommend this edition edited by Scull and Hammond. Other than that, I’d say that this one is likely to appeal more to the serious Tolkien enthusiast rather than the casual fan.
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Read information about the authorJohn Ronald Reuel Tolkien, CBE, was an English writer, poet, WWI veteran (a First Lieutenant in the Lancashire Fusiliers, British Army), philologist, and university professor, best known as the author of the high fantasy classic works The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings .
Tolkien was Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford from 1925 to 1945, and Merton Professor of English language and literature from 1945 to 1959. He was a close friend of C.S. Lewis.
Christopher Tolkien published a series of works based on his father's extensive notes and unpublished manuscripts, including The Silmarillion . These, together with The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, form a connected body of tales, poems, fictional histories, invented languages, and literary essays about an imagined world called Arda, and Middle-earth within it. Between 1951 and 1955, Tolkien applied the word "legendarium" to the larger part of these writings.
While many other authors had published works of fantasy before Tolkien, the great success of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings led directly to a popular resurgence of the genre. This has caused Tolkien to be popularly identified as the "father" of modern fantasy literature—or more precisely, high fantasy. Tolkien's writings have inspired many other works of fantasy and have had a lasting effect on the entire field.
In 2008, The Times ranked him sixth on a list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945". Forbes ranked him the 5th top-earning dead celebrity in 2009.
J.R.R. Tolkien, was born in South Africa in 1892, but his family moved to Britain when he was about 3 years old. When Tolkien was 8 years old, his mother converted to Catholicism, and he remained a Catholic throughout his life. In his last interview, two years before his death, he unhesitatingly testified, “I’m a devout Roman Catholic.”
Tolkien married his childhood sweetheart, Edith, and they had four children. He wrote them letters each year as if from Santa Claus, and a selection of these was published in 1976 as The Father Christmas Letters . One of Tolkien’s sons became a Catholic priest. Tolkien was an advisor for the translation of the Jerusalem Bible .
Tolkien once described The Lord of the Rings to his friend Robert Murray, an English Jesuit priest, as "a fundamentally religious and Catholic work, unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision." There are many theological themes underlying the narrative including the battle of good versus evil, the triumph of humility over pride, and the activity of grace. In addition the saga includes themes which incorporate death and immortality, mercy and pity, resurrection, salvation, repentance, self-sacrifice, free will, justice, fellowship, authority and healing. In addition The Lord's Prayer "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil" was reportedly present in Tolkien's mind as he described Frodo's struggles against the power of the "One Ring.''
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