Superversive on Tolkienian Diction
By all means, if you have not read it already, read the latest offering by Tom Simon the Superversive, on the careful and brilliant use J.R.R. Tolkien made of diction, vocabulary, and style of speech both in dialog and description. I shall certainly have to reread the Trilogy again, keeping an eye out for the nuances mentioned.
As ever, the critics badly underestimated the craft and art which Tolkien’s generous genius lent to him.
Who else in our beloved genre has such a command of high voices and low? All Robert Heinlein characters talk like Heinlein, and all Jack Vance characters talk like phantasmagorical apparitions. Bradbury and LeGuin have real accomplishments in their poetic diction, but even they do not, I deem, command the same wide diapason of voice as Professor Tolkien.
Until the professional critics learn to read Tolkien without preconceptions and without the goad of their political agenda pricking them, until, in other words, they learn to read as little children, they will not enter into an understanding of why his is the best and rightfully best beloved novel of the Twentieth Century, and the novel most adroitly capturing the mood, motifs, melancholy and the dark concerns of the Twentieth Century.