J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes 67 Sourced Quotes

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (January 3 1892 – September 2 1973) was an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor, most famous for his classic high fantasy works.

Here are 67 real J. R. R. Tolkien quotes ordered by their popularity online. The most quoted quotes on the web appear first. Questionable and fake quotes are excluded. Sources and related information are shown after each quote. We hope you find these quotes useful. If there is anything we can do to improve this article, your feedback is welcome. If you find these quotes helpful, please share them.

1. “As for what you say or hint of 'local' conditions: I knew of them. I don't think they have much changed (even for the worse). I used to hear them discussed by my mother; and have ever since taken a special interest in that part of the world. The treatment of colour nearly always horrifies anyone going out from Britain, & not only in South Africa. Unfort[unately], not many retain that generous sentiment for long.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Source: The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien (1981) To Christopher Tolkien in South Africa

2. “‘I wish life was not so short,’ he thought. ‘Languages take such a time, and so do all the things one wants to know about.’”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Source: "Alboin Errol", in The Lost Road (1987). Compare this with "The lyf so short, the craft so longe to lerne" by Geoffrey Chaucer

3. “In such 'fantasy', as it is called, new form is made; Faerie begins; Man becomes a sub-creator.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Source: On Fairy-Stories (1939): Originally given as an Andrew Lang Lecture at the University of St. Andrews on 8 March 1939, and published in Essays presented to Charles Williams in 1947. It was republished with minor alterations in Tree and Leaf in 1964, in The Tolkien Reader in 1966, and in The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays in 1983. Tolkien On Fairy-stories, an expanded edition containing the essay, unpublished manuscripts, background material, contemporary reports, and notes and commentary, edited by Verlyn Flieger and Douglas A. Anderson, was published by HarperCollins in 2008.

4. “Nearly all marriages, even happy ones, are mistakes: in the sense that almost certainly (in a more perfect world, or even with a little more care in this very imperfect one) both partners might be found more suitable mates. But the real soul-mate is the one you are actually married to.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Source: Letter to Michael Tolkien (March 1941)

5. “I have the hatred of apartheid in my bones...”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 15 November 2017, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#5

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Source: Valedictory address to the University of Oxford (1959)

6. “I have in this War a burning private grudge — which would probably make me a better soldier at 49 than I was at 22: against that ruddy little ignoramus Adolf Hitler (for the odd thing about demonic inspiration and impetus is that it in no way enhances the purely intellectual stature: it chiefly affects the mere will). Ruining, perverting, misapplying, and making for ever accursed, that noble northern spirit, a supreme contribution to Europe, which I have ever loved, and tried to present in its true light.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 15 November 2017, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#6

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Source: The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien (1981) No. 45: To his son Michael Tolkien (09 June, 1941)

7. “To one who said that myths were lies and therefore worthless, even though 'breathed through silver'.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Source: Mythopoeia (1931): Written following a discussion with C. S. Lewis and Hugo Dyson at Magdalen College, Oxford which took place on the night of 19 September 1931. · Full text online

8. “Most English-speaking people … will admit that cellar door is ‘beautiful,’ especially if dissociated from its sense (and from its spelling). More beautiful than, say, sky, and far more beautiful than beautiful...Well then, in Welsh, for me cellar doors are extraordinarily frequent, and moving to the higher dimension, the words in which there is pleasure in the contemplation of the association of form and sense are abundant.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 15 November 2017, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#8

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Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#8

Source: English and Welsh (1955): A lecture given at the University of Oxford, (21 October 1955) published in The Monsters And The Critics And Other Essays (1983), edited by Christopher Tolkien

9. “There was a solemn article in the local paper seriously advocating systematic exterminating of the entire German nation as the only proper course after military victory: because, if you please, they are rattlesnakes, and don't know the difference between good and evil! (What of the writer?) The Germans have just as much right to declare the Poles and Jews exterminable vermin, subhuman, as we have to select the Germans: in other words, no right, whatever they have done.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Source: Letter (September 1944)

10. “The mind that thought of light, heavy, grey, yellow, still, swift also conceived of magic that would make heavy things light and able to fly, turn grey lead into yellow gold, and the still rock into a swift water. If it could do the one, it could do the other; it inevitably did both. When we can take green from grass, blue from heaven, and red from blood, we have already an enchanter's power.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Source: On Fairy-Stories (1939): Originally given as an Andrew Lang Lecture at the University of St. Andrews on 8 March 1939, and published in Essays presented to Charles Williams in 1947. It was republished with minor alterations in Tree and Leaf in 1964, in The Tolkien Reader in 1966, and in The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays in 1983. Tolkien On Fairy-stories, an expanded edition containing the essay, unpublished manuscripts, background material, contemporary reports, and notes and commentary, edited by Verlyn Flieger and Douglas A. Anderson, was published by HarperCollins in 2008.

11. “No language is justly studied merely as an aid to other purposes. It will in fact better serve other purposes, philological or historical, when it is studied for love, for itself.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Source: English and Welsh (1955): A lecture given at the University of Oxford, (21 October 1955) published in The Monsters And The Critics And Other Essays (1983), edited by Christopher Tolkien

12. “The Lord of the Rings is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work; unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision. That is why I have not put in, or have cut out, practically all references to anything like 'religion', to cults or practices, in the imaginary world. For the religious element is absorbed into the story and the symbolism.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Source: The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien (1981) No. 142: letter to his friend Robert Murray, S.J. (December 1953)

13. “I should say that, in addition to my tree-love (it was originally called The Tree), it arose from my own pre-occupation with the Lord of the Rings, the knowledge that it would be finished in great detail or not at all, and the fear (near certainty) that it would be 'not at all'. The war had arisen to darken all horizons. But no such analyses are a complete explanation even of a short story...”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Source: About "Leaf by Niggle", in a letter to Caroline Everett (24 June 1957)

14. “Blessed are the legend-makers with their rhyme of things not found within recorded time.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Source: Mythopoeia (1931): Written following a discussion with C. S. Lewis and Hugo Dyson at Magdalen College, Oxford which took place on the night of 19 September 1931. · Full text online

15. “I will not walk with your progressive apes, erect and sapient. Before them gapes the dark abyss to which their progress tends if by God's mercy progress ever ends, and does not ceaselessly revolve the same unfruitful course with changing of a name.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Tolkien, J. R. R. (2017, November 15) J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#15

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Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#15

Source: Mythopoeia (1931): Written following a discussion with C. S. Lewis and Hugo Dyson at Magdalen College, Oxford which took place on the night of 19 September 1931. · Full text online

16. “I will not treat your dusty path and flat, denoting this and that by this and that, your world immutable wherein no part the little maker has with maker's art. I bow not yet before the Iron Crown, nor cast my own small golden sceptre down.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#16

Use APA (American Psychological Association) for education, psychology, and the sciences.

Tolkien, J. R. R. (2017, November 15) J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#16

Use Chicago style for business, fine arts, and history.

Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 15 November 2017, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#16

Use MLA (Modern Language Association) style for the humanities, especially language and literature.

Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#16

Source: Mythopoeia (1931): Written following a discussion with C. S. Lewis and Hugo Dyson at Magdalen College, Oxford which took place on the night of 19 September 1931. · Full text online

17. “Small wonder that spell means both a story told, and a formula of power over living men.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#17

Use APA (American Psychological Association) for education, psychology, and the sciences.

Tolkien, J. R. R. (2017, November 15) J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#17

Use Chicago style for business, fine arts, and history.

Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 15 November 2017, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#17

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Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#17

Source: On Fairy-Stories (1939): Originally given as an Andrew Lang Lecture at the University of St. Andrews on 8 March 1939, and published in Essays presented to Charles Williams in 1947. It was republished with minor alterations in Tree and Leaf in 1964, in The Tolkien Reader in 1966, and in The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays in 1983. Tolkien On Fairy-stories, an expanded edition containing the essay, unpublished manuscripts, background material, contemporary reports, and notes and commentary, edited by Verlyn Flieger and Douglas A. Anderson, was published by HarperCollins in 2008.

18. “The story-maker proves a successful 'sub-creator'. He makes a Secondary World which your mind can enter. Inside it, what he relates is 'true': it accords with the laws of that world. You therefore believe it, while you are, as it were, inside. The moment disbelief arises, the spell is broken; the magic, or rather art, has failed.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#18

Use APA (American Psychological Association) for education, psychology, and the sciences.

Tolkien, J. R. R. (2017, November 15) J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#18

Use Chicago style for business, fine arts, and history.

Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 15 November 2017, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#18

Use MLA (Modern Language Association) style for the humanities, especially language and literature.

Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#18

Source: On Fairy-Stories (1939): Originally given as an Andrew Lang Lecture at the University of St. Andrews on 8 March 1939, and published in Essays presented to Charles Williams in 1947. It was republished with minor alterations in Tree and Leaf in 1964, in The Tolkien Reader in 1966, and in The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays in 1983. Tolkien On Fairy-stories, an expanded edition containing the essay, unpublished manuscripts, background material, contemporary reports, and notes and commentary, edited by Verlyn Flieger and Douglas A. Anderson, was published by HarperCollins in 2008.

19. “Wars are not favourable to delicate pleasures.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#19

Use APA (American Psychological Association) for education, psychology, and the sciences.

Tolkien, J. R. R. (2017, November 15) J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#19

Use Chicago style for business, fine arts, and history.

Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 15 November 2017, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#19

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Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#19

Source: "A Secret Vice" (lecture, 1931) published in The Monsters And The Critics And Other Essays (1983), edited by Christopher Tolkien

20. “You look at trees and label them just so, (for trees are 'trees', and growing is 'to grow'); you walk the earth and tread with solemn pace one of the many minor globes of Space: a star's a star, some matter in a ball compelled to courses mathematical amid the regimented, cold, inane, where destined atoms are each moment slain.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#20

Use APA (American Psychological Association) for education, psychology, and the sciences.

Tolkien, J. R. R. (2017, November 15) J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#20

Use Chicago style for business, fine arts, and history.

Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 15 November 2017, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#20

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Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#20

Source: Mythopoeia (1931): Written following a discussion with C. S. Lewis and Hugo Dyson at Magdalen College, Oxford which took place on the night of 19 September 1931. · Full text online

21. “At bidding of a Will, to which we bend (and must), but only dimly apprehend, great processes march on, as Time unrolls from dark beginnings to uncertain goals; and as on page o'er-written without clue, with script and limning packed of various hue, an endless multitude of forms appear, some grim, some frail, some beautiful, some queer, each alien, except as kin from one remote Origo, gnat, man, stone, and sun.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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For general use. A combination of the APA, Chicago and MLA citation styles.

Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#21

Use APA (American Psychological Association) for education, psychology, and the sciences.

Tolkien, J. R. R. (2017, November 15) J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#21

Use Chicago style for business, fine arts, and history.

Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 15 November 2017, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#21

Use MLA (Modern Language Association) style for the humanities, especially language and literature.

Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#21

Source: Mythopoeia (1931): Written following a discussion with C. S. Lewis and Hugo Dyson at Magdalen College, Oxford which took place on the night of 19 September 1931. · Full text online

22. “Great powers they slowly brought out of themselves and looking backward they beheld the elves that wrought on cunning forges in the mind, and light and dark on secret looms entwined.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#22

Use APA (American Psychological Association) for education, psychology, and the sciences.

Tolkien, J. R. R. (2017, November 15) J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#22

Use Chicago style for business, fine arts, and history.

Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 15 November 2017, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#22

Use MLA (Modern Language Association) style for the humanities, especially language and literature.

Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#22

Source: Mythopoeia (1931): Written following a discussion with C. S. Lewis and Hugo Dyson at Magdalen College, Oxford which took place on the night of 19 September 1931. · Full text online

23. “The heart of Man is not compound of lies, but draws some wisdom from the only Wise, and still recalls him. Though now long estranged, Man is not wholly lost nor wholly changed. Dis-graced he may be, yet is not dethroned, and keeps the rags of lordship once he owned, his world-dominion by creative act: not his to worship the great Artefact, Man, Sub-creator, the refracted light through whom is splintered from a single White to many hues, and endlessly combined in living shapes that move from mind to mind.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#23

Use APA (American Psychological Association) for education, psychology, and the sciences.

Tolkien, J. R. R. (2017, November 15) J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#23

Use Chicago style for business, fine arts, and history.

Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 15 November 2017, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#23

Use MLA (Modern Language Association) style for the humanities, especially language and literature.

Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#23

Source: Mythopoeia (1931): Written following a discussion with C. S. Lewis and Hugo Dyson at Magdalen College, Oxford which took place on the night of 19 September 1931. · Full text online

24. “Though all the crannies of the world we filled with Elves and Goblins, though we dared to build Gods and their houses out of dark and light, and sowed the seed of dragons, 'twas our right (used or misused). The right has not decayed. We make still by the law in which we're made.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#24

Use APA (American Psychological Association) for education, psychology, and the sciences.

Tolkien, J. R. R. (2017, November 15) J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#24

Use Chicago style for business, fine arts, and history.

Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 15 November 2017, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#24

Use MLA (Modern Language Association) style for the humanities, especially language and literature.

Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#24

Source: Mythopoeia (1931): Written following a discussion with C. S. Lewis and Hugo Dyson at Magdalen College, Oxford which took place on the night of 19 September 1931. · Full text online

25. “Yes! 'wish-fulfilment dreams' we spin to cheat our timid hearts and ugly Fact defeat! Whence came the wish, and whence the power to dream, or some things fair and others ugly deem?”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#25

Use APA (American Psychological Association) for education, psychology, and the sciences.

Tolkien, J. R. R. (2017, November 15) J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#25

Use Chicago style for business, fine arts, and history.

Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 15 November 2017, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#25

Use MLA (Modern Language Association) style for the humanities, especially language and literature.

Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#25

Source: Mythopoeia (1931): Written following a discussion with C. S. Lewis and Hugo Dyson at Magdalen College, Oxford which took place on the night of 19 September 1931. · Full text online

26. “All wishes are not idle, nor in vain fulfilment we devise — for pain is pain, not for itself to be desired, but ill; or else to strive or to subdue the will alike were graceless; and of Evil this alone is deadly certain: Evil is.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#26

Use APA (American Psychological Association) for education, psychology, and the sciences.

Tolkien, J. R. R. (2017, November 15) J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#26

Use Chicago style for business, fine arts, and history.

Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 15 November 2017, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#26

Use MLA (Modern Language Association) style for the humanities, especially language and literature.

Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#26

Source: Mythopoeia (1931): Written following a discussion with C. S. Lewis and Hugo Dyson at Magdalen College, Oxford which took place on the night of 19 September 1931. · Full text online

27. “Blessed are the men of Noah's race that build their little arks, though frail and poorly filled, and steer through winds contrary towards a wraith, a rumour of a harbour guessed by faith.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#27

Use APA (American Psychological Association) for education, psychology, and the sciences.

Tolkien, J. R. R. (2017, November 15) J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#27

Use Chicago style for business, fine arts, and history.

Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 15 November 2017, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#27

Use MLA (Modern Language Association) style for the humanities, especially language and literature.

Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#27

Source: Mythopoeia (1931): Written following a discussion with C. S. Lewis and Hugo Dyson at Magdalen College, Oxford which took place on the night of 19 September 1931. · Full text online

28. “They have seen Death and ultimate defeat, and yet they would not in despair retreat, but oft to victory have tuned the lyre and kindled hearts with legendary fire, illuminating Now and dark Hath-been with light of suns as yet by no man seen.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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For general use. A combination of the APA, Chicago and MLA citation styles.

Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#28

Use APA (American Psychological Association) for education, psychology, and the sciences.

Tolkien, J. R. R. (2017, November 15) J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#28

Use Chicago style for business, fine arts, and history.

Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 15 November 2017, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#28

Use MLA (Modern Language Association) style for the humanities, especially language and literature.

Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#28

Source: Mythopoeia (1931): Written following a discussion with C. S. Lewis and Hugo Dyson at Magdalen College, Oxford which took place on the night of 19 September 1931. · Full text online

29. “I would with the beleaguered fools be told, that keep an inner fastness where their gold, impure and scanty, yet they loyally bring to mint in image blurred of distant king, or in fantastic banners weave the sheen heraldic emblems of a lord unseen.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#29

Use APA (American Psychological Association) for education, psychology, and the sciences.

Tolkien, J. R. R. (2017, November 15) J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#29

Use Chicago style for business, fine arts, and history.

Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 15 November 2017, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#29

Use MLA (Modern Language Association) style for the humanities, especially language and literature.

Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#29

Source: Mythopoeia (1931): Written following a discussion with C. S. Lewis and Hugo Dyson at Magdalen College, Oxford which took place on the night of 19 September 1931. · Full text online

30. “In Paradise perchance the eye may stray from gazing upon everlasting Day to see the day illumined, and renew from mirrored truth the likeness of the True. Then looking on the Blessed Land 'twill see that all is as it is, and yet made free: Salvation changes not, nor yet destroys, garden nor gardener, children nor their toys. Evil it will not see, for evil lies not in God's picture but in crooked eyes, not in the source but in malicious choice, and not in sound but in the tuneless voice.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#30

Use APA (American Psychological Association) for education, psychology, and the sciences.

Tolkien, J. R. R. (2017, November 15) J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#30

Use Chicago style for business, fine arts, and history.

Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 15 November 2017, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#30

Use MLA (Modern Language Association) style for the humanities, especially language and literature.

Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#30

Source: Mythopoeia (1931): Written following a discussion with C. S. Lewis and Hugo Dyson at Magdalen College, Oxford which took place on the night of 19 September 1931. · Full text online

31. “'''In Paradise they look no more awry; and though they make anew, they make no lie. Be sure they still will make, not being dead, and poets shall have flames upon their head, and harps whereon their faultless fingers fall: there each shall choose for ever from the All.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#31

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Source: Mythopoeia (1931): Written following a discussion with C. S. Lewis and Hugo Dyson at Magdalen College, Oxford which took place on the night of 19 September 1931. · Full text online

32. “Fantasy remains a human right: we make in our measure and in our derivative mode, because we are made: and not only made, but made in the image and likeness of a Maker.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Source: On Fairy-Stories (1939): Originally given as an Andrew Lang Lecture at the University of St. Andrews on 8 March 1939, and published in Essays presented to Charles Williams in 1947. It was republished with minor alterations in Tree and Leaf in 1964, in The Tolkien Reader in 1966, and in The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays in 1983. Tolkien On Fairy-stories, an expanded edition containing the essay, unpublished manuscripts, background material, contemporary reports, and notes and commentary, edited by Verlyn Flieger and Douglas A. Anderson, was published by HarperCollins in 2008.

33. “And lastly there is the oldest and deepest desire, the Great Escape: the Escape from Death. Fairy-stories provide many examples and modes of this … Fairy-stories are made by men not by fairies. The Human-stories of the elves are doubtless full of the Escape from Deathlessness.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Source: On Fairy-Stories (1939): Originally given as an Andrew Lang Lecture at the University of St. Andrews on 8 March 1939, and published in Essays presented to Charles Williams in 1947. It was republished with minor alterations in Tree and Leaf in 1964, in The Tolkien Reader in 1966, and in The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays in 1983. Tolkien On Fairy-stories, an expanded edition containing the essay, unpublished manuscripts, background material, contemporary reports, and notes and commentary, edited by Verlyn Flieger and Douglas A. Anderson, was published by HarperCollins in 2008.

34. “The Gospels contain a fairy-story, or a story of a larger kind which embraces all the essence of fairy-stories. … But this story has entered History and the primary world; … It has pre-eminently the ‘inner consistency of reality.’ There is no tale ever told that men would rather find was true, and none which so many sceptical men have accepted as true on its own merits. For the Art of it has the supremely convincing tone of Primary Art, that is, of Creation. ...this story is supreme; and it is true. Art has been verified. God is the Lord, of angels, and of men — and of elves. Legend and History have met and fused.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Source: On Fairy-Stories (1939): Originally given as an Andrew Lang Lecture at the University of St. Andrews on 8 March 1939, and published in Essays presented to Charles Williams in 1947. It was republished with minor alterations in Tree and Leaf in 1964, in The Tolkien Reader in 1966, and in The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays in 1983. Tolkien On Fairy-stories, an expanded edition containing the essay, unpublished manuscripts, background material, contemporary reports, and notes and commentary, edited by Verlyn Flieger and Douglas A. Anderson, was published by HarperCollins in 2008.

35. “The Evangelium has not abrogated legends; it has hallowed them, especially the ‘happy ending.’ The Christian has still to work, with mind as well as body, to suffer, hope, and die; but he may now perceive that all his bents and faculties have a purpose, which can be redeemed. So great is the bounty with which he has been treated that he may now, perhaps, fairly dare to guess that in Fantasy he may actually assist in the effoliation and multiple enrichment of creation. All tales may come true; and yet, at the last, redeemed, they may be as like and unlike the forms that we give them as Man, finally redeemed, will be like and unlike the fallen that we know.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Source: On Fairy-Stories (1939): Originally given as an Andrew Lang Lecture at the University of St. Andrews on 8 March 1939, and published in Essays presented to Charles Williams in 1947. It was republished with minor alterations in Tree and Leaf in 1964, in The Tolkien Reader in 1966, and in The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays in 1983. Tolkien On Fairy-stories, an expanded edition containing the essay, unpublished manuscripts, background material, contemporary reports, and notes and commentary, edited by Verlyn Flieger and Douglas A. Anderson, was published by HarperCollins in 2008.

36. “There was once a little man called Niggle, who had a long journey to make. He did not want to go, indeed the whole idea was distasteful to him; but he could not get out of it. He knew he would have to start some time, but he did not hurry with his preparations.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Source: Leaf by Niggle (1945): First published in Dublin Review (January 1945); written in 1938 or 1939

37. “There was one picture in particular which bothered him. It had begun with a leaf caught in the wind, and it became a tree; and the tree grew, sending out innumerable branches, and thrusting out the most fantastic roots.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Source: Leaf by Niggle (1945): First published in Dublin Review (January 1945); written in 1938 or 1939

38. “‘It's a gift!’ he said. He was referring to his art, and also to the result; but he was using the word quite literally.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Source: Leaf by Niggle (1945): First published in Dublin Review (January 1945); written in 1938 or 1939

39. “‘I think we shall have to give the region a name. What do you propose?’ ‘The Porter settled that some time ago,’ said the Second Voice. ‘Train for Niggle's Parish in the bay.’”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Source: Leaf by Niggle (1945): First published in Dublin Review (January 1945); written in 1938 or 1939

40. “I must say the enclosed letter from Rütten and Loening is a bit stiff. Do I suffer this impertinence because of the possession of a German name, or do their lunatic laws require a certificate of 'arisch' origin from all persons of all countries? … I do not regard the (probable) absence of all Jewish blood as necessarily honourable; and I have many Jewish friends, and should regret giving any colour to the notion that I subscribed to the wholly pernicious and unscientific race-doctrine.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Source: The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien (1981) No. 30: Letter to Stanley Unwin (25 July, 1938); Tolkien's German publishers had written to ask him whether he was of "Aryan" origin.

41. “A story must be told or there'll be no story, yet it is the untold stories that are most moving.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Source: The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien (1981) Letter to his son Christopher (30 January 1945) — in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien (1981), p. 110

42. “It was like discovering a complete wine-filled cellar filled with bottles of an amazing wine of a kind and flavor never tasted before. It quite intoxicated me….”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Source: The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien (1981) No. 163: On his discovery of Finnish language, in a letter to W. H. Auden (1955)

43. “My advice to all who have the time or inclination to concern themselves with the international language movement would be: 'Back Esperanto loyally.'”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Source and Related Info: "A Philologist on Esperanto" in The British Esperantist (May 1932).
• Years later, in a 1956 letter (quoted more extensively below) he stated that Esperanto and other constructed languages were "dead, far deader than ancient unused languages, because their authors never invented any Esperanto legends."

44. “Well, the first War of the Machines seems to be drawing to its final inconclusive chapter — leaving, alas, everyone the poorer, many bereaved or maimed and millions dead, and only one thing triumphant: the Machines. As the servants of the Machine are becoming a privileged class, the Machines are going to be enormously more powerful. What's their next move?”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Source: Letter to his son, Christopher (30 January 1945); published in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien (1981), Letter 96

45. “That story was the only thing I have ever done which cost me absolutely no pains at all. Usually I compose only with great difficulty and endless rewriting. I woke up one day (more than 2 years ago) with that odd thing virtually complete in my head. It took only a few hours to get down, and then copy out.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Source: About "Leaf by Niggle", in a letter to Stanley Unwin (18 March 1945)

46. “You can make the Ring an allegory of our own time, if you like: an allegory of the inevitable fate that awaits all attempts to defeat evil power by power. But that is only because all power magical or mechanical does always so work.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Source: Letter to his publisher (31 July 1947); published in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien (1981), Letter 109

47. “I am in fact a Hobbit (in all but size). I like gardens, trees, and unmechanized farmlands; I smoke a pipe, and like good plain food (unrefrigerated), but detest French cooking; I like, and even dare to wear in these dull days, ornamental waistcoats. I am fond of mushrooms (out of a field); have a very simple sense of humor (which even my appreciative critics find tiresome); I go to bed late and get up late (when possible). I do not travel much.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Source: Letter to Deborah Webster (25 October 1958).

48. “Every morning I wake up and think good, another 24 hours' pipe-smoking.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Source: A rare interview with Tolkien (1966) — "Tolkien's shire" by John Ezard, The Guardian (28 December 1991)

49. “If you really come down to any large story that interests people – holds the attention for a considerable time ... human stories are practically always about one thing, aren't they? Death. The inevitability of death.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Source: Tolkien in Oxford (1968), a BBC 2 television documentary (at 21:49)

50. “It gives me great pleasure, a good name. I always in writing start with a name. Give me a name and it produces a story, not the other way about normally.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Source: Interview with Dennis Gerrolt, first broadcast on the BBC Radio 4 programme "Now Read On" (January 1971)

51. “I do so dearly believe that no half-heartedness and no worldly fear must turn us aside from following the light unflinchingly.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Source: Letter to Edith, as quoted in J. R. R. Tolkien: a biography (1977) by Humphrey Carpenter, p. 66

52. “Yet trees are not 'trees', until so named and seen and never were so named, till those had been who speech's involuted breath unfurled, faint echo and dim picture of the world, but neither record nor a photograph, being divination, judgement, and a laugh response of those that felt astir within by deep monition movements that were kin to life and death of trees, of beasts, of stars: free captives undermining shadowy bars, digging the foreknown from experience and panning the vein of spirit out of sense.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Source: Mythopoeia (1931): Written following a discussion with C. S. Lewis and Hugo Dyson at Magdalen College, Oxford which took place on the night of 19 September 1931. · Full text online

53. “He sees no stars who does not see them first of living silver made that sudden burst to flame like flowers beneath an ancient song, whose very echo after-music long has since pursued. There is no firmament, only a void, unless a jewelled tent myth-woven and elf-pattemed; and no earth, unless the mother's womb whence all have birth.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 15 November 2017, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#53

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Source: Mythopoeia (1931): Written following a discussion with C. S. Lewis and Hugo Dyson at Magdalen College, Oxford which took place on the night of 19 September 1931. · Full text online

54. “[Fantasy is] a higher form of Art, indeed the most nearly pure form, and so (when achieved) the most potent.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Source: On Fairy-Stories (1939): Originally given as an Andrew Lang Lecture at the University of St. Andrews on 8 March 1939, and published in Essays presented to Charles Williams in 1947. It was republished with minor alterations in Tree and Leaf in 1964, in The Tolkien Reader in 1966, and in The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays in 1983. Tolkien On Fairy-stories, an expanded edition containing the essay, unpublished manuscripts, background material, contemporary reports, and notes and commentary, edited by Verlyn Flieger and Douglas A. Anderson, was published by HarperCollins in 2008.

55. “I have claimed that Escape is one of the main functions of fairy-stories, and since I do not disapprove of them, it is plain that I do not accept the tone of scorn or pity with which 'Escape' is now so often used. Why should a man be scorned if, finding himself in prison, he tries to get out and go home? Or if he cannot do so, he thinks and talks about other topics than jailers and prison-walls? The world outside has not become less real because the prisoner cannot see it.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Source: On Fairy-Stories (1939): Originally given as an Andrew Lang Lecture at the University of St. Andrews on 8 March 1939, and published in Essays presented to Charles Williams in 1947. It was republished with minor alterations in Tree and Leaf in 1964, in The Tolkien Reader in 1966, and in The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays in 1983. Tolkien On Fairy-stories, an expanded edition containing the essay, unpublished manuscripts, background material, contemporary reports, and notes and commentary, edited by Verlyn Flieger and Douglas A. Anderson, was published by HarperCollins in 2008.

56. “To many, perhaps to most people outside the small company of the great scholars, past and present, 'Celtic' of any sort is, nonetheless, a magic bag, into which anything may be put, and out of which almost anything may come. … Anything is possible in the fabulous Celtic twilight, which is not so much a twilight of the gods as of the reason.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Tolkien, J. R. R. (2017, November 15) J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#56

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Source: English and Welsh (1955): A lecture given at the University of Oxford, (21 October 1955) published in The Monsters And The Critics And Other Essays (1983), edited by Christopher Tolkien

57. “For myself I would say that more than the interest and uses of the study of Welsh as an adminicle of English philology, more than the practical linguist's desire to acquire a knowledge of Welsh for the enlargement of his experience, more even than the interest and worth of the literature, older and newer, that is preserved in it, these two things seem important: Welsh is of this soil, this island, the senior language of the men of Britain; and Welsh is beautiful.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#57

Source: English and Welsh (1955): A lecture given at the University of Oxford, (21 October 1955) published in The Monsters And The Critics And Other Essays (1983), edited by Christopher Tolkien

58. “The basic pleasure in the phonetic elements of a language and in the style of their patterns, and then in a higher dimension, pleasure in the association of these word-forms with meanings, is of fundamental importance. This pleasure is quite distinct from the practical knowledge of a language, and not the same as an analytic understanding of its structure. It is simpler, deeper-rooted, and yet more immediate than the enjoyment of literature.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Tolkien, J. R. R. (2017, November 15) J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#58

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Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#58

Source: English and Welsh (1955): A lecture given at the University of Oxford, (21 October 1955) published in The Monsters And The Critics And Other Essays (1983), edited by Christopher Tolkien

59. “My political opinions lean more and more to Anarchy (philosophically understood, meaning abolition of control not whiskered men with bombs) … the most improper job of any man, even saints (who at any rate were at least unwilling to take it on), is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Tolkien, J. R. R. (2017, November 15) J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#59

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Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 15 November 2017, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#59

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Source: The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien (1981) Letter to his son Christopher Tolkien (29 November, 1943)

60. “'Power' is an ominous and sinister word in all these tales, except as applied to the gods.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Tolkien, J. R. R. (2017, November 15) J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#60

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Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 15 November 2017, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#60

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Tolkien, J. R. R.. “J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes.” Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#60

Source: The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien (1981) No. 131: letter to Milton Waldman (c. 1951)

61. “Nothing has astonished me more (and I think my publishers) than the welcome given to The Lord of the Rings. But it is, of course, a constant source of consolation and pleasure to me. And, I may say, a piece of singular good fortune, much envied by some of my contemporaries. Wonderful people still buy the book, and to a man 'retired' that is both grateful and comforting.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Tolkien, J. R. R. (2017, November 15) J. R. R. Tolkien Quotes: 67 Sourced Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/j.-r.-r.-tolkien-quotes.html#61

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Source: The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien (1981) No. 165: To Houghton Mifflin Co. (30 June, 1955); also quoted in 'Tolkien on Tolkien' in Diplomat magazine (October 1966).

62. “It was just as the 1914 War burst on me that I made the discovery that 'legends' depend on the language to which they belong; but a living language depends equally on the 'legends' which it conveys by tradition. … Volapuk, Esperanto, Ido, Novial, &c &c are dead, far deader than ancient unused languages, because their authors never invented any Esperanto legends...”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Source: The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien (1981) No. 180: To a Mr. Thompson (1956)

63. “The significance of a myth is not easily to be pinned on paper by analytical reasoning. It is at its best when it is presented by a poet who feels rather than makes explicit what his theme portends; who presents it incarnate in the world of history and geography, as our poet has done. Its defender is thus at a disadvantage: unless he is careful, and speaks in parables, he will kill what he is studying by vivisection, and he will be left with a formal or mechanical allegory, and what is more, probably with one that will not work. For myth is alive at once and in all its parts, and dies before it can be dissected.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Source: "Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics" (1936), p. 14

64. “I desired dragons with a profound desire. Of course, I in my timid body did not wish to have them in the neighbourhood, intruding into my relatively safe world, in which it was, for instance, possible to read stories in peace of mind, free from fear. But the world that contained even the imagination of Fбfnir was richer and more beautiful, at whatever cost of peril.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Source: On Fairy-Stories (1939): Originally given as an Andrew Lang Lecture at the University of St. Andrews on 8 March 1939, and published in Essays presented to Charles Williams in 1947. It was republished with minor alterations in Tree and Leaf in 1964, in The Tolkien Reader in 1966, and in The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays in 1983. Tolkien On Fairy-stories, an expanded edition containing the essay, unpublished manuscripts, background material, contemporary reports, and notes and commentary, edited by Verlyn Flieger and Douglas A. Anderson, was published by HarperCollins in 2008.

65. “I regret that I am not clear as to what you intend by 'arisch'. I am not of Aryan extraction: that is Indo-Iranian; as far as I am aware none of my ancestors spoke Hindustani, Persian, Gypsy, or any related dialects. … But if I am to understand that you are enquiring whether I am of Jewish origin, I can only reply that I regret that I appear to have no ancestors of that gifted people. … I have been accustomed, nonetheless, to regard my German name with pride, and continued to do so throughout the period of the late regrettable war, in which I served in the English army. I cannot, however, forbear to comment that if impertinent and irrelevant inquiries of this sort are to become the rule in matters of literature, then the time is not far distant when a German name will no longer be a source of pride.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Source: The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien (1981) One of two draft letters (25 July, 1938) written for Stanley Unwin to select as a response to his German publishers inquiry about his ancestry. The other letter refused to answer altogether on his ancestry; since the quoted letter persists, it seems that the other letter was sent.

66. “The news today about ‘Atomic bombs’ is so horrifying one is stunned. The utter folly of these lunatic physicists to consent to do such work for war-purposes: calmly plotting the destruction of the world! Such explosives in men's hands, while their moral and intellectual status is declining, is about as useful as giving out firearms to all inmates of a gaol and then saying that you hope ‘this will ensure peace’. But one good thing may arise out of it, I suppose, if the write-ups are not overheated: Japan ought to cave in. Well we're in God's hands. But He does not look kindly on Babel-builders.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Source: The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien (1981) No. 102: From a letter to his son Christopher Tolkien (9 August, 1945)

67. “I am doubtful myself about the undertaking. Part of the attraction of the L.R. is, I think, due to the glimpses of a large history in the background: an attraction like that of viewing far off an unvisited island, or seeing the towers of a distant city gleaming in a sunlit mist. To go there is to destroy the magic, unless new unattainable vistas are again revealed. Also many of the older legends are purely 'mythological', and nearly all are grim and tragic: a long account of the disasters that destroyed the beauty of the Ancient World, from the darkening of Valinor to the Downfall of Númenor and the flight of Elendil.”

—J. R. R. Tolkien

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Source: The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien (1981) No. 247

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