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24094Re: [mythsoc] Tolkien as a gateway drug

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  • Mike Foster
    Feb 5, 2013
      Rather like David Emerson: long before Tolkien, Greek and Norse mythology out of Compton’s, I read Barrie’s PETER & WENDY first, then Grimm, Jacobs CELTIC TALES, and the Andrew Lang Colored Series, all 12 (Lilac, Green, Crimson the best) ,and his PRINCE PRIGIO; Grahame, THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS and THE RELUCTANT DRAGON.  OZ before they got tedious.
       
      I’d include Walter R. Brooks Freddy the Pig series (the first one was called “There & Back Again.”; “The Horrible Ten” would be a great band name). 
       
      Beast fables like  Robert Lawson’s BEN & ME, RABBIT HILL, MR. REVERE & ME, and especially THE TOUGH WINTER, too. 
       
      And in the ten-cent stack, Carl Barks’ best Scrooge McDucks.
       
      Only later did I discover Lewis’ OUT OF THE SILENT PLANET and PERELANDRA, both used paperbacks sold as sci-fi.  Only belatedly, aged 28, did I discover Tolkien.  For 38 years since, I’m still rediscovering him.
       
      For me, MacDonald, Dunsany, Eddison aren’t close rivals.
       
      Mike Foster
       
      Sent: Tuesday, February 05, 2013 9:51 PM
      Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Tolkien as a gateway drug
       
       

      >OK, here's a question for the group to get some discussion

      going:
      >
      >If Tolkien was for you, as it was for me, your first step
      into fantasy literature addiction, what was your next step down the path?
      >
      >For myself, it was Robin Hood by Paul Creswick. Not
      strictly fantasy, but it had the same feel, the same elevated language, milieu, heroism and concern for honor.
      >
      >Anyone
      else?
      >
      >--Shawna Reppert

      A lot of people have chimed in on this, with a few responses indicating that JRRT was not their gateway into fantasy, but other SF authors and/or "adult fantasy" writers like Dunsany and Eddison.

      For me, it started in childhood with fairy tales, Oz books, Freddy the Pig, and the like. Tolkien just raised the bar by several miles. After Tolkien, there is no next step, just steps to the side and backwards.

      David Emerson
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