“J. R. R. Tolkien, the near-universally-hailed father of modern epic fantasy, crafted his magnum opus The Lord of the Rings to explore the forces of creation as he saw them: God and country, race and class, journeying to war and returning home. I’ve heard it said that he was trying to create some kind of original British mythology using the structure of other cultures myths, and maybe that was true. I don’t know. What I see, when I read his work, is a man trying desperately to dream. Dreaming is impossible without myths. If we don’t have enough myths of our own, well latch onto those of others — even if those myths make us believe terrible or false things about ourselves. Tolkien understood this, I think because its human nature. Call it the superego, call it common sense, call it pragmatism, call it learned helplessness, but the mind craves boundaries. Depending on the myths we believe in, those boundaries can be magnificently vast, or crushingly tight.” — N.K. Jemisin
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