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Abstract

After his St Andrews lecture on ‘Fairy Stories’ Tolkien projected his theory of sub-creation into his legendarium. In this projection the theory of what the human sub-creator does with thought and words became a model for what miraculous and magical beings can do with spirit and matter. For example, Fëanor’s making of the Silmarils and Sauron’s forging of the Ring were conceived (or in the first case, re-conceived) as acts analogous to human fantasy. Middle-earth thus became a world in which the magical potential of human words is revealed in the visible being of magical things.

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